Over the course of your education and onward to your working life, you will meet many, many different kinds of people. And with many, many different kinds of people, there are many, many different kinds of handshakes that you will encounter.

Some are hot, some are cold, some make you icky with your hairs standing on end. We have detailed out a list of the different types of handshakes you would probably encounter when you meet more and more people right here!


1. Papan Handshake

They stick their hand out in an almost robotic manner; straight and true like some papan used to build wooden shacks. You try to shake the hand but there is not much flowing feedback, only resistance, like you are trying to shake loose a piece of wood stuck between a gap in the wall.



2. Sweaty Handshake

Sometimes it may not be the other person’s fault; it could be something they are born with or a medical condition. Sometimes it’s just signs of nervousness and that they are scared while their bodies involuntarily sweat to cool itself down.



3. I-Just-Came-Out-Of-Toilet Handshake

The terrible cousin of the sweaty hand shake. Your mind will race to: “OMG did the fella wash hands properly?” “Was soap used?” “Did he/she scratch anywhere in the nether regions?” ”Will I get infected?” “I wish I bought that Hazmat suit” “Who will feed my pets when I’m gone?”



4. Hands-Are-Dirty-But-Still-Wanna-Shake Handshake

These don’t seem to understand what soap was invented for. You will then face the awkwardness of informing the person that his/her hand is dirty and that you don’t wanna have anything near that landfill, making them feel shy and smile weirdly before hiding their hands away in shame.



5. Limp Fish / Sotong Handshake

No sense of solidness, no energy, no vibe, no squeeze, no nothing. It’s like grabbing a dead sotong (squid) or fish and flapping it around. The person with this handshake has low self-esteem and is ready to run at any signs of danger.



6. Bone Crusher / Ketam Claw Handshake

May be a body builder, protein-shake guzzler, or an overly-confident individual who grabs on to your hand with a death grip with the power of a ketam (crab) claw, gives you a wide-eyed and all smiley expression, while you pretend to also be all smiley and friendly; but deep down inside you know you probably should go to the nearest hospital for an x-ray.



7. Hantu / Sentuh-Sentuh Handshake

Why shy-shy? Touch also cannot meh? Ghost hand shake or sentuh-sentuh hand shake is when the handshake consists of the two participants only merely brushing each other’s hands ever so slightly. No grab, no complete process of holding at all.



8. No-Eye-Contact Handshake

This is the rudest. Shaking hands without even looking you in the eye. The hand shake is just customary, something they just had to do when they meet someone, not that they really wanted to shake anyway. You don’t need these people in your life. Don’t do business deals with them either. They will set up a shell company and siphon all your cash, leaving you with just your undies and kuaci seeds to eat.



9. Too-Much-Touchy Handshake

You would probably receive this kind of hand shake from relatives that you haven’t seen in a while. Or maybe even from an overly-friendly stranger who downed a one too many Red Bulls or a 1kg pack of sugar. They will grab your hand, shake it, sometimes touch you on your shoulder or rub your forearm with their other hand, and continue shaking with an overly concerned semi-deranged excited facial expression. Best to calmly accept the gesture and not startle the individual.



10. Hand Hugger Handshake

The less aggressive sibling of the ‘too-much-touchy hand shake’. Get ready for your hands to be enveloped by two other hands and be shaken up and down in a not too fast, not too slow fashion that you would never know when you should pull away to end the hand (grab) shake.


The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon youtube jimmy fallon handshake lilly singh

11. Ceremonial Dance Handshake

Usually from a person you are pretty buddy-buddy with. It can be a hand shake, fist bump, or high-five, hand shake to twisty thumb action, fist-bump to fist-pump, high-five to specially choreographed arm and body movements. Others may be waiting for you both to transform in to Power Rangers or Super Saiyan, or just be plain weirded out.



12. Confused Handshake

The failed ‘Ceremonial Dance Hand shake’. You both confuse each other whether to shake hands first, fist bump next, or high-five before or after that chest-pump. Results in semi-audible shy schoolgirl-like giggles and no transformation.



13. Smell-My-Breath Handshake

They grab your hand with crushing power, pull you in closer and say, “Hi! Nice to meet you!” with a proximity so near your face that you can see their unplucked nose hair and also tell what they had for lunch, breakfast, and supper the night before. Keep this personal-space-invader at bay with a garlic breath of fire that the ordeal will not last long.



14. Royalty Handshake

Oh no no, they don’t shake your hands first, you should shake theirs! You should be honoured and humbled to have touched their hands with royal blood coursing through their veins. The hand is usually offered palm facing down with the elbow slightly bent, wavering in front of you so that you have to just time it right to hold it and shake it. Yes, yes, know your place you peasant.


Handshakes are something that instantly tells a person what the other person is like, so remember to be careful and mindful of how you give out your handshakes! A handshake with a firm grip, few shakes, and not so much feely-touchy will tell people that you are a confident individual that can hold their own. Practice makes perfect!

P.s. Remember to use a good handshake for your job interviews!



Posted by Joshua Boey

I write (type) stuff that may or may not make sense unless you speak otter. I also like my sugar with coffee and cream.