Five Minutes of Power Over You*

Materials: Paper and pencils

Exercise description

Divide the group up into pairs. The instructions are:

“Decide which one of you will have power over the other person for the next five minutes. If everyone is willing, one person gives the other person power over themselves for five minutes. Before the exercise begins, everyone should write down on a piece of paper or in a notebook the thoughts and feelings they have going into this exercise.” After five minutes, the roles are reversed and the exercise is repeated.



Suggested questions for evaluating the exercise:

  • Which role was more difficult for you?
  • How did you use your power? How did you feel about it? Did you feel resistance from the other person and how did you deal with that?
  • How did you feel in the role when someone else had power over you? Did you resist? How?


Type of exercise:


45-90 min


*Source: Bittl-Drempetic. Gewaltfrei Handeln, pp. 386-387. 386-387.

Possible difficulties:

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