Most bikes come with handlebars too wide for smaller riders. And the handlebars too far away.
The width of a road handlebar (drops) should match the width of the rider’s shoulders.
Most bikes come with handlebars too far away for riders of average or limited flexibility.
Ridden on the road, any bike with any handlebar, have your hands roughly as far apart as your shoulders: you will ride longer with more comfort.
You should comfortably reach all the positions on the handlebar. If you mostly hold the closet part of the bar near the stem, you probably have the bar too far away, and discomfort will discourage you from riding.
We adjust handlebar position for function. Doing it for yourseld takes patience. A comfortable positions out of the wind for long windy days may take tuning your body as well as fitting your bicycle.
No need to tightly grip the handlebar: that will just tire you; and the feedback will prompt you to over-control, which can lead to poor handling. Hold the bar lightly, relax, ride smoothly and the bike will go smoothly.