Have you ever seen those youtube clips of funny or awkward handshakes? The expressions on the people's faces are like this hilarious combination of utter embarrassment and like, intense shame. One might wonder why I get such pleasure out of watching them. Probably because I feel awkward and uncomfortable in so many life situations, it's a little validating to see other people in the same boat. Or maybe just because I'm a meanie.
Anyway, I've outlined 11 examples of cringe-worthy handshakes that I may or may not have encountered at some point in my life.
1. The missed opportunity - ah, the one we all know so well. Sometimes referred to as the "I was just fixing my hair," or the "I was just itching my face," handshake. This is the shake where you go in for it, and the other person either doesn't notice your shake attempt or blows you off, so you instead turn your awkward outstretched hand into a hair pat or a face scratch. Because, how embarrassing?
2. The "I'll see you later, wink-wink" handshake - this is one of those shakes that just feels creepy from the start. Something weird was definitely going on there, you just can't put your finger on it, but you feel like you may have just been violated and your skin is crawling.
3. The "wanna arm wrestle?" aggressive handshake - a shake with pain potential, where you walk away feeling the bruises already forming and like a few phalanges could actually be fractured. This person is out there to prove something, not quite sure what, but probably that he is strong like bull and has really big muscles.
4. The "sweaty palmer" handshake - you know, that one where you shake someone's hand and feel moisture? Immediately you imagine urine and germs and that the person was just in the bathroom. Oh wait, that might be just me. Imagining someone in the bathroom, as opposed to thinking that you just shook hands with a person who has naturally sweaty palms. Either way, ugh.
5. The "let's hug it out, bitch" handshake - that person who shakes your hand then sort of yanks you into them in an awkward embrace. Like they really wanted a hug instead of a shake in the first place. Usually accompanied by miscellaneous back patting and the word "bro" being thrown around aggresively.
6. The "limpy limperson" handshake - this person needs a huge lesson on proper handshaking etiquette, because their hand is so limp and flaccid it just feels uncomfortable, and dirty. Like maybe you just touched something inappropriate, or dead and smelly. Like maybe you need to go wash your hands.
7. The fist bump fakeout - you go for a shake, they go for the fist bump, then it just gets uncomfortable because your palm just got fisted...
8. The "should we high five?" handshake - this is very similar to the fist bump fakeout, but the confusion lies in whether or not you will be high-fiving each other or shaking hands. One goes for the high-five, which slides into a low-five, then an awkward miscellaneous shake accompanied by uncomfortable laughter.
9. The two-hander, super genuine shake - a shake so genuine in fact, the person needs to shake with two hands to show you how very genuine they are. These are also referred to as the "sneaky politician" handshakes.
10. The lengthy lingerer - the one where you have to literally pull your hand away. These are the worst because they are usually accompanied by a long meaningful eye contact. I hate long meaningful eye contact.
11. The "secret handshake" handshake - this is the handshake that intends to just be normal, but then like, one person is not in on the secret. You shake, you think everything is all fine and dandy, and the other person ends with like, a double gun finger or jazz hands. Then you're left wondering, what the hell just happened?
Have you experienced any of these?