High Five!

Private by
Alice Walker

For some reason, the high-five has lost a lot of the popularity it once held. I don’t know why this is, since high-fiving is totally awesome. It’s like saying hi to someone and them saying it back to you and you’re so excited to see each other that you embrace a bit (but just with your hands because you don’t really want to hug because they might have bed bugs) and make a noise to signify your excitement. Also, by high-fiving instead of shaking hands, you’re showing society that you’re still young and cool, unlike those suit-wearing fat cats who are always shaking hands and trading oil futures. On top of this, there are many ace variations of the high-five. You can high-five, low-five, etc. But because the high-five has lost some of its cachet, you may not exactly remember how to do it­—so here are some instructions:

First, you need to decide whether the situation or the partner is worthy of a high-five. I think one reason the high-five went out of style was that it was overused and people became tired of it. Although you should feel comfortable high-fiving often, you need to realize there are certain situations that merit the high-five and others that do not.

There are four basic situations where a high-five might be applicable: saying hello, saying goodbye, congratulating someone on something awesome that they did, and when something awesome happens that directly affects both parties. Greeting someone with a high-five is a pretty ace move. You immediately show them that you’re still hip, and it starts off your time together with a bang, literally. (Note: that was a joke and if I had said it in person, we would have high-fived. I’ll return to this in a minute). However, high-fives are tricky greetings because if you throw your arms back to ready yourself, someone might think you’re going in for a hug. This can be either good or bad, depending on the person. The last thing you want is for your potential high-five partner to think you’re overestimating the friendship and conclude that you’re a weirdo.

Saying goodbye with a high-five is a lot like saying hello with one, but you do it when you’re parting ways. It’s an especially good move if you’ve just had a sweet hangout sesh and want to commemorate your time together with some hand-to-hand action. But you should probably avoid going for a high-five if you’ve just had any type of emotional hangout sesh, like breaking up with someone or talking about your feelings. A high-five will just come off as ironic—a move reserved for hipsters.

Third, you can high-five to congratulate someone on something awesome they did. Some examples include passing a test, telling a good joke, or making a great stew. High-fiving when a third-party does something great is not cool. For example, if you were to see a dude at a bar get to first base with a girl, you wouldn’t turn to your friend and say: “That guy is doing great, let’s high-five now.” But if your friend was the one with the girl, you could go up to him and say, “Great job man, let’s high-five now,” and then you would high-five because your friend is the one doing something great. Similarly, if you were the one getting some action, you should be prepared to get a high-five from your friend. You need to be ready because you don’t want to ever leave anybody hanging. This brings up to a common problem: leaving someone hanging. Don’t do it, man. Don’t do it.

Last, there’s the high-five situation when something awesome happens that directly affects both parties. An example of this would be getting a free pizza. Because both parties are directly affected, you could share a high-five to show your excitement. If the awesome thing only affects one party a high-five might be a possibility, but it will often be uncalled for. A slap on the back or a pat on the ass may very well be more appropriate.

At this point, you should have a better understanding of when to high-five. Now let’s turn to a discussion of how to do it. 1. Find a friend. 2. Assess the situation and make sure a high-five is appropriate. 3. Raise your hand and cock it back with your elbow pointing towards your partner and your hand ready near your head. 4. In a swift motion, smack your hand into your partner’s hand. 5. Smile at your partner and nod in agreement that you just did something awesome.