If a guy recently shook your hand and held it then you’re probably wondering why he did it.

This post will help you figure out why he shook your hand and held it and help you to figure out why other guys might do it in the future.

So, what does it mean when a guy shakes your hand and holds it? It might mean that he likes you if he only does it with you and he shows other signs of attraction around you. It could also be that he is annoyed with you or that he is doing it as a power-play.

When considering why he shook your hand and held it you should consider the context of how he did it and the body language that he showed.

By doing so you’ll be able to get a better idea of why he would shake your hand and hold it.

Reasons why a guy will shake your hand and hold it

Each of the different reasons why a guy will shake your hand and hold it will likely come with a number of clues in the body language that he shows and the way that he does it.

Below, I will mention a number of reasons why a guy will shake your hand and hold it and the body language signals that you should expect to see with them.

He likes you

If he only does it with you and he changes his behavior and body language when you are around then it would be likely that he did it because he likes you.

If that is the case then it would be likely that he would have shown that he likes you in a number of other ways as well.

These ways could include:

  • Having more dilated pupils than normal when looking at you
  • Standing in your personal space when talking to you
  • Finding excuses to touch you
  • Mirroring your body language
  • Asking your friends about you
  • Pointing his feet at you
  • Having a more upright posture when he notices you
  • Uncrossing his arms and legs when he first notices you
  • Positioning himself to be near you
  • Holding prolonged eye contact with you
  • A lack of negative signals such as squinting at you, having tight lips when you’re talking or tensing the jaw
  • Becoming agitated when you’re talking to other men and watching you when you are and sticking around while you’re with other men
  • Talking with a deeper voice than normal

He’s being dominating

If he shook your hand and held it then it could have been a dominating gesture.

If that is the case then it would be likely that he would have held your hand more firmly.

It would also be likely that he would show other signs of dominating behavior in his body language.

These signs could include:

  • Standing in people’s personal space when talking to them
  • Talking over people
  • Interrupting people
  • Putting his hands and feet on things that don’t belong to him
  • Touching the people around him
  • Standing or sitting in a way that makes his body appear bigger
  • Talking with a deeper voice
  • Telling people to do things

He wants to be more than just friends

If the guy that shook your hand and held it is your friend then it could be a sign that he wants to be more than just friends with you.

If that is the case then it would be likely that he would have been showing other signs of being attracted to you as well and you might not have picked up on them.

It would be especially likely that he would get agitated when you’re talking to other men, make plans based on yours and that he would get defensive when other men your age are around.

He wanted to see how you would react

The reason that he shook your hand and held it could be that he wanted to see your reaction. He might have wanted to see your reaction due to being attracted to you but not knowing whether or not you are attracted to him.

If that is why he did it then it would be likely that he would have had a slightly observant appearance when he did it and that he would show signs of attraction in his body language.

He’s annoyed with you

If you know him then the reason that he held your hand when he shook it could be that he was showing that he was unhappy with you.

If he was then it would be likely that you would have recently had some kind of an argument, that you would have recently done something that he didn’t like or that he thought that you did.

If he was annoyed with you then it would be likely that he would show signs of it in his body language when you are around by doing things such as:

  • Avoiding you
  • Crossing the arms and legs when he sees you
  • Pointing the feet away from you
  • Squinting at you
  • Showing tight lips when you’re talking
  • Giving your short answers
  • Talking to you with a deeper and more aggressive tone

Consider how firmly he did it

When trying to understand why he might have held onto your hand when he shook it thinking about how firmly he did it will likely help you in figuring out why he did it.

If he held onto your hand firmly then it would make it more likely that he was being dominant and you should consider if he was showing other signs of dominating behavior.

Whereas, if it wasn’t firm then it would be more likely that he was showing attraction to you when he did it and you should consider if he was showing other signs of attraction.

Consider the location that he did it in

If he did it when you were in a business environment then it would make it more likely that he was doing it as a dominant gesture.

Whereas, if he did it in a more social environment such as at a party then it would make it more likely that he was showing that he likes you.

Consider the way that he interacts with other people

It would also be helpful to consider how he interacts with others when trying to understand why he held your hand when he shook it.

If you notice that he tends to hold other people’s hands for longer when he shakes them and he doesn’t change his body language around you then it would be more likely that he has a more dominating personality.

Whereas, if he only did it with you and he changes his body language around you then it would be more likely that he did it due to being attracted to you assuming that he shows signs of attraction in his body language.

Consider how he reacts upon seeing you

The way that he reacts when he sees you will often be a key moment to consider when trying to figure out what a guy thinks of you.

If he raises his eyebrows and smiles, points his feet at you, switches to a more upright posture, his pupils become dilated, he mirrors you and he adjusts his clothing or hair then it would be likely that he likes you.

Whereas, if he crosses his arms and legs, avoids eye contact with you, distances himself from you, squints when looking at you and tightens the lips then it would be more likely that he is annoyed with you in some way.

Look for multiple body language signals

When you’re trying to figure out why he held your hand and shook it looking for clusters of body language would be the best option.

This means that you should look to see if he shows multiple body language signs that all point towards the same meaning when trying to make sense of his feelings towards you.

The reason for that is that he could be showing a single body language signal for a number of different reasons. Whereas, if he shows a number of different signals that all point towards the same meaning then it would be more likely that it really is why he is showing those signals.

Related content

What does it mean when a guy shakes your hand with both hands? If a guy shakes your hands with both hands then it could be that he was trying to be more personal in which case he likely would have been showing more open body language. He might also have been being dominant in which case he would probably have done it more firmly while also squeezing.

What does it mean when a guy shakes your hand and tickles your palm? It would be likely that he is attracted to you and you should expect to see multiple signs of attraction from him. Alternatively, he might have been teasing you in which case he likely would have been joking in some way but even then he might have been attracted to you.

If you want to learn more about body language, a book I would recommend would be The Definitive Book of Body Language (on Amazon). It shows you how to interpret body language and understand people's true intentions.

Author

I created and currently manage Body Language Central, one of the premier sources for body language-related knowledge. Body language plays a key role in our daily lives. I hope that my website can help condense the wide amount of body language information available and allow you to make full use of it in your daily life. You can read more about me and my website here.