Cognitive Psychology

The Handshake Viewed Round the World: Obama & Trump Meet

This is something that I’ve been interested in since it happened. The day after the election, The Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Wednesday, as it shall henceforth and forever more be known, President Obama met with President-Elect Pussy-Grabber in the White House. The pictures of the two men sitting together are perfect displays of the body language seen when two people are not very happy with each other.

Meeting the Cameras


There are several important signals to see, like the heat distortion radiating off of Obama’s body and utter emptiness in Trump’s stare. Obama has his hands folded like his mama taught him to do in church so he wouldn’t fidget. Trump has formed a uterus and vaginal canal with his because none of the female reporters were near enough to be grabbed by the pussy.

Seriously, though. Look at the shoulders of each man. Obama’s right shoulder (nearest to Trump) is forward and dipped slightly. His body is twisted slightly to his left away from Trump. Both suggest he’s keeping as much between them as possible. Whatever the fuck Trump’s disease or problem is, Obama is just hoping to get out of there without catching it.

Trump is sitting more square in his chair, but his left shoulder, nearest Obama, is dipped and the shoulder and his left hip are both turned slightly away. This combination suggests that a female reporter or WH staff may be just out of camera shot to his right and it is everything he can do to not rush over there and just start kissing her. You know Trump and beautiful women. He just can’t help it. He just starts kissing them like it’s the fantasy of a twelve year old boy who’s never had any experience but knows he wants some. What a fucking gross immature thing to say. Okay, fine. Trump isn’t too interested in being close to Obama, either. Fine! You happy now? I liked my version better.

Both have their legs spread in the gross dominate man seated pose. At least neither of them are wearing tight pants, leaning back, and grabbing their packages while spitting on the floor at each others feet. Obama’s is wider because Trump is ascart to be too close to The Black.

Neither man is looking at the other. Obama’s face is composed and focused. Trump’s is slack and vacant. No getting around that. He probably is trying to figure out if the person bending over that he can see through a doorway over there is a man or a woman because he’d hate to be fantasizing about grabbing a woman by the pussy and end up with gross man junk in his hand.

The Handshake

I have three pictures of the handshake in sequential order. Have a look, and then I’ll point out some details.


The main thing that we see here is that both men have their shoulders blocking the other.. Trump has to lean in a little because his hands are too small to close the distance. But, look at the head position. Both men are watching their hands, as you should when shaking hands, so you don’t miss and end up shaking fingers or some other embarrassing thing,  but Trump is bending his head down to focus on his hand. Obama has his head up and has merely lowered his eyes. Obama is clearly the dominate player here. Trump is intimidated and is showing acquiescence. Some power negotiator he is.


This is perhaps the most interesting of the three. Look at the mouths of both men. they are tightly closed and lips drawn back, especially Obama’s. Look at Obama’s lower lip and chin. You can see that he has pressed his lips together so hard that the space below the lip is bulging, and his draw his chin up in the effort. He is really unhappy.

Classic anger. Neither men like each other. Neither wants to be there. Neither wants to shake hands. Also, Trump’s head is still dipped; Obama’s still erect. The short-fingers of the short-fingered vulgarian have forced Obama to lean a bit and reach a bit farther to get a proper handshake.

Maybe it is my imagination, but it looks to me like both men are squeezing the others hand as hard as they can. When in that situation, you must do two things: (1) ensure that the crux of your thumb has met the crux of the other person’s thumb, and (2) counter-squeeze. Your flexed hand will keep your bones from being curled around. Of course, if you want to give a polite firm handshake, you squeeze your fingertips into the back of the other person’s hand.


This is the money shot, but, of course, Trump blew it and missed his cue… or he just didn’t know. You’re supposed to hold the shake and look at the camera. See what Obama’s doing. They both should be doing that. But, presidenting is hard! You have to do two things at once! Trump is letting go of Obama’s hand and pulling back. Obama’s face is the picture of angry frustration, as if to say, Do you see what I mean, now, America? Do you see what a screw up he is?

Comparison Shakes

Okay, so maybe, you say, or your favorite drunk uncle when you are trying to ‘splain to him this Thanksgiving, that that is just the way these two shake hands! Let’s look at some other handshakes to see if this is true!


Here’s Obama shaking Mitt Romney’s hand in ’12. Look how relaxed Obama is. Shoulders are relaxed. Face relaxed. Romney, looks like he might be have one of Trump’s hands in his shorts or his first hangover, it is hard to tell. But, his shoulders and face are tense. Of course, this is the post election meeting, so it is easy for Obama to be relaxed. That’s why it is a good comparison.


I believe that this is right after the year eight election and Obama is going to succeed W. Looking at the shoulders, they look relaxed. Obama’s lips are relaxed and his mouth is not drawn back, but you have that little bulge under his lip. However, you can see that his chin isn’t drawn up. Interestingly, he’s rotated his hand so that it is palm down and W’s is palm up, which is a common dominance signal. Again, he’s won the election. He should be happy and confident. But, wait. Hadn’t Trump just won the election? Shouldn’t he be happy and confident?


Obama shaking hands with Putin. His mouth is tight, lips pressed together, and pulled back. His chin is drawn up. His posture is stiff. He is not happy in this picture and maybe just a little angry.


Here’s Trump shaking Mitt Romney’s hand. He’s probably hoping he’ll get the chance to grab Ann by the Wooworman before the night is out. Trump is managing a sneering smile, but managed to keep his head up, and pull Mitt’s hand into his (dominance move).



This is an interesting picture of Trump shaking someone’s hand but the camera is over the shaker’s left shoulder cutting her out of the picture. However, you can see that Trump is relaxed. His jaw is relaxed. Shoulders relaxed. Posture is loose. Either that or he is about to hurl, it’s a little hard to tell when your complexion is that unnatural shade of orange.

Well, there you have it folks or your favorite drunk uncle: Obama and Trump were not at all happy to be meeting at the White House and shaking hands. But, Obama dominated the cowardly little sniveling pussy-grabber just like everybody else Trump has made a deal with and every other world leader will. Good luck America. United Fucking States of Fucking Stupid.

Please note that all photographs appearing in this article including the featured image were not found via Creative Commons and are not licensed for reuse with modification as are all media on this site except where noted. These photos were found using  Google image searches. The featured photograph of President Obama came from the Huffington Post article The Elephant in the Room: Obama Refrains from Pummeling Trump in the Presser and was attributed to Mark Wilson and distributed by Getty Images. All photos will be removed upon request.

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