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10 Different Handshakes


Different handshakes can have different meanings. Handshakes have now become a part of our daily activities and they can be viewed as a universal language because they are a common way to greet someone or say goodbye even when the two parties do not speak the same language. The different handshakes could vary based on the people, their location, culture, and organization.

A handshake is a simple yet meaningful gesture that can be used as a way to greet or part ways with someone. It involves the meeting and grasping of hands by the two parties and a brief upward and downward movement of the grasped hands. A handshake is a friendly gesture that is seen as a symbol of love, respect, unity and friendship. Different handshakes are now popular all over the world, from the firm and strong handshake to the ones with a soft and gentle touch. In this article, we’ll be looking at the different handshakes and what they represent.

10 Different Handshakes

Business people, handshake and happy in collaboration, deal or agreement in city. Shaking hands, sm.

1. A one-handed Handshake

The one-handed handshake is the most common type of handshake. It is a very popular way to greet or say goodbye to someone without too many activities involved. The one-handed shake is done by one party extending his palm upwards or sideways and the second party also extends their hand too. And as both hands meet, they both have a firm grasp on each other’s hands, shaking them up and down but not too tightly. The one-handed handshake is a very simple way to show respect, friendship and gratitude to others. So when next you meet a new friend or colleague at work, you can try having a one-handed Handshake with them and I bet you both will have a big smile afterward.

2. The Two-handed handshake

The next handshake is the two-handed handshake. The two-handshake is commonly used in official settings and is seen as a symbol of loyalty and friendliness. Unlike the one-handed handshake, which involves the use of only one hand, the two-handed handshake involves the use of both hands. It’s been observed that the two-handed handshake is commonly used by politicians.

The two-handed handshake can be used to express a feeling of admiration, respect and gratitude. Imagine you’re meeting a professor that you admire. You’ve read a lot about his work, and you’ve been wishing to see him. Fortunately, at a business conference, you met him and he reached out to you to give you a handshake. Because of the love and respect you have for that professor, you are most likely to use both hands to shake theirs. Having a two-handed handshake means saying so many words without even making a sound.

3. Firm Handshake

A firm handshake is seen as a symbol of mutual understanding and agreement among both parties. It is a strong and confident way to shake hands. Let’s have an example of two business partners who have been deliberating on a deal for some time. When both parties reach an agreement and are satisfied and happy with the deal, they both have a firm handshake. A firm Handshake can also be a way of showing you are confident. Imagine having to shake your competitors and opponents before a debate starts. If you’re confident in yourself and your team, you would most likely give a firm handshake.

To have a firm handshake, you stretch out your hand to the other party and when they receive and shake your hand, you grip their hand firmly but not so hard that it hurts. This shows strength, respect, confidence and friendliness.

4. Soft Handshake

A soft Handshake is not a weak handshake. It is a gentle and relaxing handshake. It is shaking someone’s hands with a soft touch and grip. This handshake is commonly seen when you’re visiting a friend or family member who just lost a loved one or who is going through tough times. When you offer your hand to shake them as they reach out for your hand, you grip their hand softly with a gentle squeeze. It is like trying to tell them, “I feel so sorry for you and I hope you get better,” without even saying anything.

A soft Handshake can also be used to indicate friendliness or interest. Imagine you’re meeting a lady you have a crush on and you haven’t seen her in a while, When you eventually meet her, you will want to shake her hands gently and passionately, which will give her a hint that you admire her.

5. Bone Crusher Handshake

The next type of handshake here is the Bone Crusher Handshake. Unlike the soft handshake, which has a soft feel with a gentle touch, the Bone Crusher handshake is more of a firm grip with a strong, intense squeeze, which can be painful. A Bone Crusher Handshake is seen as a show of strength and dominance and it can be quite painful and uncomfortable. Giving a bone bone-crusher handshake to a stranger or someone close to you is quite aggressive and rude. It does not communicate a gentle or friendly gesture but an aggressive and unfriendly one.

6. Dead fish Handshake

Handshakes tell a lot about one’s personality. Just like the Bone Crusher handshake, which indicates an aggressive and dominating person, the Dead Fish handshake gives off a shy and unconfident feeling. It is common among introverts and people who have poor social skills. I’m sure you may be wondering how someone can give off a dead fish handshake.

Someone can offer a dead fish handshake if they shake hands with you with no grip or firmness and the hands just face downwards like a dead fish or if they shake hands with you with no eye contact and quickly pull away from you. It shows that either the person is uncomfortable or anxious. A dead fish handshake may not always be deliberate, but it could be a result of anxiety, an inferiority complex, low self-esteem or discomfort. Meeting someone for the first time and giving a dead fish handshake is a poor first impression that you may not have the chance to correct.

7. Congratulatory Handshake

At one point or another, we have all given out or received a congratulatory handshake. You just bought a car, you got promoted at work or a baby was born at home. Friends, families, colleagues and loved ones all come together to share in your joy and this doesn’t go without a congratulatory Handshake.

A Congratulatory Handshake is a firm and lively handshake that is used to express congratulations, approval or admiration. When someone is given a congratulatory handshake, it is often accompanied by a big smile, direct eye contact, wishes and prayers. Some people may also give you a gentle and intimate squeeze and a pat on the back, as if they are trying to tell you, “You’ve done a great job”.

8. Sports Handshake

Sports handshake are another type of handshake, but they are only used by athletes during sports competitions. A sports handshake is a symbol of respect and good sportsmanship. A Sports Handshake is usually observed before or after a game. It’s a way to say “good luck” to your opponents without saying a word.

How’s a Sports Handshake done? A Sports Handshake is done when two athletes from opposing teams extend their right hands and have a firm shake but not too hard or aggressive like the Bone Crusher Handshake. The handshake lasts for a brief moment, with firm eye contact and a smile. This is to establish a sense of unity and friendship among members of opposing teams. You’ll see this happen a lot during Sports activities like football.

9. Apologetic Handshake

Just from its name, an apologetic handshake is a type of handshake that is used to express regret, remorse, or apology. This type of Handshake is used to show sincere apologies and to mend broken relationships.

For example, if you forgot the date of the wedding of your best friend, who was the best man at your wedding, he had to reach out to you to express his displeasure over what you did. Well, you agreed to see him and after tendering your apology, you reached out to him for a handshake with a soft, gentle grip and with your head bowed as a sign that you sincerely regret your actions and that you’re truly sorry for them. An apologetic Handshake is often used to take responsibility for a mistake and it’s just for a short while.

10. Queen Fingertips Handshake

The Queen Fingertips Handshake is a type of handshake where only the fingertips are used. This is commonly used among ladies and also in professional settings. It gives off a formal and distant kind of feeling. It’s often considered as a polite but formal kind of greeting and is sometimes associated with royalty, hence the name “Queen” Fingertips Handshake.


In this article, we’ve looked at 10 different handshakes. Handshakes are a very beautiful way to communicate and connect with others. From friends to strangers to families, and even business partners, handshakes are a universal language.

Different handshakes can have different meanings. Some handshakes are firm, while others are soft and gentle. Some are long and friendly, while others are brief and formal. You need to choose the right handshake for the right moment.




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