Social Etiquette and Good Manners/Beta Male Handshake


Hi Jay,

Regarding handshakes, I've looked into dominant and submissive body language and it seems the best beta handshake would be done with the palm facing upwards and the hand is shaken upwards first, instead of downwards first.

The problem is that people unconsciously offer their hand to me in a neutral position (palm facing sideways) which ends up in a neutral/equal handshake, conveying the wrong position of status.

When shaking hands with them could I turn their hand so their palm is facing downwards (alpha) and my palm is facing upwards (beta) and then shake their hand upwards? Or would they resist the turning of the hand and it would make for an awkward situation?

I would like to be the first to offer the handshake (palm upwards) in order to convey their superior status but I don't know if the alpha male or beta male offers their hand first.

Thanks Jay, and take care

Both 'alpha' and 'beta' handshakes are to be avoided. A proper handshake between any two people should always be neutral. There are plenty of ways of showing respect with humility for both parties remaining intact. Shaking hands is not one of them. I hope this helps.  

Social Etiquette and Good Manners

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Jay Remer


I am happy to answer any questions about social or corporate etiquette as well as questions regarding international protocol. It is important to practice civility. It is contagious.


I am certified by the Protocol School of Washington as a consultant for corporate etiquette and international protocol. I have been entertaining and giving advise on entertaining for over 40 years.

Weekly column in Telegraph Journal

Graduate of Protocol School of Washington

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