Personal space is a big problem for teenagers and adults as well.

A big complaint I get from a lot of parents and a lot of people is that potential boyfriends think they can stand right in your face. One comment that is particularity funny that a student said was, “If I’m going to kiss you I want you in my face. If I just met you, you need to step back!

This is a complaint from many many women I know. They state that boys and men come up to them and “chat them up” and they can feel the man’s breath on their face. As one women put it, “If i can feel your breath and know what you ate for lunch, you’re way too close!”

So this idea was added to the class for high school students.

This is the way the role-playing and lesson goes, and what the boys do is an EYE OPENING experience for us all (even the men in the readership).

We explain to everyone that we are going to speak about personal space. Then I give everyone a pencil. We try to have a saying or there to be some sort of message on the pencil so that they can take something away from the class.

Also…pencils are awesome!  If the students don’t like the pencils, they give them away or toss them on the ground.  Then whomever receives the pencil or finds the pencil now gets the message. Pencils are great for getting the message out!

So they have their pencil.

Then the facilitator asks the students to place the pencil on the floor in front of them at the distance from themselves that they would feel comfortable for the instructor to be in their face. The instructor then stands at the pencil in front of the student. The instructor asks…Is this ok. {Interesting note – Many of the students will move their pencil farther away when the instructor stands there.}

The instructor explains this is their comfortable personal space.

Now the instructor walks between the group and their pencils. Watch for the people to move back, turn to the side, etc…when the instructor walks by. The instructor asks the students to remember that “uncomfortable” feeling. This is the feeling of someone invading your personal space. Then ask…what if there was a wall behind you so that you couldn’t step back?

Many of the answers state that they would move, push the instructor, etc….all ways to get out of the uncomfortable situation.

Then ask the boys to place the pencil at a spot that they would be comfortable with something they liked or that they thought was attractive standing in front of them.

Reader Note…pay attention tot he reaction of the boys!)

 

Most of the boys….I’ve seen this…will put the pencil on their shoes.

When asked why…a myriad of sexual comments flows out from everyone.

When asked why a woman would want to be that close to them on their first meeting….another myriad of sexual comments flow through.

This my fellow readers is what our boys are being taught or they’re seeing or they’re learning.  They are wanted by women, and women want them to be nose to nose every minute, or satisfying some male sexual urge.

When I explain where women really want the pencil (farther than a stranger or a friend)…the boys are shocked. When i ask a random “girl” to do the exercise in front of the “boys”…..the “boys” gasp and drop open their mouths. For many of them, it’s the first time this view of them and women have ever been shown to them.

We have to teach our boys about personal space.

We have to teach our boys that they are not a woman’s whole life.

We have to teach them what respecting women is.

We have to teach our boys that being respectful and kind is also giving a woman her personal space to speak in, move in, and live in.

This type of personal space exercise shows us why there is so much anxiety in a relationship about a woman having friends, acquaintances, and even the ability to be their own person.

If we don’t start teaching our boys these things now…we can not expect to change the way boys treat women.

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