The handshake is a greeting gesture with a long and glorious history, being at least 2,000 years old (and probably more). It began as a sign of peace, a way of showing someone that you did not have a weapon in your hand or hidden up your sleeve. It says that you intend to use your dominant hand to embrace them in friendship, instead of suggesting that they should be afraid of you.
The meaning has shifted a little these days; it is more the gesture of the professional world than the world of friendship. In some social environments, the fist bump is displacing the handshake, which is great news for germophobes! More relaxed handshakes or clasped hands are also considered polite these days, depending on who you're greeting.
All this means that when you shake hands, you have a choice to make about how to present yourself. Do you want to be stiff and formal, or relaxed and friendly? Do you want to dominate or to welcome? Perhaps you intend a little of both. Either way, you can adjust your handshake to convey a great deal of meaning.
What handshake do you have, and what does it mean? Let's find out!