The act of shaking someone’s hand can tell the other person a lot about you. Are you confident? Nervous? Uninterested? Domineering?

Women’s Health, Ask Men and several other magazines have recently written about why a handshake is the perfect form of introduction and how to do it properly.

“A handshake is more than just part of a friendly introduction—it helps break the ice, too, says Patti Wood, body language expert and author of Snap, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma,” the Women’s Health article explains. “Shaking hands began as peace offering—proof you didn’t have any weapons, Wood says. Nowadays it still has the same primal effect of breaking down the “stranger barrier.”

There is nothing worse than a wimpy handshake. It conveys you’re uninterested and not confident. Others believe the handshake is a perfect time to show strength and practically crush your hand. While less painful than a wimpy handshake, it still isn’t a good idea. Firm and friendly without pulling the person toward you is your best bet.

Don’t be awkward! say, it’s nice to meet you or something similar during the shake.

If you aren’t comfortable with your handshake or going into an interview and want to make sure you’re sending the right message, practice. Find an honest friend and practice until you’re comfortable and confident. Yes, you might feel silly, but isn’t it better to feel silly with a friend that risk losing out on a job?

What’s the worst (or best!) handshake you’ve ever received?