A body language expert breaks down 6 of Trump's handshakes

US President Donald Trump has a notoriously weird handshake.

It's practically a meme now. It's well-established that Trump often tends to pull recipients in close, throw in a couple of pats here and there, and take his time finishing up the handshake.

So, what's going on with this handshake technique? Is it just a lifelong habit or is it a conscious effort to signal power?

Business Insider asked body language expert Patti Wood to take a look at six recent Trump handshakes. She broke down the potential meaning behind each one:

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Barack Obama, Former President of the United States

Wood says that the Nov. 10 handshake between Trump and Obama conveyed tension. She says that both parties seemed to adopt defensive postures while shaking hands.

"This shows deep lack of trust for each other," she said in an email. "As they shake hands, Trump pulls Obama in toward him, to show he is going to be the one in charge. If you look at their facial expressions as they shake hands, you will see both men have their lips tightly pressed together. And their chins are pulled up and wrinkled with distaste."

Photo credit: Getty

Neil Gorsuch, US Supreme Court nominee

On Jan. 31, Trump nominated Gorsuch to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. After the judge's speech, the two shared a rather vigorous handshake.

Wood says that Gorsuch keeps his distance throughout the handshake. She adds that he seems to be in disbelief, "as his head position seems to indicate he can't believe Trump is doing this."

She says that Trump's tendency to pat people's hands comes across as an attempt to establish "alpha status."

Photo credit: Reuters 

Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan

When Trump and Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe sat down in the Oval Office on Feb. 10, things got kind of weird. Their handshake lasted nearly 20 seconds, and prompted Abe to look away with a surprised or bemused expression.

Wood says that Trump initially put himself in a subordinate and open position by offering his hand to Abe with his palm up, only to turn the tables and pull the prime minister in closer.

"Trump likes to break expectations, and you can see that he did by Abe's response," she said in an email.

Photo credit: Getty

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Wood says that Trudeau made an effort to look powerful when he encountered Trump during their Feb. 14 meting.

"Notice how he takes his non-shaking hand and grasps the outside of Trump's left shoulder," she said in an email. "He gives the faint appearance of power, but a real power move would have been to place his non-shaking palm on the shoulder of Trump and press down, or at least go higher on the arm. In this move his hand is too low and he gives more of a squeeze that shows more affection than power."

Photo credit: Getty

Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel

In this Feb. 15 interaction, Wood says that Netanyahu managed to maneuver out of Trump's lingering, jerking handshake. However, he couldn't avoid Trump's next move.

"Trump gets him, by moving towards him, invading his space and giving him a firm pat, pat, pat, on his upper back," Wood said in an email.

She says the move indicated that Trump was attempting to establish dominance over the Israeli Prime Minister.

Photo credit: Getty

Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany

Trump and Merkel shook hands both when she initially arrived at the White House on March 17 and later during their joint press conference.

However, the more talked-about interaction came about in the Oval Office, when Trump appeared to ignore Merkel when she asked if he wanted to shake hands.

"You see her do a forward movement," Wood said in an email. "Then, when he doesn't move to shake hands, she makes a little shoulder roll of discomfort, while he continues to face away and stay closed, when it is clearly time to face towards her and shake hands. He continues to face towards the cameras, his shoulders slumped slightly forward, and keeps his whole head turned down and away from her."

Wood says that the exchange indicated "disrespectful disregard" on the part of Trump.

Photo credit: Getty

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RELATED: Check out some more of Donald Trump's infamous gestures:

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US President Donald J. Trump delivers his first address to a joint session of Congress from the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC, USA, 28 February 2017.

(JIM LO SCALZO/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin, center, arrives for a joint session of Congress in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. President Donald Trump will press Congress to carry out his priorities for replacing Obamacare, jump-starting the economy and bolstering the nations defenses in an address eagerly awaited by lawmakers, investors and the public who want greater clarity on his policy agenda.

(Aaron P. Bernstein/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

U.S. President Trump Addresses Joint Session of Congress - Washington, U.S. - 28/02/17 - Carryn Owens (C), widow of Senior Chief Petty Officer William "Ryan" Owens, sits with Ivanka Trump (R), daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

U.S. President Trump addresses Joint Session of Congress - Washington, U.S. - 28/02/17 - U.S. President Donald Trump arrives.

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

U.S. First Lady Melania Trump stands as attendees applaud during a joint session of Congress in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. President Donald Trump will press Congress to carry out his priorities for replacing Obamacare, jump-starting the economy and bolstering the nation's defenses in an address eagerly awaited by lawmakers, investors and the public who want greater clarity on his policy agenda.

(Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump (C) arrives to address a joint session of the US Congress on February 28, 2017, in Washington, DC.

(BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. Rep Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) arrive to a joint session of the U.S. Congress with U.S. President Donald Trump on February 28, 2017 in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Trump's first address to Congress is expected to focus on national security, tax and regulatory reform, the economy, and healthcare.

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses Joint Session of Congress - Washington, U.S. - 28/02/17 - Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) arrives.

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

U.S. President Trump addresses Joint Session of Congress - Washington, U.S. - 28/02/17 - U.S. first lady Melania Trump (bottom, center) is applauded on her arrival as daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner (R) look on.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

US President Donald Trump arrives to address a joint session of Congress at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on February 28, 2017.

(MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses Joint Session of Congress - Washington, U.S. - 28/02/17 - Female Democratic members of the House of Representatives.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

U.S. President Trump Addresses Joint Session of Congress - Washington, U.S. - 28/02/17 - Maureen Scalia, the widow of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, acknowledges applause after being mentioned by U.S. President Donald Trump.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) (R) looks on as U.S. President Donald Trump addresses a joint session of the U.S. Congress on February 28, 2017 in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Trump's first address to Congress focused on national security, tax and regulatory reform, the economy, and healthcare.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump arrives to address a joint session of Congress at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on February 28, 2017.

