Editors' pick: Originally published Feb. 15.
Donald Trump has had a busy few weeks. Since taking office he has jeopardized the status of Taiwan and infuriated Australia (a nation that lives with eight of the 10 most venomous animals on Earth but still found Trump a step too far).
He has, for some reason, threatened to invade Mexico, then laughed it off as a joke.
Most recently, Trump has even managed to make the handshake a diplomatic sticking point.
From a certain perspective, this is a remarkable achievement. Under ordinary circumstances, the odds of handshake-related catastrophe are pretty low. Humanity has pulled it off with little incident since at least the 9th Century, but, as with so many pieces of this White House, what should be simple has proven anything but.
When shaking hands, Trump has employed an odd combination of aggression, spasmodic jerking and creepy tenderness that has so far put off Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Without tempting fate, it brings to mind one Victorian etiquette suggestion that "a gentleman who rudely presses the hand offered him in salutation, or too violently shakes it, ought never to have an opportunity to repeat his offense." (Per the History Channel.)
According to Amy Glass, co-author of Leadership Presence and an executive coach with Brody Professional Development, Trump uses his handshake to convey power and strength.
"If you watch his handshakes, you'll notice a pattern," she saidh. "He typically reaches out with his palm down to grasp the other person's hands and then pulls them towards him. He also tends to shake hands for a longer time than is typical in the U.S."
What does his handshake tell us?
"He likes to be in the power role, always initiating and controlling the shake," Glass added. "The cupping of his hand over the Japanese prime minister's hand is an attempt to demonstrate his control. And, he obviously kept the shake going for 19 seconds, despite the prime minister visibly trying to pull his hand away and end it."
Of course, she noted, he may not even understand what he's doing. Trump may be trying to convey warmth and sincerity, "but it looks awkward."
Still, Trump's handshake moment won't last for very long. World leaders will adjust to the new President's style, which is a problem for an administration seemingly on track to nominate Michael Bay for Secretary of State.
So, as a gesture of civic duty, allow us to recommend ten gestures Trump should avoid if he wants to stop annoying, embarrassing and just plain ticking off allies around the world.