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Retaining positive impression of hand shake

We've seen how a good and positive hand shake is exercised. It's time to know that which things need to be avoided to retain positive impression that hand shake builds. Avoidable things mentioned below negatively affect the very basic purpose of this ritual - expression of openness, cooperativeness, enthusiasm, and harmless state. Charge yourself with faith and self-esteem before engaging in hand shake.


Do not touch, scratch, pinch or rub any parts of your own body; it could invite irritation from other side. If you engage in hand shake first time with other person, it's very important not to touch his/her body parts also. Don't put free hand in pockets or hold it behind your back because it communicates lack of enthusiasm or suspicion. Don't exercise hand shake with gloves put on as much as possible. Don't put free hand on hips; it's sign of domination. Don't point at any direction by free hand; it communicates disorientation.

Don't point by fingers at person engaged in hand shaking, it's invading. Don't keep any objects between you and other person like chair, table, file, folder, cup, mug etc. Don't shake hand over the walls, roofs or partitions if possible. Don't look downward or upward after a hand shake. Simply give brief glance at the eye level to either side and return gaze to other person with smile. Don't cross hands over chest after a hand shake. Exchange some good words with open and empty palm of other hand facing upwards.

Most important thing is not to exercise hand shake every now and then during interaction or while being introduced. It simply communicates that you're imposing yourself on the other person or want to get more out of the deal. In few cultures, it's permissible to exercise a hand shake frequently. Almost globally, hand shake at the beginning and at the end of interaction is a normal practice. 

Generally, women don't offer a hand shake on their own in most societies and cultures.  

After rapport between you and other person gets established, it's positive move to briefly touch his/her wrist, elbow or shoulder to express trust and to boost union. This would help to reduce formality and to promote friendliness between individuals who are familiar with other. It should be exercised between equal ranking personals or should be offered seniors to sub-ordinates.

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Women are body language experts

Women are supposed to be more intuitive than men in interpreting body language because of they have such extraordinary abilities and skills to do so. They may not analyze nonverbal clues deliberately but they can sense or feel them precisely. While men try to interpret, women intuit. Why is it so at the first place?

Women give birth to children and face a great challenge of understanding every condition that babies are going through only by observing their facial expressions, gestures, postures, movements and voice (tone and pitch) since babies can't communicate verbally like experienced or trained person. This challenge has transformed them into excellent care-taker over millions of years.

Emotional interaction with babies is secret of social awareness.
Also, they resonate to baby's facial expressions and vocal tone to sympathize and create a  strong bond. They unconsciously use brain's both prefrontal hemispheres to process emotional and para linguistic data. Understanding others and responding to them properly was crucial for survival and also to propagate fitter genes to next generations. Otherwise, what have happened with human race is beyond our imagination.

Despite of today's liberated and economically independent environment, women remained dependent on tribal groups (mostly lead by men) for security, resource sharing, and rearing children throughout million years of human evolution. Unlike men resolving most issues by physicality and outright arguments, women had to choose a path of more harmonious and social resolutions. They are more expressive, social, and diplomatic then men.

Men can become expert in reading body language like women only with habit of keen observation and co-relation of clues with given situation or circumstance accurately. Developing contextual awareness in different situations can help men in mastering people reading. The ability to empathize with others is also required to become a good communicator.

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What is hand shake?

Hand shake's almost a global ritual for establishing mutual confidence and faith with equality, cooperativeness, and friendliness. Handshake is an initiating gesture and more formal way of connecting with people and encouraging them for further interactions.

A hand shake can make or break the deal. Not offering or receiving it appropriately i.e. not considering kind of environment, gender, age, authority, mood of person could invite shame, rejection or hostility.

How an effective hand shake should be? Let's find out how it evolved in first place to know its importance in today's context.

Basically, hand shaking is to communicate harmless state. As per a story, roman soldiers used to check each other by touching or running their fingers on wrists, forearms and elbows to ensure that they are not holding or hiding any arm or weapon. Furthermore, holding and shaking hands together would let any blade or dagger fall to the ground. Isn't that interesting? Keep in mind that shaking hand is to let others know that you are approaching them friendly and want to connect.  

A positive and formal handshake is exercised by two  persons by standing upright, facing each other at comfortable distance, pointing feet towards each other, keeping neck straight and not stiff, smiling on face, meeting gaze, touching each others palm in vertical direction by firmly griping fingers over them and slowly moving hands up and down at least 2-3 times.

Emotional Intelligence and Success

We think that our materialist knowledge and skills to operate and handle many things would help us in achieving what we want in our life. Do you really think that this assumption is true? If it was the case then we might not have run in many issues in our lives related with emotions. We live in a world that is full of people with different interests, motives and orientations. We can neither fight with nor surrender ourselves completely to others for getting successful but we can try to understand each other in terms of emotions and feelings.
Prof. Dr. Howard Gardner
It's not at all possible until an individual isn't capable of understanding its own emotions, feelings and motives to be able detect them in others. Howard Gardner (the founder of Multiple Intelligence theory) greatly emphasizes on emotional awareness. Success mostly depends upon how person precisely understand emotions and reacts appropriately i.e. whether person is emotionally intelligent or not. Emotions are common and natural but traits and temperaments of an individual its destiny. Want to know your EQ (Emotional Quotient)? Take this test.

