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Need suggestions on how to avoid handshakes or manage them

(15 Posts)
FiveStar Fri 05-Aug-16 22:43:23

Hi so I have some issues with my hands which flare up intermittently but are not visible, and I am sick of being hurt at business meetings or formal events when some people especially men give ridiculous crushing handshakes. Today in a formal meeting I actually grimaced and cried out as this guy literally crushed my little finger (which has dislocated in the past) and all my bones together in an iron vice grip, like he was trying to crush a brick or something. He must have heard me but did nothing and due to the setting I could not say anything. But as I sat in pain through the meeting I was really angry. Any suggestions on how to deal with ns requiring multiple hand shakes - how to avoid shaking? Or alternatives to hand shakes? The thing is if you have never met people and need to make a good impression, I don't want the first thing I say to be 'don't shake my hand because it hurts' - just awkward and immediately negative, especially in work situations. Help! Still in pain from idiot bone crusher this morning. Why do people do it? angry sad

Ideas welcome - thanks smile

TheFlyingFauxPas Fri 05-Aug-16 22:48:57

If it were me I would reach out with my left hand and lightly touch their arm so still a physical gesture and say (instead of opening with a negative) I would shake your hand but I have a .....

TheFlyingFauxPas Fri 05-Aug-16 22:52:59

So there's no confusion / assumption you're going in for a shake.

LyndaNotLinda Fri 05-Aug-16 22:58:23

Tell them you're sorry you can't shake their hand(s) but you've recently broken your fingers.

FiveStar Fri 05-Aug-16 22:59:03

Thanks for idea, that's a possibility. Going in with left arm would signal no intention to shake. Need to think about the reason I could say as in effect launching into a medical remark about self not ideal especially in eg job interviews? Also in formal situations do you think touching arm could be weird? (should add I am a lawyer - not always keen to touch arm of opposing lawyers for other side wink)

WeekendAway Fri 05-Aug-16 23:01:35

wear a bandage and laugh and say 'I would shake hands but....!'

And be prepared with a story if they ask what you've done. Or just tell the truth. You have a condition that flares up intermittently and they become very painful. That's enough. The obvious bandage should be an easy way of broaching the subject.

FiveStar Fri 05-Aug-16 23:05:23

Thanks Lynda. Yes I guess I could say I have dislocated my finger (which is true) so can't shake. Annoying thing is not being able to tell who will be the bone crusher until its too late

Reallyhard Fri 05-Aug-16 23:07:42

Hold something in your right hand (diary, briefcase, iPad, flame thrower...) so there's no confusion when they reach out their hand expecting you to shake it whilst you use your left hand to make contact.

HarrietVane99 Fri 05-Aug-16 23:07:47

Watch how the Queen does it. She gets in first and just holds people's fingers, rather than the whole hand, so they can't get a grip. For the same reason - to prevent her hand being crushed when she has to shake hands multiple times a day.

Lapinlapin Fri 05-Aug-16 23:09:57

I was going to say bandage or something that makes it obvious you need a bit more gentle treatment.

Feel sorry for you though. I hate those bone-crushing handshakes. I know limp handshakes are bad, but there's no need to go over the top and crush people's hands and it's always men in my experience

FeckinCrutches Fri 05-Aug-16 23:14:23

What exactly is the problem with your hand? I'd just be honest.

FadedRed Fri 05-Aug-16 23:16:24

In most pound shops you can get small, comfy, Lycra 'wrist/hand support'' thingies that you could wear. Then just smile and don't offer your hand to be shaken. Easier to put on and take off than bandage and just as effective. No need to explain, but 'Recent injury' would cover it if you feel it necessary.
Loathe the people who use a social nicety as an opportunity to hurt someone. Why would anyone think that is acceptable?

ApocalypseSlough Fri 05-Aug-16 23:19:02

We're huggy in my industry and if I want to avoid it, I get in there first with a fist bump!
Could back fire with the willy wagglers and vair informal though.

SpaceKablooie Fri 05-Aug-16 23:24:11

I'm loving the idea of a lawyer fist bump grin!

camelfinger Fri 05-Aug-16 23:26:05

Can you say, as they reach out, "I can't shake your hand, but it's very nice to meet you".

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