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.