Monday, February 1, 2010


Ok.....I have something to admit. I have issues! There, I said it.

One of my issues, or if you'd rather call them, 'pet peeves' involves other people getting into my personal space.

It seems to happen to me most when I am in line waiting to check out somewhere. Usually it's another female that treads too close. You know the kind, totally oblivious to the world going on around them. It's all about them! Typically they have an arm load of 'stuff' and a huge purse all getting ready to tumble out of their arms and land on me because they are almost standing on my heels! They are the ones that seem to believe they are the only ones in a hurry to get somewhere. News Flash.....we are ALL in a hurry!

Yesterday, however, while standing in line at the drugstore, it was a man threatening my comfort zone. There were three people in front of me and the line wasn't moving but he kept inching closer. As he did so, I found myself automatically stepping a bit nearer to the person in front of me until my frontal personal space began to cringe as much as my backside. My forward motion did nothing to stop his. As I moved up, so did he, eliminating any relief from my personal space infringement. Finally when I could go no further, I slowly turned my body side ways so I could see this interloper. He must have realized something was amiss because this tiny shift in my position caused him to back a way a bit. SUCCESS!

Oddly, I find that most female intruders don't get that subtlety and rarely move back. I wonder why this is. Is it a male/female issue or do they really think if they keep this forward motion pressure on that it will actually get them up to the counter faster? Male or female, I have news for them, IT WONT! No matter how hard you try to physically or mentally 'will it to be so', that personal space violator isn't going to get there any faster than I am.

I sometimes think I should go around wearing a sign on my body saying, "please respect my personal space" but would it work? Without defining just what my 'space' is, how do others know where that line in the sand is? And when pondering this subject, I don't know if even I can give you a definition of exactly where my space boundary's are. My limits are different from the next persons and I honestly think they can change on a daily basis. For instance, with the drugstore incident, I was tired and extremely stressed that day. My 82 year old diabetic father, had come down with a cold. A simple cold for him can turn into something very serious and he can't take certain medications because of the diabetes. Upon reflection, I think had I been in a more relaxed state, my boundary would have been closer to me and I wouldn't have felt bothered at all.

According to Wikipedia personal space is defined as: "the region surrounding a person which they regard as psychologically theirs. Invasion of personal space often leads to discomfort, anger, or anxiety on the part of the victim". Wikipedia goes on to declare that personal space is: "variable" indicating that people living in extremely populated areas experience smaller invisible barriers. Variable huh? So does that mean those people who invade your space have teeny tiny personal parameters? Does that mean we should be more 'forgiving' of those trespassers because they don't feel what we do?

I don't really have the answer to that question but I do know, I don't care who you are, when someone bangs your body with a grocery cart, a purse, their body or something they are carrying, I believe that is close enough to affect ANYONE's personal space.

Or is it???

1 comment:

  1. Okay, I also believe in personal space....that is why I only go out of my yard on rare feasts and high occasions! I, however, think that my personal space is about a block and a half in all directions.


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