February 21, 2018
Have you ever looked at Donald Trump shaking hands with other leaders and wondered "what is this guy doing?". It almost looks like he is playing a game of tug-of-war at first, but believe it or not there is some psychology to his madness.
There is a business psychology aspect to it all. We've all shaken hands with that one person where they act like they are trying to rip your hand off your entire body and "one up you". Well this is similar, but also a bit different. Handshakes between two business parties go back many years and was originally thought of as a co-agreement or a gesture of peace. When leaders (like Trump) shake your hand they are essentially trying to get the upper hand in the deal and assert their power. Trump will grasp your hand in pull you in closely, catching you off guard and at a disadvantage. This is him trying to assert himself.
Psychology also suggests another tactic used in handshakes, which is the hand-cover. Trump is seen doing this in the picture above... it's a symbol of power and dominance. Some leaders may not see it that way and probably honestly don't care too much... but for some people a handshake goes a long way in how they feel about you or judge you from the start.
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