I stumbled across this little jem when paging through Margery Wilson’s The Woman You Want to Be, a book about charm. I really, truly, had no idea that sitting with clasped hands was a no-no. You learn something new every day!
1942: Don’t Sit with Clasped Hands
Never sit hour after hour and day after day with your hands clasped meekly in your lap. To you it may mean complacency and contentment. To others it merely looks dull, as though you had finished with vital living and were just sitting around waiting for the end.
A child’s hands are never together. Study the young if you want to prevent, in yourself, those mannerisms that accompany an aging, slower pulse, and an edgeless mind. The too-vivacious woman needs to calm her hands. It is not good taste to accompany every remark with violent gestures. There is a desirable middle path. Movement of the hands must not interrupt thought or take the eye from the face too much. Voice and facial expression should be aided but not overwhelmed by the hands.
If you sit with your hands clasped inertly, people will pass you by. But if your hands are separated, even though they may be still (as I hope they are most of the time) they look as though they had just finished some activity or anticipate some action. Life is action!
Source: Wilson, Margery. The Woman You Want to Be. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Co., 1942.
~ p. 61 ~