Hillary Clinton and Her Limp Noodle

This picture bugs me


This photograph of Hillary Clinton and Indonesia’s foreign minister, Marty Natalegawa really bugs me.  I’m not the biggest fan of Hillary and I actually don’t even like to discuss politics.  What bothers me about his photo is the the handshake.    Ms. Clinton is barely grasping Mr. Natalegawa’s hand and he clearly has a soft grip on her.  This breaks both parts of BizEtiquette Tip #15 better known as Limp Noodles.

Let’s talk about Hillary.  I am sure that she has had hours of media and relations coaching and it surprises me that she doesn’t shake with a firmer grip.  She might be holding back due to some Indonesian custom of women being submissive to men.  But as an American woman who holds some political power, I kind of expect her to set a confident example for the rest of us.    Let’s assume that there are no men vs. women issues in Indonesia and Mr. Natalegawa is just a regular dude shaking a lady’s hand for the first time.  He is handed a limp noodle by Hillary and so what does he do?  He gently holds her hand so that he doesn’t hurt her.  Now we have TWO limp noodles.

You may think I am over analyzing a simple handshake.  I am!  Etiquette is one of my passions, it’s what I do.  The lesson here is:  If you are a woman, be confident with yourself.  Hand over a strong, firm handshake with good eye contact.  It shows that you are secure with yourself and mean biz.  If you are a man, we can take it!  Give us a firm shake in response.  You aren’t going to crush us.

1 Response
  • Sugar Jones
    September 25, 2012

    Limp handshakes are a HUGE pet peeve! On the other side, people that overcompensate and crush your knuckles together are equally obnoxious. Glad you pointed this out as a good reminder of this important first impression.

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