The Handshake 
Sunday, August 17, 2014, 06:38 PM
Posted by Administrator
I bought a car, today. Okay, I didn't actually buy a car....I leased a car for my daughter to take back to FSU with her. In the course of negotiations, I did the usual: made an unreasonably high offer; agreed to pay more than I wanted to; regretted the decision to buy (lease) within a few minutes after making the decision. But, once a deal is closed, the deal is done the saying goes: "Stick, stack no take back."

And, the deal was closed by a 23 year old manager who I guessed was 35 years old but who could have passed for 18. Here is how she closed me: Step #1: I offered too much; Step #2: She countered with a higher monthly payment than I ever should have agreed to saying "$216 per month."; Step3: she stopped talking and stuck out her right hand for me to shake.

Now, I have written in this very blog about the importance of the negotiation/sales concept: WHOEVER TALKS FIRST LOSES...but, I have never been faced, at the same time, with a-woman's-hand-waiting-to-be-shook. I had two choices: #1 say "no" and ALSO reject the hand or #2 say "yes" and shake the hand.

Whoever talks first loses is based on the idea that we don't want to reject others; we don't want to say "no"; we don't want to disappoint, so, being uncomfortable with silence and feeling an obligation to break the silence and speak, usually we say "yes" and take the offer/buy the car/sell our soul.

To reject someone's handshake is, in our culture, beyond the pale. We shake hands with people we don't like, with drunks, with petty thieves, with politicians. If I refuse to shake your hand, I am relegating you to the ranks of sub-human war criminals and child molesters.

So, to both say "no" and, at the same time, reject the proffered hand (the shaking of which signifies agreement) is near-to-impossible. I couldn't do it. I said "yes" and I shook that hand.

Also, she had impossibly big, impossibly brown eyes. Heck, I'm lucky I got off as cheap as I did.

And,now, by the power vested in me as writer of this blog and proponent-in-chief of WHOEVER TALKS FIRST LOSES, I hereby decree that shutting up and waiting for your opposite to speak should always be accompanied by the extension of a shakable hand. And,if you've got some impossibly big, impossibly brown eyes....use those too.

(Or, were the eyes blue?)

(Hazel....yeah, they were hazel.)

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