Social Boundaries

Session 8


The Red Stranger Circle

The Red Stranger Circle includes community helpers and health workers. In this session, we will focus on community helpers. In the next session (Session 9), we will focus on health workers. Community helpers are people engaged in “business” in the community, including retail clerks, delivery personnel and folks that might come into your home to help with maintenance.

The three “Ts” for the Red Stranger Circle are:

  • TALK. Your learner can talk to the community helper about the “business” they have together.
  • TRUST. Your learner can trust the community helper only about the “business” they have together.
  • TOUCH. Your learner can touch or be touched by the community helper only if it relates to the “business” they have together.


  • Community helpers are in the red stranger circle because your learner is unlikely to know them. The six questions we have been discussing help demonstrate that point to learners.

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?
  • Teaching learners to identify community helpers can also be valuable. In class, we look at community helpers and determine:
    • What they do (e.g., how they help)
    • Where they are (e.g., location)
    • What they wear (e.g., uniform, badge, cap)
    • What tools they use (e.g., paint, pool cleaning supplies)
    • What vehicle they drive (e.g., mail truck, fire truck)
  • In some cases, and with some learners, you can reassess placement over time using the six deciding factors for community helpers your learner deals with frequently. These community helpers may move into the orange wave circle.

Learning Objectives

Participants will learn/understand:

  • Who is in the Red Stranger Circle
  • The three “T” rules for the Red Stranger Circle
  • The sign for the Red Stranger Circle

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