Second, most people are quick to move on to the next person, already making eye contact with the next on their list even as they initiate hand contact with the first. It’s as if they feel they have to make quota to feel like they’ve accomplished something, sacrificing quality for quantity. It is impossible to even exchange names with most people.
Third, even when two people seem on the cusp of deeper interaction, a third person invariably interrupts in order to shake hands with both of them. After the third person, comes the fourth, fifth, and sixth.
Fourth, as many as a third of the people do not take these session seriously, merely sitting or standing while waiting for others to come to them. Whether they are merely too polite to impose on others, or have lost interest because they have made the same observations I have, or are shy, or are merely tired, I don’t know, but in any case I don’t think they should be expected to participate. However, rarely do the other two-thirds of the people leave them alone.
I have a theory that introverts are merely those with greater capacity for empathy. Being sensitive to others, they can feel overwhelmed and must rest from social interaction from time to time. Also being sensitive to others, they are less likely to impose on those they can sense are uninterested just so that they can feed their own social needs. Extroverts are often jerks, insensitive to personal space and seemingly unaware of the lack of any basis for initiating contact. Introverts recognize that one should have something to say before saying something, and it is difficult to have something relevant to say to a stranger. They recognize that handshakes are formal and ritualistic, while informal meetings that are allowed to develop naturally often lead to better relationships. They recognize that handshakes are forced intimacy with strangers through physical contact, and they respect others enough as free agents not to push anything on them.
Based on the discomfort and lack of interest I see in people’s eyes, my suspicion is that these handshake sessions are not enjoyed by even half of the people. My suspicion is that rather than being an imposition on the fifty percent who are introverts by the fifty percent who are extroverts, these sessions are an imposition on the eighty percent of us who are not hyper-extroverts by the twenty percent who are.
Anyways, that's my theory. In conclusion, I just don’t see the point – and don’t even get me started on the huggers. At least warn me before you lunge at me with reaching arms! You might get hurt next time you surprise someone.