Why Do People Shake Hands?

Showing respect or recognition is one of the reasons why people shake hands when they meet. Shaking hands is a practice which almost everyone from all over the world does. This is to show that they acknowledge each other. Other people show respect when they meet each other by kissing each other on the cheek, patting the shoulder, embracing and many other ways as well. You might regularly see people shaking hands, and you might also be one of those people who shake hands with other people in your workplace.

Normally, working people or business owners shake hands when they see one or all of their partners or clients. They shake hands during meetings, conferences, seminars or in their offices. Shaking hands started during the early 1800’s, and this was as good like a written contract in order to keep a deal or promise. Thus, when people shake hands, it only means that the promise or deal is taken seriously and that this has to be fulfilled.

On the other hand, during those days, men never shook hands with a woman. During those times, when a woman extended her hand, the man would either kiss the top of the woman’s hands or bow. When women in recent days are playing for a place in the business of men, it is correct for a man to extend his hand and shake hands with a woman. But in the past, shaking hands with women was not acceptable and considered taboo. These days, doing business is another reason why people shake hands. At times, women are bothered when men insist on shaking hands when a nod of acknowledgement could be more than enough. Some women do not feel comfortable when men are shaking hands with them. However, when they have a business deal, a solid hand shake is not a problem. In addition, it is noted that the characteristics of a man can be identified with the strengths of a hand shake. If a man displays a strong hand shake than you can trust that person, and if the hand shake is weak then he is not to be trusted, he is weak in character.

Of course, this is not a true test to show the characteristics of a man. These days, shaking hands is very rampant since it is a sign that they have acknowledged each other. Normally, most people shake hands with their right hand due to the fact that about 85-92 percent of the total population is right handed. Another amusing but practical reason why people shake hands is to show that they are not holding any deadly weapons so the other person knows that he is safe.

Posted at January 5th, 2012.

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