It was a Moment Of Truth according to French President Macron. Arm wrestling, fist pumping, chest thumping are all phrases that can be used to describe the tense hand shake between US president Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron in Brussels last week. The visual that was shown around the world was not a friendly greeting between two world leaders but a handshake that could be interpreted in many different ways. For Macron, it was a moment of truth

The very awkward handshake

In a meeting at the US Embassy in Brussels, a handshake between the two leaders quickly caught the attention of reporters in the room because of the length and severity of the handshake.

The handshake was described by one reporter as a battle of wills as Macron and Trump intensely gripped each other's hand. Not only were hands clenched but so were their jaws and faces. Did the two leaders inflict some measure of pain on each other? Was it a test of endurance or superiority where one leader forces the other into submission? Who was the first to submit and what does that say about the winner and the loser?

Donald Trump's power shakes

The Macron handshake is one of many similar ones associated with Donald Trump that have raised eyebrows. He has become famous for the shake, tap and tug style he used with supreme court nominee Neil Gorsuch. When Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with Trump in the Oval Office their handshake went viral on social media.

It appears that Trump held Abe's hand quite firmly before patting them twice, tugging, pulling him in and patting again. It was a handshake that lasted 19 seconds according to those counting.

What the handshakes tell us

Many body language experts have weighed in on the Trump handshake. Is it just a bad habit or a calculated act of exerting dominance over the other person?

One can draw any number of conclusions from an interpretation of these awkward handshakes. Donald Trump could be compensating for his reportedly small hands or he could be attempting to show who is the boss. While some suggest it is a sign of strength, others see it as a sign of weakness.

Not so innocent

French president Macron had his say on the now infamous handshake between him and Donald Trump calling it anything but innocent.

He said it was not the alpha and omega of a policy; instead, it was a moment of truth which showed that they will not make small or symbolic concessions. None was made one can assume as Emmanuel Macron was clearly the winner in the handshake battle with Donald Trump, if you consider that Trump was the first to disengage.