Traits like openness, genuineness, tolerance, politeness, resilience, courage, diligence, determination, confidence, cooperativeness, compassion, competency, consistency, commitment, comfort level, maturity, self-esteem, strength, enthusiasm, trustworthiness, respectfulness, kindness, foreseeability and affection give clear insight of individual nature. In short, body language, kinesics and nonverbal communication clues gives an idea abut an emotional character of a person.

We have an inherited ability to realize an emotional interplay at an unconsciously level even we don't emphasize or not paying enough attention to nonverbal clues we collect unconsciously. All personal characteristics can only be judged through face-to-face interactions or deliberate observations but most of us don't pay much importance to same and ultimately invite many troubles. Until we don't realize great importance of emotional intelligence, we would keep body language clues undervalued.

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Emotional expressions are manipulated

We are smartest liars.
Other creatures survive on their instincts, reflexes and predictive behavior while lacking verbal abilities like us. Hence they find no difficulty in understanding and judging each other and responding accordingly. This is not the case in human world at all and because of same we need to spend more mental energy just in predicting that what other person has in his mind or might be thinking us at given moment. This is what every parents needs to teach its children along with words and numbers.

Even though its a greatest gift to mankind, verbal communication has many drawbacks. Actually, all verbal languages came (or - supposed to come) into existence for accelerating exchange and spreading information to many by eradicating confusions, wrong guesses and false assumptions. If we consider this as a thumb rule then nonverbal expressions should match with verbal message that anyone conveys. This doesn't happens every time because thinking is an unique quality that gives us the power to control and manipulate true emotional expressions on purpose.

Picking clue of distress
For securing personal or social interests, both verbal and nonverbal message is consciously regulated to inhibit or tamper actual motivations. Expressions discord with words while betraying or diverting somebody. Defensive, distracting or submissive gestures, postures and expressions are automatically adopted or given away. Brain immediately anticipates threat of being exposed and getting punished and tries to dispose it somehow.

Some of us are very good lie detectors because they can accurately pick nonverbal clues like fear, sadness, guilt or nervousness being suppressed by liars. We wonder about abilities of such persons but they've nothing but proven skills to monitor and interpret emotional expressions of others and more importantly - their own. Until one doesn't know how emotional expressions are (or - can be) manipulated.

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Unlimited Potentials of Nonverbal Knowledge

Today, robots and computers are being taught to interpret and express human emotions and it overtly underlines the effectiveness of nonverbal communication. If machines will communicate with us nonverbally in future then why not we, surviving from millions of years using same language, master it again? We're one of the best designs that nature has created after millions years. Unlike any artificial machines, it's very easy for us because we've all required elements to gain mastery in nonverbal communication.

Communication 7% by words
Knowledge of body language, kinesics, and nonverbal communication can be harnessed not only in personal, professional and social life but also in different fields like education, sports, entertainment, media, fashion, advertisement, performing arts, public relationship, psychoanalysis, counseling, human resource, marketing, servicing, tourism, hospitality, disaster management, rehabilitation, health care, counseling, security, intelligence, law & order, international relationships, diplomacy, administration, strategic planning, ergonomics etc.

People skill makes a great difference in social world.
Lawyers, educators, trainers, psychologists, actors, politicians, diplomats, media analysts, businessmen, traders, counselors, investigators, security officials, secret agents, and  burglars mostly interact with people as part of their profession who are smart enough to interpret them nonverbally. Also, our parents or grand parents might be well-versed in it. Anyone can develop such intelligence like they have.

It’s for sure that proficiency in body language and nonverbal communication would let you know yourself and others better and pave a way towards  success, harmony and happiness like never before. Moreover, raise in consciousness towards our own body fulfills a great purpose of being in an existence with harmony with nature, evolution and world full of people and different creatures.

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Evolution of Nonverbal Communication

Let’s try to understand that how nonverbal communication evolved. We all know that our ancestors faced same challenges like any other creatures. To survive successfully, any creature has to 1) defend itself from predators and adverse climatic conditions, 2) mark and defend certain geographical area for shelter, 3) find and preserve food to live upon, 4) attract a mate, protect it, and produce off-springs, 5) take care of off-springs and teach them same techniques and manners, 6) cooperate and coordinate with members of same species as well as others to seize opportunities and minimize risk to life.

To have same skills and adaptations, an intelligent system came into existence which senses each factor subjected with survival and responds to it appropriately. We know that sensory organs send signals to brain, brain processes them and finally signals are sent back to various parts of body and organs. Capability of sensing and reacting to and by various forms of signals like sounds, movements, gestures, facial expressions, postures, smells and colors are basic characteristics of nonverbal communication. These nonverbal characteristics are deeply rooted in our expression of emotions and reflexes

Word “Emotion” has been derived from word “Emote” and it simply means as “to drive”. An emotion can be generally defined as “a pre-defined survival strategy or intention of reacting to environment or entities. We all share and live under the influence emotions because they have deeper, wider and crucial importance for us. Emotions evolved as behavioral reflexes and each specific emotion helps in securing and supporting underling survival interest.
Different emotions have different purposes.
What each emotion or reflex basically does? Fear helps body to move way from source of danger, anger to reprove or retaliate, anxiety to anticipate risks or dangers, suspect to demand assurance, pride to challenge rivals, respect to secure favors from others and affection to create bonds. Unconsciously, we reciprocate with environment and entities around us on basis of emotions and feelings that our brain induces.

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