Hand shaking. how do you cope -: when some well meaning... - NRAS


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Hand shaking. how do you cope -

19 Replies

when some well meaning person greets you by grabbing one of your hands and squeezes it really hard and pump it up and down. Some people think the harder they shake your hand, the more friendly they are being. So how can you tell them it is causing you agony without upsetting their feelings?

19 Replies
Rosie_rabbit profile image

I can't answer that either but I too tend to wince at the site of an outstretched hand and would too love some advice on the matter please. Sorry not much help, Rx

My Doc says to cup their hand with both of your hands instead of sliding one hand and locking thumbs... I prefer to outstretch my hand first but I face the palm to the ground. It seems to make them either grab your hand with both of theirs or to come from underneath with their palm facing the sky which means they cant squeeze yours.

Both ways seem to help, better than cringing in pain...

knobblyknees profile image

I~ve been told if you hold up as high as you can on the hand and wrist they cant squeeze. You could also try the na-mast-a hindu greeting - palms together as in praying and nod head as saying na-mast-a. might think its quirky but i could be worth it.

sallyeb profile image

Ooh I so hate that. At one point my OH would say something - often I just avoid shaking hands. It's just too painful. :(

oldtimer profile image

I try to remember to put both hands together before they grab one!

fastball profile image

I usually put my hands behind me when i think that is going to happen. I get funny looks but they dont hurt .Hope you are not in too much pain sending hugs for pain.

Happy New Year poemsgallore have a good one XXX

mistymeana profile image

If it's too painful to shake hands do please tell the person you're greeting. When my hands are bad I usually say something like "I do hope you won't be offended by my not shaking hands. I have arthritis and my hands are rather tender at the moment" I've never yet met anyone that wasn't understanding. Much better than wincing at them as soon as they touch you!

I've learnt to deal with this by either being a 'hugger' or an 'avoider' - people who I'm friendly with I just open my arms and hug them [they've got used to it and now there's a lot more hugging going on in my circle of friends]. If I'm being introduced to someone new and it looks like they're going to proffer a hand then I keep my hands out of sight and give a little bow of acknowledgement - in the way that 'ladies' in the 19th century would incline their head as a greeting. So they may think that I'm eccentric but they won't get to crush my hands!

Cece x

Prairie profile image

My first experience and hopefully my last...when this happened to me I didn't realize how painful and embarrassing the situation was...my first reaction was to hand shake with the chaps firm grip squeeze tight...I couldn't help but scream out loud...I then had to explain...now I try to avoid the situation or if I'm quick enough to give a hug...ouch ouch...I can still feel the pain just to thinking about it....Nicola xxx

francherry profile image

I used to avoid shaking hands but now I often say just beforehand 'by the way, I have rheumatoid arthritis' and then they tend to give a gentle handshake rather than squeezing my hand too tightly. With my friends it's not an issue as we've always hugged when greeting/saying goodbye.

Oh - agony !! We can all empathize with this. At my brothers wedding in the summer I was grabbed so many times, hands gripped, shaken, everything, even though I was wearing braces on both hands!! It was total agony. People do not understand, they don't mean harm, but just do not 'get' the pain we suffer. I try and avoid hand shaking situations now like the plague, unsociable I know, but necessary!! Lynda x

Thank you for all the tips. I believe we are in good company, the Queen has this problem too and I think all who are presented to her are forewarned about it.

Wishing all a Happy New Year.

Kath xxx

Fake sneeze into your hand. That will put them off ;)

Rosie_rabbit profile image
Rosie_rabbit in reply to

Ha ha love it xx

earthwitch profile image

I just say straight off as soon as someone reaches their hand out "I'm sorry, I can't shake your hand, I have very painful fingers". I've never had anyone question that or not accept it.

tilstongal profile image

As I hold my hand out I say "gently please". It works every time.

I have to deal with this almost every day when meeting new clients--- and I used to be a firm hand shaker! last week met with procurement consultant last week and he gave me such a firm handshake I had no choice but to cry out.. he apologised, I said it was not his fault but could not bring myself to tell the group I have RA. He did ask if I had a sore hand-- all I could do was nod. I really struggle with telling anyone I have this disease although sometimes I cannot hide it.

i did use my wrist splint for a while- meant no one could shake hands with me.

tonight I am meeting with a huge new group of friends-- dreading all the handshakes!

take care


teekay profile image

I put my hand forward then tilt it slightly and say" gently please" with a smile. Always works and gets things off to a good start. Teekay

grandy profile image

I wear my wrist splints a lot - I find people respect that you would rather not shake hands :-)

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