Handshakes and other coded messages
I learned the importance of a firm handshake when I was 16 years old and the only woman working on an archeology dig in southern France. I noticed that all the men strode up to one another and firmly shook hands by a grasp and a single downward movement and then went off to talk. They would politely — but dismissively — acknowledge me first, and then they would shake hands with one another and be off.
The first time I used this handshake, I was being a smart aleck. I just wanted to see what would happen. What did happen was that their eyes widened and then they included me in the conversation. I've practiced a firm handshake ever since.
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