Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Psychology Of Handshakes... And Barack Obama

Before I start with this post I should point out that whatever I'm going to write in this post does not guarantee to work 100% of the times but if done properly it'll work wonders in your professional life, personal life and if you happen to have any horcruxes, this should work in your after life as well.
Everyday an average human being speaks to 15 people. That's 5,475 people in a year, obviously a large number of people are repeated on a regular basis, but being who we are it's natural to want people around us to like us. Equally all of us want to be around people who we like and about 90% of the world knows if they want to be friends with someone or not within the first 150 seconds of meeting them.
A girl knows if she sees a future with a man in the first 90 seconds of a conversation. We are all judgemental no matter what we may say, we all trust our opinions over anyone else's and we all find our jokes funnier than others. Okay, the last one's not true.
The moment you meet someone, be it the first time or the last time, the first action often dictates how the rest of the conversation may pan out. That first action is a handshake. Look at the picture above for example, notice how Barack Obama's hand is tilting downwards? That's not by accident. Go on Google and do a search for Barack Obama handshakes and look at the images. Each and every single handshake has Obama's hand tilting downwards. Keeping aside the fact that I was bored enough to notice something like that, you may question, why does Obama do that? The moment you meet someone, you want them to like you. If you're Obama, you obviously want to have a sense of power over them, even if you're not Obama, let's face it, all of us love to have a sense of power. The moment your hand is tilting downwards, when the handshake is done and completed your hand will be on top, subconsciously it gives you a sense of power over them because you're on top right away. 
It's not just Obama, other people who do this are Jose Mourinho, Christian Bale, Shah Rukh Khan, Derren Brown, Stephen Fry to name a few. And this may come as surprise to some of you Indian readers, so does Prathiba Patil. I don't know if she actually knows the science behind it, but she does. Look at the picture below for example.
What Obama is doing right there is typically known as "The Politician's Handshake." When someone comes to shake hands with you and their hand is tilting downwards, what do you do? Well you take their hand and just keep your other hand on top of theirs and shake their hand. And while you do that you smile like you're a two year old whose just won a fancy dress competition like Mr. Obama is in the above picture.
But wait there's more. Look at the picture above now. See how Obama's hand is tilted downward AND his other hand is holding the other person's arm? For those of you who did Google Obama's handshake would have noticed him do this in an awful lot of pictures. Why is that? The moment you touch someone's arm or shoulder pretty subtly, for some reason they start paying more attention to you and start giving you more importance and in doing so end up liking you. 
So when you meet someone the next time, tilt your hand downwards, if you see them doing the same use the "Politician's Handshake", touch them on the arm or shoulder while shaking hands to get that sense of power over them.
Oh but there is, One More Thing....

How many of you have seen a lot of Obama's pictures? How many of you have noticed that in each and every single picture he's wearing either a red or a blue tie? Particularly during the election campaign? Again, that's no coincidence. Red, as some of you may know is the colour of love. Blue on the other hand is the colour of support. Barack Obama very subtly give you the love and in return asks for the support. Meanwhile for those of you who've seen Obama's speeches and videos, how many of you have seen him point his fingers or do actions like in the picture above along with nodding pretty constantly? Again, no coincidence. The moment you nod while talking, it's natural human tendency to nod along when the person looks at you, in essence agreeing with the speaker. Couple that with the blue or red tie and the handshake philosophy and you have a winner for your meetings, your get togethers, your speeches... in short, your life.