As a complete germ-a-phobe there are somethings I am required to do that make me completely uncomfortable. Shaking hands is one of those things.
Growing up in the south we shake hands when we meet new people. It's a sort of requirement that we all have to do, kind of like wearing a bra when you go out in public. No woman wants to do it but it is expected of you in this day and age. No woman has ever said to me "I can't wait to put on my over the shoulder bolder holder because I just love to feel itchy, sweaty, and confined." I wish I could be like Howie Mandel and get away with fist bumping but fist bumping requires a kind of cool factor that I truly do not possess. It seems to say," hey there buddy bump my fist because I am ridiculously stylish."
I have been called many things but I have never been accused of being fancy, overtly cool, or ridiculously stylish. Fist bumping just doesn't seem like a "me" kind of thing. To my ten years old's embarrassment I have on occasion used the words rad, groovy, and cool beans in public....Apparently these words are no longer acceptable in the "cool" crowds anymore.
If I know I am going to meet someone in advance I usually psych myself up for it. Pep talks and conformations are in order. However, sometimes I run into new people and I am required to be polite and offer my hand if they offer their's first. I hate this. I absolutely and completely despise the shaking of hands with strangers. Then again, I was brought up to be polite and assertive. To not shake a hand when offered is rude. Kind of like pointing at someone, which in the south is a big no no.
I usually look at the hand offered and do a mental assessment. Is their hand clean? Do they look like someone who washes after they use the bathroom? Does it seem like I may get away with shaking this person's hand and not develop Ebola afterwards? It only takes a split second to go through this entire process and I reach out and shake. I like to shake hands with a firm grip. I was taught limp hand shaking means that you are weak. I don't like to be thought of as anything but a strong individual. So I use a firm grasp but not to the point of hurting someone or myself.
I hate the whole process as there seems to be no definable rules to hand shaking. There are some things I believe are necessary for a proper hand shake.
First off, don't have wet hands. It's gross and it makes me feel that you have recently used the restroom or have touched something disgusting.
Second, a firm handshake does not mean to grasp my hand with all of your strength and then roll my knuckles. I have a brother, I am familiar with this tactic, and it hurts.
Third, for the love of God, please do not hold onto my hand after we have shaken. This is just uncomfortable for both parties and down right creepy. I don't care if you are Channing Tatum, let go of my damn hand already. It's weird and I didn't even want to touch your hands in the first place.
And there you have it. I shook hands looked the person straight in their eyes, feigned happiness, and exchanged pleasantries. Now that I have done what is socially required of me I am going to find a dark corner somewhere and use my antibacterial gel.....twice. Oh, all right if we are being honest I may use it three or more times. Depends on the hand, and the person, and the place that we shook hands at. I really feel that hand shaking should go away completely and we could replace it with something where touching is not involved. Like maybe ........Jazz hands. Where we just wave and make happy hand motions around our faces.....Seems like a perfect idea to me.