After the absurd signature, another gesture by US President Donald Trump is creating a buzz on the Internet. Trump’s recent meeting with the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has taken Twitterati on a roll, and Abe on an eye roll! *Pun intended*
Not just the handshake with Abe, but Trump’s handshake with Judge Neil Gorsuch when he was nominated to the Supreme Court and the one with vice-president Mike Pence on election night also made front page news.
While his signature made graphologists tag him as “hungry for power, wildly ambitious, dynamic, determined, stubborn and fearless”, body language experts have taken to analyse his handshake to indicate important characteristics of his personality.
Karen Bradley, head of the master’s dance programme at the University of Maryland and a specialist in movement analysis, told Mic that Trump’s handshake etiquette is a sign of his “total lack of cultural intelligence [and] social skills.”
“The handshake is not only awkwardly long, it contains the usual pull towards himself that characterizes Trump’s worldview,” Bradley said, adding, “All flows towards him. He literally sucks in the room and everyone in it.” Calling the “alpha male” approach a two-sided coin, Bradley said that it may also be interpreted as a sign of disrespect to visiting heads of state.
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“The patting seems appropriative and status-defining and is part of his dominating attitude, but it is the fact that he holds on too long and pulls the hand of the other into his own sphere that indicates his social transgression,” she said. Bart Rossi, a political psychologist, called the extra pat “a narcissistic tendency”.
A few days ago, there was another video of Trump’s handshake doing the rounds of social media:
— Ben Blake (@benjablake) February 1, 2017
Watch the series of his awkward handshakes that is taking social media by a storm:
There’s no escaping Donald Trump’s handshake pic.twitter.com/nZiXiy1SOp
— VICE News (@vicenews) February 11, 2017
Twitterati also had its own versions of what his handshake conveys:
One hopes Donald Trump greets PM Theresa May with a formal handshake. She’s too old-fashioned for his favoured Grab-The-Crotch greeting.
— HRH Prince William (@DukeCambridgeUK) January 27, 2017
*Donald trump tries to use a handshake to authoritize dominance; stupid handhakee goes along with it” https://t.co/rlw8Mb5zrl
— Rad-Dad ☿.♇ (@Aware_wolf_) February 2, 2017
The Donald Trump “I’ll always be more powerful than you” handshake. https://t.co/OhzRJkuFH3
— Jonathan Vankin (@jonvankin) February 2, 2017
— Debbee Collins (@DebbeeCollins) February 2, 2017
— ajlalexander (@ajlalexander) February 6, 2017
@benjablake this is the “do as I want or else” tug
— Ben (@benwiking) February 2, 2017