Donald Trump met the Indian Prime Minister and instantly lost another handshake game.

Donald Trump met the Indian Prime Minister and instantly lost another handshake game.

Three hugs have left the internet in awe of the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, who has by all accounts beaten Donald Trump at his own game: the physical greeting.

Trump usually wins this power dynamic—a key part of his foreign policy—by making his counterpart look impossibly awkward. He ignored Angel Merkel, and he took Shinzō Abe's hand hostage.

This time, Modi—an unrepentant hugger—trumped him with the hug. So innovative, so succinct.

At the end of the day, Trump was so broken he sent Modi off with a normal, human shake.
Getty Images

Slightly off balance at first, Trump recovered and patted his new bud on the back.

And although Trump, who is approximately 9,000 feet tall, engulfs Modi, it's undeniable that India's Prime Minister came out ahead of the following victims:


When Donald will not shake your hand, just hug him.

When Donald shakes your hand too long, just hug him.

There is one downside to Modi's strategy, and that's the physical discomfort of, for even a brief moment, living inside Donald Trump's oversized suit.

It looks hot. Trump is sweating. You're covered in tanner.

And you've just given your political opponent a perfect photo-op for their attack ad.


Justin Trudeau's strategy is still the gold standard.

A hard grasp, a clutch the arm—you give Trump no option to humiliate you. You take control. And you move on.

If you don't seize the initiative in a Trump physical greeting, he will drag it out for hours or ignore you because you're a woman.

That's not ideal.

Exhibit B:

The French and the Canadians have an ancient historical bond that I won't bother researching, but the French president Emmanuel Macron took his cues from Trudeau.


Firm. Powerful. It's what Trump understands.

And yet, if you're Modi—you've just proven that you can catch the bee with honey, too. Take note, foreign leaders.

These are your two options:

Lead with strength or adorable hugs.