Jane Bates: Let’s shake on it

Jane Bates considers healthy hand-holding.

Jane Bates considers healthy hand-holding

The humble handshake has been around at least since the ancient Greeks’ time as a greeting, a sign of mutual trust – no weapon concealed in that right hand? Good! It was a demonstration of respect and would seal deals. In churches, it is used as a token of peace and fellowship.

We also use it as a judge of character; the wet-haddock grasp, especially if warm and damp, tends to indicate a weak, slightly off-putting personality, while the bone-crusher makes you flinch, until the gripper realises that it is not a smile you are exhibiting but a rictus of pain. The linger-longer handshake is a particular dislike of mine: ‘Can I have my hand back please? It has been 20 minutes.’

Some wish to ban the handshake. This is understandable I guess when research shows that still only 38% of


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