From your first handshake a stranger gains an immediate impression of your vitality, character and spirit, and a general feeling for your attitude. The dryness or dampness, temperature and colour are all signs of a person's reactions to actual or physiological stimulations, and sometimes to health problems. A few character traits shown in a handshake: Supple : diplomatic, subtle, charming, humouristic and bright. Stiff : sceptical, resistant, solid, inflexible, traditional and perspicacious. Warm : gracious, communicative, magnetic, passionate and full of life. Cold : secretive, reserved, lucid, ironic and un-sentimental. Damp : emotional, compassionate, receptive, sentimental and excitable. Dry : un-emotional, internal and spiritual. Hard : dynamic, entrepreneurial, sportive, energetic and bold. Soft : imaginative, dreamy, inactive, receptive, sweet, sensual and enjoying. To clasp hands demonstrates friendship or esteeme. To give one's hand in marriage is total commitment. To shake hands, in many societies, and especially in diplomatic or business situations, is all that is necessary to make a contract. These and other manual gestures have been recognized for centuries.