Jun 10

Women like it firm!

There is something that women talk about that men ought to know and I, in good conscience, can no longer keep quiet on the subject.

No, it is NOT whose is bigger.  Get your mind out of the gutter.  Actually it is whose is firmer.  Didn’t I just say get your mind out of the gutter because what I’m talking about are handshakes.

Before women made up almost 50% of the work force it was customary for a man to wait until a woman made the first gesture before shaking her hand.  He would then grab her fingers as if he were lifting her hand up to kiss.  But now that things have changed, it seems a lot of men are still unsure what women expect out of a handshake.

So gentlemen let me offer you this:  ALL of the women that I have spoken to on this subject through several decades of life absolutely hate wimpy handshakes.

What we do like is for you to take the entire hand in yours like you do another man’s (please do not just grab my fingers); give me a good firm grip and full shake.  When I say firm, I do not mean to break every bone in my hand (this is not a contest on who is stronger) but I want to know that my hand has just been shaken.

What I abhor is the dead fish handshake.  You can get your mind back in the gutter because when a man gives me a dead fish handshake I think of one thing.

So Men out there tell me, how do you shake a women’s hand?


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  1. Coleen

    Agreed! Its almost a respect thing…when a man doesn’t shake my hand firmly like he would another man I feel as if he is just brushing me off…great post…even if our minds are all probably in the gutter at the beginning! lol

    1. admin

      Thank you for your comment, Coleen. A few of the men I have talked to about it admit they are not sure what women want in a handshake. Hopefully this will help.

  2. Ginny

    It is equally important for women to give back a firm handshake too! Will never forget one of the 1st female reps I met – her handshake was awful! I wanted to take her aside and tell her but I never did. Now I would.

    1. admin

      I agree. I have rec’d awful handshakes from women too. The absolute best hand shaker is Mike Boucourt!

  3. Ray Zehrung

    Funny, I have always taken a woman’s hand into my own quite firmly, giving it a warm, dry and firm shake. To do otherwise would be showing a lack of professionalism. I must also be weird, since I never wait. I always extend my hand at the first opportunity.

    Since I am not a woman, I shall simply have to rely upon the experiences of women regarding the handshakes of other men.

    1. admin

      Ray, Thank you for your comment. Sounds like you are extending a perfect hand shake. And you are right not to wait for the woman to make the first gesture any longer, that was old school. I look forward to meeting you one day and having the opportunity to shake your hand.

  4. Terry

    The problem isn’t that many guys shake women’s hand limply, they shake everyone’s hands limply. Nothing is more *ugh* than a limp fish handshake.

    I’m a big proponent of firm handshakes. A good firm shake, a little squeeze (not trying to break bones or anything like that) – whether it’s in business or personal life, it’s the same for me. Man, woman, friend or stranger.

    I’m also the look you directly in the eye sort when I talk to you, and it seems there’s a large enough segment of our society that isn’t comfortable with that… I don’t get that, either.

    1. admin

      I appreciate your comment, Terry. It sounds like you already have it down perfectly! I also notice the lack of eye contact today, it is something that I am trying to instill in my children.

  5. Wendy

    How true! There’s nothing like a firm handshake. I am so glad you wrote this article because I have been thinking the same thing for years!! It is not often these days to get a nice firm handshake or a direct look in the eye when speaking with someone.

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