Tips on how to dodge hand shakes without being rude

Looking for tips on how to dodge hand shakes without being rude. The pain is too much to bear when someone squeezes hard. I dread going to weddings and graduation parties this summer because I do not know how I will feel and fear that hand squishing. Any suggestions?

Donna Stanley
1 following.
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I give hugs instead.

Carmelita Donovan

I just tell people ohh this is my bad hand

Christina Elkins

Get a hand/wrist splint to wear as it sends the message for you! Alternatively you can force a gentle hand shake by just putting your fingers into their hand instead of a full hand shake - i suggest practicing it with someone you trust not to hurt you?

Jillian Kimble

That’s exactly what I do !

Blanca Richardson 3 years

I just say 'arthritis' and give a fist bump.

Kristen Boudreaux

A fist bump would be lovely if my knuckles weren't the size of small potatoes.

Rose Bullard 3 years

A 'in the air' fist bump, not touching. I don't need germs!

Kristen Boudreaux 3 years

Nothing wrong with turning down a handshake. I have to do it all the time. Not only are my hands crippled from RA but I'm also a germaphobe. A simple " I'm sorry, I have painful arthritic hands" has always sufficed.

Rose Bullard

That is a great question, a colleague gave me a high 5 in the hallway and I almost died!

Piper Sutton

Oh dear! Me too. I was at a picnic and was waving good bye. A big strong man thought I was giving a high Five. He smacked my hand so darn hard. I felt like it contributed to more damage. I had pain for one week.

Donna Stanley 3 years

Donna Stanley, I have this issue too. You cannot be afraid of offending people. Tell them how it is and/or wear a hand split (cheapie one from the pharmacy/Chemists).

Claudia Bower 3 years

Donna Stanley I’ve had this happen also. It’s helped me make sure I keep my hands to myself. I sort of hold them close to me when in public.

Tutu Carey 3 years

The Queen of England has a light weight purse to occupy her arm/hand

Elizabeth Stewart

I like this. And a glass of wine in the other hand. That should do it!

Donna Stanley 3 years

I never shake hands. I tell people I think I'm coming down with a cold, or just getting over a cold, and they usually don't want to shake my hand after that.

Marlene Sykes

Good one!

Becky Hemphill 3 years

I remember years ago when my hands were so delicate, a young man shook my hand and squeezed so very hard. It was way over the top. Not normal. I thought I’d die.

Laura Vazquez

Carry fingerless gloves in your purse and put them on. Ppl back away when they see them on. Explain you have arthritis in your hands.

Cheri Mclean

I'm in the construction industry and I have terribly inflamatory arthritis... Everyone it huge on big hand shakes... Likes its a sign or power or something... When its someone new and important I usually smile and grit my teeth... So dam painful sometimes... With my friends its fist bumps I am over the crushing hand shakes... İ was always taught a firm hand shake... Not a limp noodle arm but some people try to be dam gorillas!

Joe Numbers

It is not only painful, but the hard squeezes can bust something in your fingers and hand. I feel for you. This is serious, but I chuckled about the dam gorillas and the power shake. Seems so true. Thanks for your comment.

Donna Stanley 3 years

I totally understand had one of these big gorillas shake my hand once (I'm a girl) really hurt bad and needless to say we did not hire that builder.

Lou Eaton 3 years

I stick both hands out and cut them off with the hand "embrace". Only if I have to shake. Others, I'm like... No. I'm sick. Lol.

Sheila Honeycutt

I like the hand embrace idea - also much warmer then a handshake

Tim Stratton 3 years

I do tell people I appreciate the gentle shake when I forget I don't shake and they are nice.

Sheila Honeycutt

When someone puts out their RIGHT hand to shake mine, I put out my LEFT hand and take their thumb and shake. Works fine. It has stopped the painful hand shakes. No one seems to mind.

Carolyn Kaplan

I tried this and it kinda works. It throws them off with the Lefty. Good thinking !

Donna Stanley 3 years

Great question. I cringe when people put their hands out to shake. And of course I’ve had some major squeezers lately.

Virginie Morgan

Ugh, I had a very painful hand crush last year and I was even wearing a brace! So from now on I will refuse and just say sore hands.

Leah Root

We are all in the same boat. I tell people I have arthritis and. Can’t shake hands. When I don’t do this I regret it. I meet a lot of new people at church and just won’t shake hands anymore. Not worth the tears

Ann Tyson

I'm all for the fist bump! I think more people should do it! Less likely to spread germs too!

Lou Eaton

Maybe as they extend.. Say.. Be gentle with me.. Before you extend your hand.. İt will sound feminine and cute.

Andrea Ames

I meet with new clients all day. I’ve had success with extending the left hand and also grabbing their fingers instead of fully inserting my hand into theirs. It has occurred to me that we are all immune compromised, so this hand to hand stuff really needs to stop in our own best interest.

Theresa Godwin