Emily Post’s Etiquette – 1922

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You know I love history, especially when it shows us how women were “educated” to act in society and business. The following advice is straight out of Etiquette, by Emily Post published in 1922. This classic book set the standard for how “ladies and gentlemen” were to behave in proper society. Emily Post’s book had been the etiquette gold standard for generations.

You’ll enjoy this information from Chapter Three entitled Greetings:

Shaking Hands

Gentlemen always shake hands when they are introduced to each other. Ladies rarely do so with gentlemen who are introduced to them; but they usually shake hands with other ladies, if they are standing near together. All people who know each other, unless merely passing by, shake hands when they meet.

A gentleman on the street never shakes hands with a lady without first removing his right glove. But at the opera, or at a ball, or if he is usher at a wedding, he keeps his glove on.

 

Personality Of A Handshake

A handshake often creates a feeling of liking or of irritation between two strangers. Who does not dislike a “boneless” hand extended as though it were a spray of sea-weed, or a miniature boiled pudding? It is equally annoying to have one’s hand clutched aloft in grotesque affectation and shaken violently sideways, as though it were being used to clean a spot out of the atmosphere. What woman does not wince at the viselike grasp that cuts her rings into her flesh and temporarily paralyzes every finger?

The proper handshake is made briefly; but there should be a feeling of strength and warmth in the clasp, and, as in bowing, one should at the same time look into the countenance of the person whose hand one takes.

In giving her hand to a foreigner, a married woman always relaxes her arm and fingers, as it is customary for him to lift her hand to his lips. But by a relaxed hand is not meant a wet rag; a hand should have life even though it be passive.

A woman should always allow a man who is only an acquaintance to shake her hand; she should never shake his. To a very old friend she gives a much firmer clasp, but he shakes her hand more than she shakes his. Younger women usually shake the hand of the older; or they both merely clasp hands, give them a dropping movement rather than a shake, and let go.

 

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I’m Sharon Michaels.com and my business is dedicated to empowering and mentoring women who have chosen to successfully work for themselves. I teach you how to do business successfully.