During this activity, participants identify aspects of inclusion and exclusion, also commonly known as insider and outsider groupings. One objective of this activity is to ensure that people realize that everyone has experienced being both an "insider" and an "outsider." Another objective is to encourage people to take the perspective of those who are excluded and to consider how those negative feelings affect others' behavior in social situations. This activity can be completed in small or large groups and can be used as an icebreaker or as a way to generate discussion about belonging.
During this activity, participants identify aspects of inclusion and exclusion, also commonly known as insider and outsider groupings.
This activity can be adjusted for different group sizes.
Step One: Collect Outsider Emotions
- Explain that this exercise will help people experience what it feels like to be both an outsider and an insider.
- Ask participants to think of a time when they were in a team or a group and they were different from others in the group or felt excluded.
- Participants then think of one or two words that describes how they felt at that time.
- After participants have had time to think of the words, they walk around the room, introducing themselves to as many people as possible, using those words. Provide an example (e.g., Hi! I'm awkward and confused.) For larger groups, they can turn to the two or three others standing next to them and introduce themselves using those words. Another option for large groups is to have people text their emotions using the online software Poll Everywhere (polleverywhere.com) or use clickers. The facilitator can then project the results to the group.
Step Two: Collect Outsider Feelings
- Have people call out what feeling words they heard. Record them under the "Different Feelings" column.
Step Three: Collect Insider Feelings:
- Without going through the step of introductions, have people think of a time when they were in a team or group and felt included.
- Have them call out words that describe how they felt in that situation.
Step Four: Collect Insider and Outsider Behaviors
- Ask participants to list their behaviors when they felt they were excluded by the group. Provide an example (e.g., I would not participate in the discussion if I felt excluded).
- Repeat this procedure for the times they felt included. Provide an example (e.g., I might talk to the person next to me if I felt included).
- Watch that participants actually use behavioral words; people have a tendency to use feeling words again. For example, if someone says "I would act angry," ask them how they would act when they felt angry.
- Two flip charts or a board on which to write lists in front of the class
- Marker or chalk to write on chart or board