The only time we seem to notice personal space is the moment somebody invades it. We become irritated, angry and sometimes even scared, because our personal space can also be regarded as a danger zone. Even though it’s a barrier that can’t be seen, there’s no doubt that it exists and it measures our sense of safety. Here are some interesting facts and points that will look at this particular space – how it affects our lives in general and the amount of control we have over it.
Where does Personal Space come from?
Yes, even the guy on the subway that leans in very close to you when he talks has a certain degree of personal space. In fact, the only time a person usually doesn’t have issues regarding space (other than cultural differences) is due to lesions within their brain structure¹. Personal space is something we create from a very young age and due to our experiences we establish a comfortable perimeter so-to-speak.
The Second Bubble
We have four different space bubbles. The bubble, or space, that covers our immediate surroundings is called intimate space. Only people we trust completely are allowed within it. Beyond our intimate space bubble we have our personal space bubble. When somebody enters this space without your permission it automatically puts you on edge. Although, we tend to make exceptions while amongst a large crowd of people. As a matter of interest, the third and fourth bubbles are called social and public space.
The Body Reacts Instinctively
After you notice that someone is too close for comfort your body reacts without question. For the most part people feel anxiety, anger and irritation. But most importantly, there is a level of fear.
Personal Space Serves a Purpose
The average person wants a radius of 0.45 feet when it comes to personal space, but this is just an estimation. Your desire to make the radius bigger will depend on your circumstances. For example, if you are walking down the street and you notice suspicious people then you want to increase that radius substantially. This space serves as an indication to become mindful and to adapt some manner of self-defense.
We Extend Personal Space with Objects
People use objects every day to extend their personal space, and we do it to keep our sanity. When you walk into your home the space most likely reaches the end of your driveway. Now when somebody strange walks on your lawn towards your home your body will react as if that person is in your face. The same principle applies for your office or your car.
Personal Space can Project a Message
Your attitude inside your personal space can give a strong message to those on the outside. In terms of self-defense, you want to come across as very self-assured and confident. In other words, you want to warn potential attackers and intruders that if they get inside your personal space they will regret it some way or another.
Personal Space is Important for Self-Defense
This invisible barrier is a way for you mind to measure when you should be on your guard, even when danger is at a distance. The moment your sixth sense kicks in your personal space will increase dramatically. It’s always recommended to listen to your sixth sense and the barrier your mind creates. You want to keep the distance between you and any danger as big as possible.
Your personal space is a natural extension of your fear and it will serve you well to pay attention to it. It’s true that not everyone will have the same perception of where it starts and where it begins, but you have a very good idea of how close you want a stranger to get. Never ignore it.
How do you react when someone invades your space?
Photo’s courtesy Bing Images