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A Show of Hands: Body Language, Part II

Yisrael Rutman

In Part II of our body language feature, we look at the hands, since people communicate so much with their hands. Sometimes hand signals or gestures are used when a person can’t speak — a whole sign language has been created for that. But more commonly, hand signals accompany speech, to give more vigorous and colorful expression to our thoughts.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Shaking Hands

We don’t know for sure how the handshake started, but some say it was a gesture of peace, demonstrating that the outstretched hand wasn’t holding a weapon. Today, it’s a common form of greeting and farewell.

Many believe that a person’s handshake says something about him. A strong handshake indicates trustworthiness and strong character; a weak one shows the person isn’t to be trusted, and he’s weak in character.

But it’s not necessarily so. Some prefer weak handshakes to show they don’t rely on physical force but rather on intelligence and respect for others.

 

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