When others respect our personal space, we feel more safe and in control. Personal space preferences may vary because of the people we are with or the situation, but communication is key. We must let others know when their safe touch (e.g., hug, high-five) is unwanted, and talk to a trusted adult if we ever experience an unsafe touch (e.g., hit, kick).
Just as we demand physical respect from others, we should also protect our own bodies. Stress and other big emotions can damage our short- and long-term health. When we react to these emotions with thoughtful, healthy responses (e.g., coping strategies) such as breathing deeply, we are showing respect to our bodies, minds, and emotions.
Bullying and microaggressions are wrong and they make victims feel unsafe. Microaggressions can be rude comments or actions targeting a unique quality about someone. Bullying is repeated behavior meant to cause harm or distress to someone else. It comes in many forms: verbal, social, physical, and cyber. Upstanders recognize when something is wrong and try to help to make it right.