Everything You Can Learn About President Trump From His Weird Handshakes

Everything you can learn about President Trump
from his weird handshakes

There are enough power plays in a President Trump handshake to make your head spin.
With Trump alternating between scripted speeches and private talks through most of his nine-day foreign trip, the world has been left looking for the real stories hidden in his body language — which has made his jarring handshakes famous again.
Trump’s powerful paw stole the show Thursday as he blitzed through meetings with foreign leaders in Brussels at the G7 summit.
There he was, holding the hand of French President Emmanuel Macron for so long that it made the world uncomfortable.
There he was later in public, yanking Macron’s arm around as if spasming.


What's in a shake?
Similar grab-and-pull gestures befell Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and (the clearly exasperated) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Each shake became a viral, and baffling, quirk of the commander-in-chief.
One body language expert, who has studied handshakes for years, says she’s never seen American Presidents doing anything like Trump’s seemingly awkward grabs and yanks.
It's very unusual,” Patti Wood told the Daily News.


It's e timing is not normal, the ritual of it is not normal.”
But experts argued that, strange as it is, it’s intentional — and it’s all about dominance.
On the surface, Trump’s apparently out-of-control shake seems like a warm gesture — an embrace so overwhelming he loses himself in the moment.

“He’s kind of like a clumsy big bear,” said Lillian Glass, a Florida body language consultant.
“He’s a guy that kind of wears his emotions on his sleeve, as we all know. So when he really likes you, he grabs you toward him, like you’re his buddy. It’s a very show business thing, very Hollywood.”
He usually completes the look with his immediate grin and unbroken eye contact.
But there’s something more subtle and sinister at hand.

Trump’s presidential handshakes have become notorious for their unnatural movements — he grabs the hand, hesitates, pulls the person toward him and holds the gesture just a few moments too long.
It’s unsettling — likely on purpose.

“It sends a very specific message of power,” Wood told The News.
“It puts (the other person) off center, off kilter. ‘Oh, you can trust me. Oh, no you can’t.’ It’s an alpha contest of who’s going to be in charge.”
Wood noted that the world has mostly seen the Trump shake during his meetings with either fellow world leaders, or with other Washington dignitaries from whom he will expect loyalty.


A clearly exasperated Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after one of Trump's signature shakes.

Another reason she says the domineering shake is calculated: It’s a new thing for him.
Prior to his presidency, the famously germ phobic business mogul was ardently anti-handshake. He called it a “barbaric” gesture that put him at risk of catching “all sorts of things.”
Trump has been in the perpetual public eye for decades, but was rarely seen giving so many handshakes until he entered the White House.
That's when the Hollywood moves wouldn't cut it anymore. With every new encounter, he now had a lot more to prove.

Full Daily News article - http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/learn-trump-weird-handshakes-article-1.3196082


Patti Wood, MA - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com.