Decoding the Four Types of Handshakes

Michelle DonovanAdvisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

Decades ago, my grandfather asked a farmer if he and his buddies could camp in the farmer’s field so they could fish nearby. They shook hands and became very good friends. That one handshake led to a lifetime of family memories. Every summer when I was a growing up, 10 kids and 10 adults would descend upon that farmer’s field. We would have in tow four large tents, a dog and enough camping accessories to last for the week. It was our annual summer vacation with family and friends. The farmer would often stop by with his son and share a beer around the campfire.

My grandfather and the farmer have passed away. But the tradition continues because my father and the farmer’s son formed a similar friendship over a handshake. Today, the farmer’s son has a home in that field and my parents, having retired their tent, now have a camp on his property that they enjoy during the summer.

All because of a trust-filled handshake.

Handshakes can lead to life-long friendships like these, seal a business deal, greet a new friend or send someone off with good wishes. No matter how digital or virtual we become as a society, handshakes will always carry great meaning. During the pandemic, many of us missed our human connection immensely, including the handshake.