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U.S. President Donald Trump addresses Joint Session of Congress - Washington, U.S. - 28/02/17 - Sen. Bernie Sanders applauds as U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the U.S. Congress.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses Joint Session of Congress - Washington, U.S. - 28/02/17 - An audience member wears an American flag hijab.

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U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, center, greets Debbie Wasserman Schultz, former chairperson of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), right, while arriving for a joint session of Congress in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. President Donald Trump will press Congress to carry out his priorities for replacing Obamacare, jump-starting the economy and bolstering the nations defenses in an address eagerly awaited by lawmakers, investors and the public who want greater clarity on his policy agenda.

(Aaron P. Bernstein/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

U.S. President Trump Addresses Joint Session of Congress - Washington, U.S. - 28/02/17 - Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

U.S. President Donald Trump's limo is seen upon his arrival to address a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 28, 2017.

(REUTERS/Yuri Gripas)

U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to addresses a joint session of the U.S. Congress on February 28, 2017 in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Trump's first address to Congress is expected to focus on national security, tax and regulatory reform, the economy, and healthcare.

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses Joint Session of Congress - Washington, U.S. - 28/02/17 - Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) arrives.

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

US President Donald Trump (C) arrives to address a joint session of the US Congress on February 28, 2017, in Washington, DC.

(BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) arrive to a joint session of the U.S. Congress with U.S. President Donald Trump on February 28, 2017 in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Trump's first address to Congress is expected to focus on national security, tax and regulatory reform, the economy, and healthcare.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan arrives for U.S. President Donald Trump's first address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on February 28, 2017 in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Trump's first address to Congress is expected to focus on national security, tax and regulatory reform, the economy, and healthcare.

(Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo - Pool/Getty Images)

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) arrive to a joint session of the U.S. Congress with U.S. President Donald Trump on February 28, 2017 in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Trump's first address to Congress is expected to focus on national security, tax and regulatory reform, the economy, and healthcare.

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump (C) arrives to address a joint session of the US Congress on February 28, 2017, in Washington, DC.

(BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Vice President Mike Pence (L) and House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) arrive to a joint session of the U.S. Congress with U.S. President Donald Trump on February 28, 2017 in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Trump's first address to Congress is expected to focus on national security, tax and regulatory reform, the economy, and healthcare.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

U.S. Capitol is seen minutes before President Donald Trump addresses a joint session of the U.S. Congress in Washington, U.S. February 28, 2017.

(REUTERS/Yuri Gripas)

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses Joint Session of Congress - Washington, U.S. - 28/02/17.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses Joint Session of Congress - Washington, U.S. - 28/02/17 - Cabinet members applaud as U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the U.S. Congress.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses Joint Session of Congress - Washington, U.S. - 28/02/17 - Democratic female members of the House of Representatives talk before U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the U.S. Congress.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

US President Donald J. Trump (L) shakes hands with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R) as he arrives to deliver his first address to a joint session of Congress from the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC, USA, 28 February 2017.

(JIM LO SCALZO/AFP/Getty Images)

First lady Melania Trump (R), Ivanka Trump (top 2ndR) and White House Senior Advisor to the President for Strategic Planning Jared Kushner (top R) arrive to a joint session of the U.S. Congress with U.S. President Donald Trump on February 28, 2017 in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Trump's first address to Congress is expected to focus on national security, tax and regulatory reform, the economy, and healthcare.

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump, center, arrives for a joint session of Congress in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. President Trump will press Congress to carry out his priorities for replacing Obamacare, jump-starting the economy and bolstering the nation's defenses in an address eagerly awaited by lawmakers, investors and the public who want greater clarity on his policy agenda.

(Aaron P. Bernstein/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses Joint Session of Congress - Washington, U.S. - 28/02/17 - Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) arrives.

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses Joint Session of Congress - Washington, U.S. - 28/02/17 - U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the U.S. Congress.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

U.S. President Trump Addresses Joint Session of Congress - Washington, U.S. - 28/02/17 - U.S. Supreme Court Justices listen as U.S. President Donald Trump addresses Congress.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

US President Donald J. Trump delivers his first address to a joint session of Congress from the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC, USA, 28 February 2017. / AFP / POOL / JIM LO SCALZO (Photo credit should read JIM LO SCALZO/AFP/Getty Images)

Denisha Merriweather (C) is recognized as US President Donald Trump addresses a joint session of the US Congress on February 28, 2017, in Washington, DC.

(BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Donald J. Trump delivers his first address to a joint session of Congress from the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC, USA, 28 February 2017.

(JIM LO SCALZO/AFP/Getty Images)

Megan Crowley (C) is recognized as US President Donald Trump addresses a joint session of the US Congress on February 28, 2017, in Washington, DC.

(BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses a joint session of the U.S. Congress on February 28, 2017 in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Trump's first address to Congress focused on national security, tax and regulatory reform, the economy, and healthcare.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

U.S. President Trump addresses Joint Session of Congress - Washington, U.S. - 28/02/17 - U.S. President Donald Trump arrives.

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

US First Lady Melania Trump arrives before US President Donald Trump addresses a joint session of the US Congress on February 28, 2017, in Washington, DC.

(MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, listens as U.S. President Donald Trump, not pictured, speaks during a joint session of Congress in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. Trump will press Congress to carry out his priorities for replacing Obamacare, jump-starting the economy and bolstering the nation's defenses in an address eagerly awaited by lawmakers, investors and the public who want greater clarity on his policy agenda.

(Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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