Rubbing Hands together: Is a good or bad gesture.

In many cultures, rubbing one’s hands together indicates either a state of joyful expectation or a simple sense of coldness. According to Ekman and Friesen’s 1969 classification system, rubbing one’s hands together to convey coldness is a symbolic purposeful gesture that is also capable of verbalization.

Rubbing one’s hands together with their palms is called hand rubbing. The speed at which one rubs their palms together conveys a lot about what is expected. A quick pace is a sign of self-improvement expectations. However, a slow pace suggests that someone else is expecting something negative. The gesture’s meaning is also influenced by the context. Depending on the context, the connotation can range from “Oh good!” to an indication of internal (anticipatory) stress.

Rubbing hand together

One hand gesture that is frequently seen is rubbing hands together. Rubbing your palms together indicates that you are looking forward to something good. This hand signal is used by those who are eager about an impending event.

When you have something positive to say about yourself, you probably smear your palms together. For example, “I’m getting married soon” or “I just got promoted.”

You might rub your hands together as soon as the movie begins if it’s a film you’ve been wanting to see for a while. Alternatively, to offer you a straightforward illustration, you might make this gesture while you say “mmmm” before biting into your favorite dish.

Quickly rubbing hands together

The quick handshake conveys optimism for a socially acceptable outcome. It typically denotes intense exhilaration rather than a tinge of hopefulness. The following instances could be followed by a quick hand massage:

  • Your colleague tells you they’ve finally booked the vacation they’ve been wanting for a while.
  • Your pal tells you they’re having their favorite meal at their favorite restaurant.
  • When your kid learns that you’re all heading to the park.

In each of these cases, there is an unmistakably optimistic expectation. It’s crucial to remember that each of them is a valid cause for excitement. If someone was looking forward to any of these things, we wouldn’t doubt their moral character.

Slowly rubbing the hands together

The slow hand rub suggests that you are expecting something dishonest or self-serving. The individual is hoping to fulfill a deep-seated yearning that most likely won’t help anyone else. The following instances could be followed by a gentle hand massage:

  • A cartoon villain is plotting the hero’s downfall.
  • When a coworker is treated unfairly at work, someone who feels betrayed hopes to exact retribution by organizing something embarrassing for them.
  • A salesman notices a buyer who is illiterate.
  • A child considers how they could pilfer a toy they have their eye on.

In all these cases, there’s also an unmistakable expectation of something great, albeit at the expense of someone else. We would probably like to keep the reasons behind the leisurely hand rub to ourselves.

Is Rubbing Your Hands a Good or Bad Gesture?

This obviously depends on whether it’s coming from your end or whether it’s coming from someone else’s. You’re probably about to experience something positive if you’re practicing the quick variation. Naturally, this also holds true for the sluggish version, presuming that gratifying your need won’t have any negative effects.

Presumably, there’s nothing to worry about if someone else performs the quick version in your presence. Nothing about you should be diminished by their excitement. An exemption would be made if you were forced to participate in something you didn’t enjoy because you felt obligated to the other person.

You’d best hope that someone is thinking of someone else if they perform the slow version in front of you. The rarest scenario in which your wishes align with whatever nefarious scheme has developed in this person’s mind would be an exception.

If there is any overlap between the two iterations, it is likely to originate from the accelerated version. When a salesman quickly rubs your palm while assisting you, it usually means they have found a solution that will work for both of you.

Is It Possible to Draw Trustworthy Conclusions from This Gesture?

That greatly depends on the situation. Consistently rubbing your hands together is quite simple. Thankfully, even when it’s done intentionally, the meaning can still be true. It is possible for someone to purposefully utilize the shortened version to emphasize that they are truly excited.

Ironically, you might also use it to pretend to be excited about something uninteresting. There would be little chance of confusion in this instance because the meaning would be pretty obvious.

In the same way, one could pretend to be the slow version for comedic effect. Apart from that, compared to the quick form, it is less likely to be done intentionally. The leisurely hand rub is a fairly good way to tell if someone is acting dishonestly or selfishly. If someone you’re interacting with does it unintentionally, take caution.

Your hands shows your anxiety

Have you ever seen and wondered why certain people tend to touch their hair, massage their hands, or fiddle with their jewelry when they talk?

“Self-touch” (also known as “self-adaptors” and “body-focused movements”) is the term used to describe touching, stroking, or grooming one’s body or accessories without a clear relationship to the speech’s meaning or the work at hand. Self-touching was traditionally believed to alleviate sensory stimulation, such as scratchy skin, or to adjust jewelry to meet individual needs. But scientists have long understood that it has to do with negative affect, specifically worry.

According to a study, for instance, persons who had read and discussed materials about leeches as opposed to canaries self-touched more, presumably because they believed that leeches would cause greater anxiety than canaries. Additionally, during a stressful exam, people self-touch more frequently. However, research is still quite limited. For instance, they only included one gender in the study and did not gauge participants’ true anxiety levels. Research on the phenomenon in more naturalistic discussions was also necessary.

In order to measure people’s momentary anxiety caused by the conversations (like “I feel frightened”) as well as their general and stable trait anxiety level (like “I worry too much over something that really doesn’t matter”), we videotaped people’s hand movements during face-to-face conversations about everyday topics.

Rubbing hand together
Rubbing hand together

We looked at neuroticism and agreeableness in addition to anxiety to see if they were linked to self-touch during discussions.


A psychological trait known as neuroticism makes people more likely to suffer from unpleasant emotions including worry, fear, anxiety, and despair. It should come as no surprise that self-touch has been linked to neuroticism, as neuroticism and anxiety are strongly related. Those with high levels of neuroticism also seem to have trouble controlling their emotions and perceive everyday circumstances as dangerous. We questioned which factor, specifically anxiety or the more general neuroticism trait, contributed more in predicting self-touching.


In social situations, agreeableness is a personality quality linked to collaboration, consideration, warmth, and sympathy. People who are less pleasant may engage in greater self-touch during conversations because they are less likely to care about maintaining harmony or interpersonal relationships, which has been linked to bad perceptions. However, prior research has only looked at the association between agreeableness and self-touch in individuals with skin conditions that cause excruciating itching. Therefore, we investigated whether this phenomena occurs more frequently.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top