Norm Violation- Left Handshake

Norm Violation- Left Handshake

The handshake is a tradition which most of the cultures adopt with extremely minimal differences or variations. Handshakes are extremely widespread and most societies result to making them habitual norms and part of their culture. In most societies, there is precession of handshakes in greetings, goodbyes, introductions, as well as business meetings. In addition, handshakes are a usual gesture in most societies that portray peace, thanks and congratulations. The execution of handshakes is a social norm that requires individuals to use their right hand. It is only in situations where an individual has an injury on the right hand, or if it is occupied that it is acceptable to use the left hand.

It is, therefore, not acceptable in society for an individual to use the left hand for handshakes unless there is a justifiable reason. Acting in contrary to the customary handshake would be a violation of a norm. For this experiment, I would use the left hand for handshakes with the people around me such as friends, relatives and colleagues. I would also use the left hand with people I’m not familiar with in instances such as introductions to new people. The setting on which I would do this was a social setting. This is because the setting would provide ample environment and opportunities for me to make handshakes.  The use of the left handshake was evidently a violation of a social norm.

Before making the decision of offering the left hand for a handshake, I would at times have a feeling of nervousness. This is because I was unaware of the judgment and reaction that would come from the individual who I was offering the hand. In instances where I had to meet professionals or elders, there was hesitation on my part to offer the hand. These instances were full of unease moments. On the other hand, when offering the left hand for a handshake to my friends and peers there were no any unease feelings or discomforts. This is because there is a sense of light moments with friends and peers, and in most cases, the handshakes were fun.

During the moments of the left handshakes, the unease feeling and discomfort disappeared. For the some of the elders, they still gave me their right hands despite giving them my left. In other instances, the handshakes had funny moments as there was switching back and onward amid the right and the left hand. This took place during introductions to individuals I never met. Some of them settled on the right hand while it was fascinating to see others give me their left hand. After a handshake, I did not experience any feeling of unease or discomfort. I rather had a feeling of satisfaction that I managed to use my left hand for handshakes with individuals of different calibers.

There were, however, some awkward moments after some of the handshakes. This often took place with some of the elders and new people as they probably tried to comprehend why I was offering the left hand. I do not reckon that any of my subjects was extremely upset for offering my left hand for a handshake. The realization, however, is that most of them had a feeling of confusion while others were amazed as to the decision of a left hand shake. With the new introductions, the individuals did not make any comments regarding the handshakes. My friends and peers, however, were full of questions as to why I was offering them a left handshake.

The experiment was in some instances had to carry out owing the unvarying use of the right hand for handshakes. Since I always use the right hand, in some of the instances, I forgot and gave my right hand instead of the left hand. There were other instances in which there was some confusion. This took place when the other party made an offer of the right handshake. I had to reckon of the decision I would make, whether to offer the right or the left hand for the shake. From this experience, it is clear that norms are essential components of any society. The right handshake is a social norm that entails in almost every society. It is also part of culture of societies, and it is, therefore, extremely difficult for anyone to try and change the norm.

For individuals such as elders, it is next to impossible to try and persuade them that they can change the use of the right hand for handshakes. As a social being, I learnt that I am a component of a society and that I live by the norms of the society. This is evident in instances where I was not comfortable prior to offering the left handshake. This experiment is essential in assessing whether individuals in society adhere to social norms. From the experiment, one can conclude that most of the individuals in society live by the society norms.

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