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Follow These Tips to Define Your Personal Space

From Person To Person

Personal space varies from one person to another, with many factors in play like how well we know the person, the relationship and trust, along with your culture.

People living in small towns and wide-open spaces prefer a bigger personal space, while new yorkers are probably used to having people in their bubble most of the time.


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Follow These Tips to Define Your Personal Space

Follow These Tips to Define Your Personal Space


Key Ideas

Personal Space

Most of us have a certain distance that we like others to keep from others, depending on who the other person is. This is probably skewed now in 2020 when we are told to keep a safe distance from everyone.

Nevertheless, personal space, the distance between two people in any social, family or work environment, is like a bubble that you must be in, always.

The Factors Determining Personal Space

The factors that determine a comfortable personal space: the gender of the two people, the professional or personal relationship, nature of the relationship (friendly or romantic), one’s customs and culture.

Average Comfort Levels

Of personal space, distance is 0 to 20 inches for intimate couples, 1-½ to 3 feet for friends and family, 3 to 10 feet for acquaintances and office workers, 4 feet or more for strangers and about 12 feet while speaking to a large group.

General Rules Of Personal Space

  • Do not touch any stranger.
  • Do not touch other people’s children.
  • Keep a 4 feet distance from other people who are acquaintances or colleagues.
  • If others are leaning away from you, you are too close already.
  • Keep space between people in an auditorium or theatre that has ample free seats.
  • Do not lean over someone’s shoulder to look at something closely on your own.

More Rules Of Personal Space

  • Do not shuffle through other people's personal belongings, especially their phone.
  • Do not let your dog litter on other people's property.
  • Do not tailgate others while driving.
  • Avoid flinging your arms on others or slapping their back/hand unless they are your childhood friends.
  • Do not enter a room without permission or knocking.
  • Do not cut others in a line.

Personal Space At Work

Open offices are a personal space disaster, and we need to be extra careful about other’s personal space. Observe professional distance even if you know your colleagues really well. Other people watching you may take things in a different way.

Office Space

  • Do not get too close to prospective clients, you might lose your sale.
  • Read the company policies regarding office relationships.
  • Do not assume your relationship with a coworker, subordinate, or supervisor is a personal thing.
  • Avoid hugging and other touches.
  • Do not disturb others as a general rule.
  • Avoid personal conversations with office workers, or reserve them for after hours.

Handling Others

If someone is invading your personal space, you can lean away if you feel offended, taking a step back. You can also inform the other person that you are uncomfortable being close and need more space.

Personal Space And Our Kids

We can tell our kids about personal space using the easy to imagine ‘bubble’ analogy.

Tell them the invisible bubble around them pops when people that they don’t know get too close. It is imperative that they know that we have to be informed if anyone tries to touch them inappropriately.



Improve Any Relationship
  • Acknowledge the opinions, feelings and needs of others
  • Be more open to suggestions and compromises
  • Give 100% of your attention to the job
  • Spend ...
Verbal violations
  • Not allowing you to speak or be heard.
  • Yelling at you.
  • Saying things that are derogatory about your integrity and character.
  • Gossiping about you.
Psychological/emotional boundary violations
  • Preying upon your sense of self and self-esteem
  • Using what you’ve told them in confidence against you
  • Lying to you
  • Criticizing you
  • Manipulating you
  • Mocking you
  • Making demands of your time
  • Bullying you
  • Lording a superior attitude over you
Physical violations
  • Moving into your personal space
  • Touching you without permission
  • Being inappropriate or too familiar towards you
  • Violating your privacy
  • Damaging or destroying your personal property
  • Threatening you with physical harm

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Eye signals
  • Eye gaze: Directly eye contact indicates interest and paying attention. Prolonged eye contact can feel threatening.
  • Blinking:  People often blink more rapidly when t...
Lip signals
  • Pursed lips: an indicator of distaste, disapproval, or distrust.
  • Lip biting: signals people are worried, anxious, or stressed.
  • Covering the mouth: used when people want to hide an emotional reaction.
  • Turned up or down: When the mouth is slightly turned up, it might mean that the person is feeling happy or optimistic. A slightly down-turned mouth can be an indicator of sadness/ disapproval.
  • A clenched fist indicates anger in some situations or solidarity in others.
  • A thumbs up and thumbs down: gestures of approval and disapproval.
  • The "okay" gesture: "okay" or "all right." In some parts of Europe, the same signal is used to imply you are nothing. In some South American countries, the symbol is actually a vulgar gesture.
  • The V sign: peace or victory in some countries. In the UK and Australia, the symbol takes on an offensive meaning when the back of the hand is facing outward.

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