Social Boundaries

Session 9


The Red Stranger Circle

The Red Stranger Circle includes community helpers and health workers. In this session, we will focus on health workers. Health workers are people who provide health and medical care in the community.

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

  • TALK. Your learner can talk to the health worker about the “business” of their health.
  • TRUST. Your learner can trust the health worker only about the “business” they have together.
  • TOUCH. Your learner can touch or be touched by the health worker only if it relates to the “business” they have together (i.e., medical touch).


  • Medical workers 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 medical workers can be valuable. In class, we look at health workers and determine:
    • What they do (e.g., how they help)
    • Where they are (e.g., where you see them)
    • What they wear (e.g., uniform, nurse scrubs)
    • What tools they use (e.g., stethoscope, dental floss)
    • 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 health workers your learner deals with frequently. These health workers 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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