Reception. Observation. Perception. Emotion.

High Five Angles

I have gradually realized that the act of high fiving depends heavily on the use of proper angles. If you initiate a high five, be sure to angle your hand such that the reactor is not forced to arch his wrist uncomfortably in order to avoid the undesirable scenario of an E.T.-like finger touch. Too many times in our society we carelessly induce high fives that really deserved a better effort. Both parties should hold their hands such that the tips of the fingers are as high or higher than the top of the tallest party’s head. The initiator should ensure that his hand is perpendicular to the ground or even slighly angled back towards himself. This creates an optimum slapping surface for the reactor. Ideally both parties will be at eye level with each other, as those situations involving one standing and one sitting fiver too often result in a submarginal execution.

Another factor to mind is the role of the elbow. Neither fiver wants to find himself in a situation where he is pushing his arm and hand forward. Instead a moderate swinging motion is desired whereby the forearm is allowed to move much like a catapult. Again the goal is an ideal starting angle such that the ensuing high five has a substantial chance for success. A final consideration is finger position on impact. Essentially their presence should be minimized in favor of the palms. A fluid connection with the palms should be the goal of any high five. This is why the initiator’s starting hand angle is so important. Those fingers need to be out of the way of the reactor. With a proper mindset and a strategy of preparedness, each of us can confidently engage in high fives that contribute to a celebratory atmosphere while avoiding awkwardness.

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  1. You must’ve read Wired magazine.

  2. I didn’t! Provide a link if you have one. Maybe I tried to high-five one of their editors recently…

  3. That is greatness. They even incorporated the word “Todd” which my high school crew and I reserved for special situations unrelated to high fives.

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