There’s this thing called personal space and a lot of people disrespect it probably because they feel it’s a myth or very unnecessary. It’s really hard to hide how uncomfortable this makes a person. For those who don’t know, personal space is that region around a person that is theirs, they regard it psychologically as their space. It is very common for idea of personal space to be trashed completely especially in this part of the world where people are almost breathing in the air that comes out of your nostrils just because they want to have a conversation with you.
I’ve had so many experiences with people disrespecting my space and sometimes, I disrespect other people’s personal space (I’m so sorry). I cannot count how many times people have stood too close to me when I’m on a queue especially ATM queues or how many times absolute strangers or even people I know lean in too close in a bus or something and sometimes even check out what I’m doing on my phone. This is one of the most uncomfortable things in the world right before people rudely staring at you and after the sweat of a random person touching your skin.
The most important thing to do in a situation where someone is clearly disrespecting your space is to exert dominance. Be clear with it and give them the option of stepping back or you could make it clear that you are uncomfortable by getting up or stepping back or constantly moving around the same spot till the message is received on the other end. Make it clear that the closeness is making you very uncomfortable in the most polite way possible but be free to get rude with time if nothing changes. Trust me, there’s nothing worse than having people all in your personal space just because you didn’t tell them to go away or take two steps back early enough.
Also, don’t be scared to complain or to show your discomfort on your face unless it’s maybe your boss or someone that you cannot be that cold to. There are ways to handle that though; keep making small and almost unnoticeable movements till you are on comfortable ground again. Do random things while you’re paying attention to whoever is addressing you. Personally, I adopt the leaning in one direction and taking very small steps.
I am not and will probably never be used to people being in my space but since it’s unavoidable sometimes, I use these to make myself as comfortable as possible in my space. It is not so hard to ask someone to lean back a bit or to please take two or fifty steps back as long as you get your comfort and you educate the person on the importance of personal space.
If you ever find yourself wondering if you’re in someone else’s space, you probably are. Just step back and allow the person to breathe and enjoy comfort.
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