What's With All The High Fives?

I had a conversation with someone, who by my estimate high-fived me approximately 297 times!

I am not opposed to the high five, or the regular five, if that’s what it’s called. I am opposed to extending my arm into the air more times than I can reasonably count. After the conversation, my plan was to pick up something for dinner; instead I had to stop by the drugstore for pain reliever, and an arm sling.

I know I could have terminated the conversation, but felt compelled to stay; the person appeared to need someone to talk to…I am a good listener…most times.

The High Five

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I support the high five, I really…really do. I understand the high-five when it relates to sports, and celebratory purposes, but in a regular conversation, can we possibly limit it to two, certainly no more than five high-fives? Is it rude to add a disclaimer before a conversation that you have a high five limit?

I think I will lose strength in my arm(s), from engaging in this repetitive and intense gesture of good will.

I have therefore outlined a few things to consider:

"High Five Etiquette", by dontbethatguy films

  • Offer an opt-out notice – Make others aware upfront that you are an obsessive high-fiver. (see bullet point #5)
  • Do not replace amen’s with high fives – Consider the environment before you raise your palms.
  • Know your strength – The high-fiver at times is unaware that their high-five has the potential to cause bodily injury. (see bullet point #7)
  • Set reasonable high five limitations – The high five is thoughtful, yet wearisome, especially when the gesture is repetitive, and renders the other person to near exhaustion.
  • Consider Counseling – This may help to determine that you have an obsessive compulsion to high five, and perhaps may help you to consider other forms of hand-to-hand contact. (see bullet point #10)

  • Do not give the elderly high five– This is on a case-by-case basis. The high five should be rendered with consideration for possible frailty of the elderly. If the elderly person uses oxygen, you should reconsider the high-five. “Oops”, is an insufficient response if you accidentally cut-off their oxygen supply.
  • Practice the high five – This helps to ensure that the high five is on the palms of the hand. Improper high fives can poke an eyeball out, or knock someone senseless. (see bullet point #3)
  • Practice good hygiene – The high five requires that your arms are extended in an upward motion. Poor hygiene can be fatal to others, and can cause you to lose high five friends and associates.
  • Join a high five club or association – In doing so, you are surrounded by others who, like you, enjoy high fives on a more than regular basis.
  • Remember that there are other forms of hand-to-hand contact – The handshake is still favorable, but is under-used.

National High Five Day

Another option is to save all of your high fives for National High Five Day, which occurs on the 3rd Thursday of April each year. In 2002, three friends at the University of Virginia decided to start their own holiday. National High Five day is growing into a huge phenomenon.

While I don’t recall being pummeled with high fives on National High Five Day, I do think I will be especially cautious, since the high five is gaining even more popularity and momentum; I'll likely keep pain reliever and an arm sling with me...just in case!

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Comments 14 comments

DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 5 years ago from South Carolina, USA

Ima, oh you make me laugh, Woman! I haven't been accosted by an obsessive high fiver, but have witnessed some overzealous butt slapping, particularly in professional sports. What is up with that?

imatellmuva profile image

imatellmuva 5 years ago from Somewhere in Baltimore Author

DIY, I don't know. I really wish I could explain the psycho-social part of the high five...the fist pump...and other antics.

The conversation that I opened the hub with was real. I was more exhausted by the high fives than the conversation. At one point I could barely raise my arm up, and considered waving a white flag to show I was giving in!

Greg, NH5P 5 years ago

Thanks for the shout-out about National High Five Day!

This year, we're organizing a National High-5-A-Thon For Cancer Research on NH5D and asking people to agree to give 55 high-fives throughout the day and get sponsored with donations for cancer research.

We launch the event next week, thanks again for the mention!

Greg Harrell-Edge

Executive Director, Sufferer of Bullet Point #5

National High Five Project



imatellmuva profile image

imatellmuva 5 years ago from Somewhere in Baltimore Author

While creating this article, I thought it would be remiss of me not to mention your holiday. I reviewed your website, and other links relating to National High Five Day.

You have launched something that is not only genuine, but something that is highly spirited, and touches on the needs of many.

You and your partners are to be applauded...high-fived for all of your valiant efforts.

Thank you kindly for your remarks...truly made my day!

kimh039 profile image

kimh039 5 years ago

I think high 5s should be banned...except in bowling alleys.

imatellmuva profile image

imatellmuva 5 years ago from Somewhere in Baltimore Author

I like the spirit of the high five, especially when organized into a fun holiday, like National High Five Day.

This hub actually originated from the conversation mentioned at the beginning of the hub. It is the conversations that are more perplexing for me. I wanted to ask, "Can we JUST talk?!"

kimh039 profile image

kimh039 5 years ago

I do too, imatellmuva. That was my attempt at dry humor late at night. Sometimes in the am it doesn't come across as humor at all! I enjoyed your hub and your humor, as usual. Keep humoring!

imatellmuva profile image

imatellmuva 5 years ago from Somewhere in Baltimore Author

Trust me, I know all too well about late night anything...but your comment was received very well. I created this hub late night, and was cross-eyed and delusional...don't tell anyone!

Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 5 years ago from East Coast, United States

Hi, Sharon - I was laughing out loud at this one, you are such an engaging writer (high 5), then was quite impressed to see you have been noticed by the official high 5 people (high 5).

One lovely evening, while sitting outside by the fire, my son's girlfriend and I attempted a high 5. We missed three times. My son was highly amused, commenting how sons often find a gal just like mom. (high 5)

imatellmuva profile image

imatellmuva 5 years ago from Somewhere in Baltimore Author

"D" you are free to copy and post this hub in your home, and copy and laminate it, to keep on your person as THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU HIGH FIVE!

Yeah how awesome was that, to be noticed by the Executive Director of The National High Five Day...I am definitely High Fiv'n THAT!

You and your son's girlfriend might want to pay special attention to bullet point #7.

Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 5 years ago from East Coast, United States

Ha ha, maybe I'll practice in the mirror. \ ///// see that is a high 5 in type face.

imatellmuva profile image

imatellmuva 5 years ago from Somewhere in Baltimore Author

\ /////!!!!!

Angie Jardine profile image

Angie Jardine 4 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

Yes, what is it with all that?

Luckily I live in the UK ... high-fiving is just not our way. We keep our exuberance within strict boundaries ... usually ... at the most we might say 'Gosh!'

Or perhaps we're just miserable so-and-so's? :)

imatellmuva profile image

imatellmuva 4 years ago from Somewhere in Baltimore Author

Just wait Angie, the High Five may one day become a phenomenom in the UK, and you and all your buddies will be 'Gosh'n' and 'High Fiv'n' at the same time!

You're not miserable so-and-so's; you're just accustomed to your customs, and ain't nuth'n wrong with that! But, in the event the High Five takes over the UK...start practicing NOW!!!

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