How to hold chopsticks

Chopsticks – Here’s how:

  1. If possible, use wood or bamboo chopsticks. Plastic chopsticks are more slippery and harder to hold.
  2. Always grab the chopsticks in the middle, making sure that the ends are even and do not cross.
  3. Pick up a chopstick and hold it so that it’s resting comfortably between the tip of your fourth finger (the ring finger) and the hollow gap between your thumb and index finger. Keep the fourth finger straight. This will be the bottom chopstick.
  4. Now pick up the other chopstick and place it on top, firmly between the tips of your thumb, index and middle fingers. The index and middle fingers should be curled.
  5. When eating, always keep the bottom chopstick stationary and use the top chopstick to manoeuvre and pick up food.
  6. To pick up food, straighten your index and middle fingers as much as needed to move the top chopstick outward. Grab the food, and then bring the chopsticks together by curling your index and middle fingers. The basic idea is to use the chopstick as a pivot, with the thumb being the axle.
  7. Lift the food up to your mouth, leaning over if necessary.
  8. For foods containing bones (such as chicken), hold the food with the chopsticks and eat around the bone.

Tips:Children often find it easier to hold chopsticks nearer the bottom instead of in the middle.

Chopsticks Guide

Chopstick Tells

Pay attention to how physically close someone holds their chopsticks to you.  The closer they wave their chopsticks in your face, the warmer they are thinking of you.  If you move your hands slightly closer to theirs, and they move theirs even closer to yours, they probably really like you or are very comfortable around you.  By the way, it is considered extremely impolite, to bite at the morsel of food at the end of their chopsticks regardless of how close it comes to your mouth.  Unless of course they offer you a piece first.

Holding ChopsticksWatch the angle that they hold their chopsticks.  Overly tilted chopsticks are either a potential sign of sympathy (or a sign of carpal tunnel syndrome), or if a person smiles while tilting their chopsticks, they are being playful and maybe even flirting (this is not a good time to point out that they have a piece of broccoli stuck between their teeth).

Hand position.  If their hands are held on a plane lower than the tips of their chopsticks,  this indicates that the person might be hiding something.  If their hands are at an angle, it means that they are confused or challenging you.  Think about how a dog slightly tilts their head when trying to understand you.

Mirroring.  If someone mimics the way that you hold your chopsticks, this is a very genuine sign that they are trying to establish rapport with you.  Try change the angle you hold your chopsticks here and there.  If you find that they change theirs similarly, they are mirroring!

Crossed chopsticks.  People who cross their chopsticks are closing themselves to social influence.  It may also indicate that the person is reserved, self-conscious or uncomfortable with their appearance.

Lowering their chopsticks and/or looking down.  A clear indication that they dropped food in their laps.  Try not to guffaw or make a scene.

For more tells, please check out our soon to be published book.  For more information, please contact us.

Do you have any curious dining experiences you would like to share with us?

Humbly submitted for your consumption,

Mee Magnum  (“Chop!  Chop!”)

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