Phasers and Fros

What’s in a Girl’s Handshake?

I was introduced to a friend of my son the other day. Let’s call her Rhea.  She was very polite and reached out with a greeting open hand. When we shook hands I was surprised at how strong her grip was.  “Wow, that’s a strong handshake” I said with a smile.  She replied “My father taught me well” 

I’ve met women with strong handshakes before, but this time my curious mind raced to analyze what was happening here.  Why was I surprised?  What did I assume?  What was Rhea trying to say with her grip, if anything at all?

I knew why I was surprised initially. Those typical dude-man assumptions I had about the roles of males and females kicked in at first.  What did Rhea say with that grip?  What anyone would normally say with it – “I respect you and look to be respected back”. 

“So what do other guys say when you shake their hands? Do you get different reactions?” I asked.
Rhea answered “Some guys get a little defensive. They say ‘Don’t break my hand’ or something like that.” 

So a woman showing her confidence through a handshake should be taken as something to be defensive over?  Or maybe those guys had soft handshakes. Like those that Hip-hop centered podcaster Combat Jack calls Scarf Hands.

I know I read too much into this, as some of you readers are probably thinking. But that’s what I do.  That being said, I’m fairly certain that business women have to deal with this on the daily, and on a more conscious level; balancing between ‘strong, but not too strong’ while dealing with some of society’s double-standards.
Rhea and I talked a bit more about it before moving on to some other subject. I told Rhea that I would be writing about this split-second gesture that’s so common, and yet in this case not so common. Hey Rhea! 

So ladies, have you ever been told that you have a Strong handshake?  Did it ever cross your mind?  And fellas, how did you respond to a woman with a strong handshake?  What crossed your. Mind?  Comment below.

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