Awkward Hand Shakes

I’m a relatively young guy so when I meet new people, especially younger guys, shaking their hands can be awkward.  My instinct is to give them a regular firm-grip hand shake.  But their inclination is to go for the hand slap (most guys know what I’m talking about) which makes it weird when our hands meet.  My grip isn’t tight because they’ve gone into the situation all wrong and then we’re both left with an awkward hand shake.  That’s why I appreciate the pound so much.  It’s a fairly telegraphed maneuver and it’s pretty hard to mess that up, although I hate when people feel the need to add the fist bump after the initial pound.  Makes me fell like I’m in a Kid N Play movie.  Oh, and while I’m on the subject, what’s the deal with the fake hug hand slap?  Why does everyone under the age of 30 feel the need to pull me in for a fake hug when I slap their hand?  Can’t the hand slap just be the end of it?  I generally reserve my hugs for close friends and family, and in the case of family it’s always a real hug.  Alright, I’m done.



9 thoughts on “Awkward Hand Shakes

  1. i haven’t thought about that, but the pound is definitely clearer. I don’t like the hand slap either because of the ambiguity.

  2. It was really awkward when we first moved to China, because they traditionally will shake hands very softly with a loose wrist. They see a firm handshake as aggressive.

    What’s also awkward? Hugging at the wrong time. In the south, we culturally hug relatives and church friends more often than not when we greet. We went to the States for two weeks back in February, and our church had a big reception for us. We hugged so many people…but I gave a “side-hug” to my cousin and she kind of backed away like, “Why are you hugging me?” It was very awkward.

  3. v02468: Here here.

    Ranger: Aww man, that sounds super awkward (both situations). I don’t generally hug female family members. It’s usually just the fake peck on the cheek with them.

  4. What’s a pound? Keep your distance – no touching – please strangers. Embarrassing. I only hug friends and kiss family. I never give fake hugs. Shaking hands is definitely off limits. Where have they been?

  5. “Oh, and while I’m on the subject, what’s the deal with the fake hug hand slap? Why does everyone under the age of 30 feel the need to pull me in for a fake hug when I slap their hand?”

    Ain’t nothing wrong with a little ‘gangsta love’. : )

    Bryan L

  6. I find it more awkward to pound it or hand slap. I’ll take a hug or handshake any day.

  7. Bryan: I’ve never heard it called that before but if we’re sticking with that description then it’s even wronger-er! ;-)

    Nathan: I prefer a regular old handshake but for some reason these young guys don’t seem to know what that is. Pounds rarely if ever get messed up, but it does bother me when anyone over the age of 3 feels the need to slam their fist with full force onto mine. They should know better.

  8. That’s what it was called when I was growing up. It was how thugs and gansters could “show love” to their friends (not that often of course) without a full on hug. I’m sure some rappers or some ganster movie started it. : )

    Bryan L

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