Non-Verbal Behavioral Tip #7. Keep your distance

Posted on by in Mike's Morning Missives

This tip has to do with one’s personal space. You have yours and I have mine. This is not measured by feet or inches. It is determined by one’s own zone of comfort. It is up to you to determine this.

For example, when I am in a bank line, TSA line, grocery store checkout line or any line for that matter, I become uncomfortable when I can feel the person’s breath on my neck or when I turn I rub up against their arm or coat. This is a clear sign to me that someone unknown has entered my personal space without invitation.

At this point in time I have no interest to determine whether the culprit is my type of person or not. I instantly classify them as a creep. (Yep. That is the way it works. Sorry.)

Some people don’t think twice about cozying right up on you. When in conversation, they feel no need to apologize when they move in close and go nose to nose with you.

I am not fond of this behavior tactic, and I may even go so far as to call it a flaw. You are not doing yourself a favor when pulling a stunt like this with me.

When talking with people, be aware of your proximity. Some people have no space limitation, while other people require much more personal space in order to feel comfortable. If you take a step toward someone and you notice them start to lean, turn, shift, or step away from you, recognize that you are nearing a danger zone and take a step back. You will probably notice them relax. When this happens, you will know that you have managed the physical proximity effectively.


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