You're an Englishman. Navigating social interactions without succumbing to shame and / or embarrassment is difficult enough.
So why do we solely rely on the feeble, error-prone handshake to do all our non-verbal communication for us? A move where moist digits, limp wrists or - worse of all - being pulled in for a one-or-two-kiss-no-one-quite-knows-oh-this-awkward moments lie in wait, ready to scupper us at every introduction?
No. What we need to survive in a globalised world is a wider repertoire of hand signals. What we need are these.
1 | The Gun Finger
A criminally underused manoeuvre, the gun finger is a thinking man's hand gesture that carries with it an air of loose, top dog charisma. Keep that index and middle finger ramrod straight and your thumb cocked for devastating, ladykiller effect.
Advanced level shooters should be aiming to bring in the double gun finger; while the addition of a wink is some Navy Seal-level s**t.
Recommended accompanying phrase: "Keep the change!"
2 | Prayer Hands
Unfairly appropriated by the Dalai Lama and that cool Pope who likes to skateboard and stuff, it's to tear this bad boy free of its pious cage and use with bacchanal abandon. Greeting your girlfriend's dad? Putting Andy from whatever department Andy's stealing a living from in his place? Apologising for your slightly domineering father who still gets furious at the guy behind the bar if the London Pride's off?
The prayer hands has you covered, sweet child.
Recommended accompanying phrase: "Dad... let him go. Please."
3 | The Shaka
For those of you who like to sip on a couple of gin and slim lines on a Wednesday, the Shaka was first thrust into the limelight during Brazilian good time guy Ronaldinho's hip-swiveling heyday, but has been a dormant beast for close to a decade: undeservedly, in our opinion.
The ultimate gesture of conviviality, step into the party and throw a couple of these around and the cool crowd will know what's what.
Recommended accompanying phrase: "Hey isso é muito legal eu vou usar isso com mais frequência."
4 | The A-Ok
Something of an elder statesman within your hand gesture repertoire, a vintage 'A-Ok' is another that, like a cold glass of Gavi di Gavi and some line caught lemon sole, pairs perfectly with a smooth, confident wink.
First used as a safety measure by nerds who like diving, the 'A-Ok' is now an above-the-ground beast that will send your foes reeling and the ladies calling. Just use it with caution, ok?
Recommended accompanying phrase: "Let me get back to you." ;)
5 | The fist bump to handshake to handshake to fist bump
The Big Kahuna; the main event; the money shot. If you want to make it to the top of the gesture game then read on, friends.
Ignoring the two bumbling chumps you see above you, instead enter in for a handshake and then, at the last moment, clench your fist, hone your gaze and demand a fist bump from your trembling foe... or your boss.
Either he'll wrap his hand over your fist like a flummoxed octopus (revel in his squirm) or he'll be inexorably drawn into the cold vortex of your fist bump; your finger bones locking as his pleading eyes search for answers and mercy.
Of which there will be none!
Recommended accompanying phrase: "Send the fleet to the far side of Endor. There it will stay until called for."