Social Boundaries

Session 6


The Yellow Handshake Circle (Teachers/Peers)

The Yellow Handshake Circle includes your learner’s neighbors, teachers/coaches and peers. In this session, we will focus on teachers/coaches and peers.

The three “Ts” for the Yellow Handshake Circle are:

  • TALK. Your learner can greet teachers/coaches and peers, and engage in small talk. They can not ask personal questions or talk about personal things.
  • TRUST. Your learner can have only limited trust of teachers/coaches and peers because they do not know them well.
  • TOUCH. Your learner can share a handshake or fist bump only once when greeting a teacher/coach or peer. Touch is limited to hands and there is no hugging.


  • In most instances, teachers/coaches and peers are placed in the Yellow Handshake Circle. However, your learner might have a closer relationship with a teacher/coach or peer that moves them into a closer circle, such as the Green Far Away Hug Circle. You can use the six questions we have been discussing to help determine circle placement.

The Six Deciding Factors are:

    1. HOW LONG have I known the person?
    2. HOW OFTEN do I see the person?
    3. HOW MANY common bonds do I have with the person?
    4. HOW WELL do I know the person?
    5. HOW DEEP are my feelings for the person?
    6. HOW SAFE am I with the person?
  • Applying rules for this circle can be tricky. Your learner may come into contact with teachers/coaches and peers frequently, and thus, that person may feel very familiar to your learner. Yet, unless some of the other six deciding factors apply, that person is appropriately placed in the Yellow Handshake Circle. Over time, you might want to reassess placement using the six deciding factors. Some people do move into closer circles as they become more known to your learner.

Learning Objectives

Participants will learn/understand:

  • Which teachers/coaches and peers are in the Yellow Handshake Circle
  • The three “T” rules for the Yellow Handshake Circle
  • The sign for the Yellow Handshake Circle

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