Hey guys, girls hate limp handshakes

Hey guys, girls hate limp handshakes

An awkward handshake inaugurates this romance in Kuch Kuch Hota Hain.

The short meeting ritual commonly accepted the world over, the handshake, may play a more important role in your lives than you imagined. Research has suggested that women are more likely to marry men with strong handshakes.

Researchers from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the Columbia Ageing Centre discovered the link between a firm grip and a higher likelihood of marriage after studying 5,000 adults from the Norwegian City of Tromso.

Scientists discovered the firmer a man’s grip, the more likely he was to be married. The reason?A strong handshake shows strength and vigour and women prefer healthier men, who won’t need much looking-after in old age.

No surprises there! Grip strength has long been considered a measure of health, with stronger grips being linked to a lesser risk of heart disease and even death.

As far as first impressions go, a handshake can be a deal breaker or clincher, especially when interacting in a situation which calls for making quick impressions.

“Whenever I go to a business meeting, I always assess my colleagues based on the handshakes they give. The ones with firm grips signal confidence and attention and I always find myself addressing or looking at them more, whether knowingly or unknowingly,” says an MNC professional who declined to be named (“I have to see those people again; they know who they are”).

Women have been the recipients of limp handshakes for years and it annoys them no end. “I hate it when people hold my hand as if it is made of glass. They delicately clasp it, give it a weak shrug and let go immediately. What is the big deal in giving a strong handshake to a woman?” says Chithira Pillai, lead manager in an MNC. 

Another woman professional echoed this sentiment. “When I go for client meetings,  my male colleagues will get handshakes but I mostly never will,” she said. “I get a smile, a light shoulder tap or touch, a two-finger shake or the hand on the small of my back when we are filing out of a room.”

The other side

The Indian context is still a slippery slope for many when it comes to greeting etiquette. “I am a little nervous while greeting female colleagues. The older ones may not be okay with a handshake. And if you are giving one, you need to tread the fine line between a strong grip and an overly-masculine one,” says a male IT professional.


The history of the handshake dates back to the 5th century BC in Greece. It was a symbol of peace, meant to demonstrate that neither person was carrying a weapon. During the Roman era, the handshake was actually more of an arm grab.

How to get it right

A Fortune 500 CEO once said that when he had to choose between two candidates with similar qualifications, he gave the position to the candidate with the better handshake. So now you know why you need to get this right.