Man in a suit shaking hands with another man.

Before Zoom became a part of your job description and had you swiping right, shaking hands was the ultimate greeting for making a charming . You could tell so much about a person just from their handshake. The firmness, the movement, the eye contact – every single element can make or break a connection.

Now, the once-familiar custom is fading away into obscurity. It has given way to an awkward elbow bump that everyone secretly hates. But that doesn’t mean you should brush off the art of a good handshake.

Shaking Hands Is Hardwired in the Human Brain

Throughout centuries, handshakes have taken on various meanings. Historians believe the tradition dates to the 9th century BC, evidenced by a relief depicting Babylonian and Assyrian kings shaking hands. The Ancient Greeks and Romans similarly used this gesture to solidify agreements between equals. Meanwhile, knights in the Middle Ages clasped their opponent’s hands to show that they were unarmed and posed no threat to one another.

Fast forward to the modern era, and handshakes remain universally accepted as a mark of respect. How has such a humble gesture managed to withstand the test of time? Turns out, it’s our innate instinct.

Evolutionary biologist Ella Al-Shamahi, in her book The Handshake: A Gripping History, underscores that shaking people’s hands comes naturally to us. Her research reveals that chimps develop identical gestures to communicate, and since they share 98.8% of human DNA, it strongly suggests that shaking hands is encoded in our genetic makeup.

A Good Handshake Speaks Volumes

John Cena reportedly insists on nothing less than a handshake for greetings. And Lionel Messi’s comradely grip is thought to carry good luck. This seemingly small physical act is not just a way to be polite. It’s a tool to make a lasting impression, sending a message that you’re the man to follow.

Further, research indicates that a firm handshake showcases and friendliness. It triggers the brain’s reward center associated with touch with positive emotions. In other words, pressing palms with strangers can make you more likable.

The impact of a good handshake doesn’t stop there. According to the , extending your palm during a negotiation can significantly improve its outcome. This non-verbal interaction cements a foundation of trust and cooperation, setting the tone for a mutually beneficial exchange.

If you’re currently searching for a new job, shaking hands can help you . Researchers at the University of Iowa revealed that are more likely to secure an offering letter versus those with a feeble grip – all the more reason to step up your handshake game.

Can Handshakes Make a Comeback?

You can send emojis, do the Wakandan salute, or opt for the namaste, but nothing is more effective than a palm-to-palm squeeze. It’s more polite than a simple nod and less invasive than a hug. Even after the debacle surrounding infectious diseases, the 3,000-year-old practice has proved its resilience. It was never dead. It only took a hiatus.

Now that we’re entering the handshake renaissance, there are a few things to remember. At the forefront is hand sanitation. This not only protects you but also prevents you from going in with .

Before and after shaking hands, wash your palms and fingers with Lifebuoy Antibacterial Handwash Total 10. The unique Activ Silver+ ingredient fights 99.9% of disease-causing germs, providing you 10x more protection than other soaps. You can also use Lifebuoy Antibacterial Soap Total 10, which boasts the same formula, to clean your body from the neck down.

Now that you’re squeaky clean, remember the fine line between a bone-crushing and dead-fish shake. Imagine squeezing a half-cut lemon without spilling any juice. As far as movement goes, use your elbows, not your wrists! Another thing to remember when shaking hands? Eye contact. Follow all these and you’re well on your way to becoming the handshake master.