Today I had a moment with Frank, our Student Minister at BridgeWay, that I believe there isn’t a word for, but there should be: an awkward handshake. I could also call it an accidental handshake, but it felt more awkward than accidental.
Here’s what happened. We were rating Will, our Worship Minister, on how much of a metrosexual worship leader he is. When we were done I stood up and started to point at Frank to get Will’s final score and that’s how it got started. He thought I was reaching my hand out to offer a handshake (like we lived in the 1930s or something where I guess people shook hands every time they entered or exited a room), so he reached out and shook my hand.
I don’t know why it felt so awkward, but it did. To try to ease things up, Frank reached over to shake Will’s hand, but I didn’t follow suit. I just felt awkward then left the room.
There are other times that the awkward handshake shows up, especially in church:
- Forced handshake during greeting time in worship. I’m considering going exclusively with hugs because I think that would be less awkward, right?
- Missed grip. This happens to me when I’m keeping eye contact with the other person and end up not getting a full hand, just fingers. Not good. I always reboot and do it right.
- Wet noodle. I don’t know what you call it, but that’s what I feel like I’m grabbing when the other person doesn’t do any grip at all in the handshake. It’s not just awkward it’s also a little oogy.
- Fist bump. I’m not sure why this has become so popular, but it seems like some people think it’s a better alternative than the handshake. It’s not.
- No free hands, so let’s pinky swear. When I’m holding my daughter and carrying my iPad (which has my Bible in it) I can’t even offer the lefty shake, so sometimes the other person feel obligated to do something, so we end up with some hybrid between a handshake and pinky swear. It makes me feel like somehow I’ve done some weird warp into middle school.
Those are just a few that I can think of. Do you have any moments in your world that the awkward handshake makes an appearance? Share in the comments.
8 thoughts on “Awkward Handshakes”
When considering the popularity/regularity of a fistbump, I default to President and First Lady Obama….
Interesting. Why is that?
Fist bumps have their place. It is only used appropriately when it is used sparingly – conservatively and with discernment. Since the Obamas know nothing about either of those things, I think we should find a better default.
I agree. It seems appropriate for sporting events. Not so much in everyday life.
The Obama’s did a fist bump on TV once, now there is a whole wikipedia page on it. But I do the fist bump when I can, just because I don’t fell comfortable with germs on another persons hand touching my hand! i’m not a germ-o-phobe, I just don’t like it.
I’m going to start calling you Howie Mandel. He does the fist bump for the same reason. Maybe knowing that makes it a little less awkward, but I’m not sure.
What about the overly aggressive won’t let go of your hand, handshake? Very distracting. I vote for no more touching. Let’s just migrate to the head nod.
I think germophobes everywhere would be ecstatic if there was a no-touching policy enacted.