15. Respect other people's space

"Standing at an appropriate distance from others is part of poise, which gives strength and authority to your words."  --Dr. Forni



  1. Have two people stand far apart.  Both people should take a step towards one another.  Repeat this action until one or both people are uncomfortable.  How far apart were the pair when it began to feel uncomfortable. 
  2. Use a length of rope or string to make a large circle on the floor.  Ask everyone in the group to get inside the circle.  Does everyone fit?  Ask the group to make the circle smaller.  Does everyone still fit?  Keep making the circle smaller until it is too small to accomodate everyone or until it becomes uncomfortable.  (Great Group Games)
  3. How do you know you are close to someone, even when your eyes are closed?  In this game, divide the group into pairs.  Pairs should stand about three feet apart with their hands in front of them.  As you move your hands closer together and farther apart, feel the space or energy between you.  You might feel a warm or tingly sensation.  Now, try it with eyes closed.  When players have found a comfortable distance from one another, keep your eyes closed, turn around three times, then try to find that space again.  When you think you've found it, open your eyes and see if you were right.  Following the game, ask students if it is possible to give others a comfortable amount of space without talking or looking.   (Best New Games)


Discussion questions:

  1. If someone is standing very close to you, how does it make you feel?  Is it difficult to concentrate on what they are saying?
  2. How close is too close?  Is it easier to share your space with some people than with others?
  3. Do different people need different amounts of space to feel comfortable?
  4. How can you tell if you are invading someone's personal space?
  5. How does respecting other people's space help us to be more civil?