About Your Hands
Your hands are marvelous, indispensable tools used for both survival and pleasure. Hands are like antennas extending from your body that both send and receive information about the physical world around you. Each hand has 48 named nerves and hundreds of smaller branches that provide an intimate connection between the outside world and your brain. Nearly every minute you are awake your hands are busy doing numerous daily tasks: pushing, pulling, patting, stroking, twisting, poking, testing and evaluating endless objects.
Because your hands are so closely connected to your brain, the hands reveal much valuable information about your mental state each moment. Active and exploring hands reveal an active and exploring mind. Even long term personality traits and attitudes leave marks and impressions in the hands’ physical structure.
About Your Thumbs
Employers may get as much valuable information from prospective employees’ hands as from their resumes. For example, how willing a person is to take action and get a job done is most clearly revealed in the thumbs. Strong and large thumbs held at a wide angle out from the palm are a sure sign of someone eager to tackle every task. These thumbs are a sign of someone who likes to take action and get a job done. Employees with small, weak, and generally folded-in thumbs may need some prodding from the boss to get started on a job and complete it.
Next time you ask your friend or mate for help, check to see if his or her thumbs are held out at a big angle or if folded in close to the palm. If held out at a big angle, then you can be confident that the help will be given willingly. Watch out if he or she offers to help but is holding both thumbs in close to the palms. Or worse yet, if the thumbs are tucked into a closed fist! In this case, the tightly controlled and held-in thumbs reveal hidden resistance and reluctance that may strain the relationship.
About Hand Display
The way hands are held is another good indicator for how relationships of all kinds are progressing. An open and trusting relationship between two people is revealed by hands generally moving about with fingers opened and palms turned up. An open and trusting person’s hands are usually in view and seldom placed under the table and hidden from view. A person who is feeling unsafe and/or secretive may display hands with palms closed, turned down, or hidden from view in pockets or under the table.
People who are open to new ideas — and are generous with their ideas and resources — consistently move and display their hands with fingers relaxed and separated. People with fingers usually held tightly together and stiff may not be likely to accept new ideas easily.
About Shaking Hands
The type of handshake you receive may provide excellent clues for evaluation of the other person. Although the handshake rules apply to both men and women, a simple handshake can be an excellent way for a woman to evaluate a man very quickly.
Women, here is what you can watch for in a handshake with a man:
If he rotates your hand so his hand is over the top of yours (his palm facing down, forcing yours to face up in his), this guy may be very controlling. Watch out!
When he holds your hand so that his and your hands are equally vertical, this shows a sense of some equality between you both. In this case the strength of the grip is most revealing.
– Makes eye contact and smiles: Two friendly good signs. You do the same.
– Makes brief eye contact then quickly looks off to the left or right while handshaking: Disinterested (or afraid) in really getting to know you and investing much time or energy in you.
– Firm grip: He has self-confidence, is sincere, and takes care of himself.
– Weak grip: He has a lack of confidence and is insecure.
– Limp grip and limp arm: He needs a lot of support to get things done.
– He shakes your hand side-to-side, instead of up and down: He is trying to disarm you for manipulation later. Watch out!
– While shaking hands he puts his free hand on your wrist, forearm, elbow, or up by your biceps: He is interested in talking with you more. He wants to get emotionally and physically closer to you. Stay alert for more advances into your personal space. Be ready to put up the “stop” sign — or the sign, “Come on in!” He will be watching for either one.
About Hand Reading for Everyone
So the next time you are talking with someone, be aware of how both of you are using and displaying hands. Using these few basic rules of hand analysis will reveal to you how the relationship is progressing moment by moment. The hands are an excellent indicator for the true status of your relationship with another person, whether a close friend or a new acquaintance.
Larry Rodrigues M.S., lecturer and author, is Director of EastWest Institute for Self-Understanding.