SOPs for Life – An Introverts Guide to Social Gestures

“I’m going to give them a high five… oh wait… this might be a fist bump moment. Or not? Just shout hooray maybe?”

Every introvert has this dilemma on a regular basis, but there is a solution. I present to you all of the essential standard operating procedures (SOPs) for life.

High Fives

These are always controversial, but if you follow this guide, you should be ok. If the individual you are interacting with is a young male with either a shaved head, large beard, or sagging trousers, replace all instances of “High Five” in this section with “Fist Bump” which is most likely a more appropriate gesture under the circumstances.

High fives fall into one of two categories, enthusiastic or chill, but before determining which type of high five should be given, you first need to determine if a high five should be given at all, and luckily there are simple criteria. If any of the following apply, a high five should be given:

  • A victory that does not contribute to the betterment of society has been achieved (eg. sports or video games)
  • You have outdone someone and do not want to appear overly prideful (in this case the high five should be accompanied by the words “good game”, “good try”, or something of that nature as long as you can say those words in a sincere tone)

To determine which type of high five is to be given you must look at the individual with whom you are interacting. If they have a calm temperament and are more likely to be reading a book than talking to other humans a chill high five should be given, but if they are more likely to be socializing, an enthusiastic high five should be given instead. It is also important to note that if the individual is a young male with sagging trousers, a shaved head, or a large beard, and you are giving a fist bump rather than a high five, enthusiasm is not recommended as injury could occur.

Shouting Hooray

This is an obnoxious, but highly recommended, way of offering affirmation from a distance. It is only appropriate when there are a large number of people near you also shouting and/or slapping their own hands for no apparent reason. If this is the case and any of the following conditions are met, shouting hooray is both acceptable and recommended:

  • Someone has just done something that has been done many times before, but for no apparent reason is still impressive and/or surprising
  • A politician has delivered a less profound speech than the already mundane speech before it

Keep in mind that “hooray” is not actually what you shout. The actual word is not so much a word as a blending of unintelligible frequencies generated by the human vocal chords.


There are many more strange social gestures to be mastered, but if you can learn when and how to use the high five, fist bump, and unintelligible shouting, you are off to an excellent start!

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