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A reader writes:

Someone I met recently grabbed my hand firmly and then, with force, turned our hands until his was on top. I’ve been wondering if he was sending me a message. I am interested in your opinion.

Hurting in Philadelphia

Thanks for asking. Yes, he was definitely sending a message! I call that handshake “The Controller” for obvious reasons.

When people insist on turning your hand so that theirs is on the top, they want you to know, in no uncertain terms, that they are in control and will dictate the conversation that follows.
Next time it happens to you, immediately register what the person is telling you. You then have the option of trying to match the person’s ego verbally, letting her/him control and/or ending the conversation as soon as you tire of being “controlled.”

Physically, extricate your hand as quickly as possible. If you were to try to turn your hands into an equal position, you will likely meet resistance.

And stay positive. Controllers comprise a small percent of hand shakers … and people!


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