Space Invasion

Personal space
            “I take the invasion of my personal space very seriously”  Kid Rock 
image by Gianni Crestani from Pixabay

No… I am not into space wars!

I am talking about invasion of personal space.

How do you feel when somebody puts their face closer to you during conversation (sometimes with bad odor) or some unknown person stands behind you almost touching your body?

In the office cubicle?

During Black Friday sales?

How about the stranger next to your seat leaning on your shoulder during flights?

You may or you may not know that we all have an invisible bubble around us known as ‘personal space’.


The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines personal space as, “The distance from another person at which one feels comfortable when talking to or being next to that other person“.

Why Personal Space Is Important?

Personal space is a comfort zone.

We experience annoyance if the personal space is violated, a sort of discomfort when someone stands too close.

Either you turn away or avoid or stop the conversation. This reaction is an instant human instinct.

Animals have it too, they scent-mark their territory.

“Personal space is something that isn’t a luxury. It’s a necessity like air or water”.    Sabrina Choquetty-Tully

Zones Of Interpersonal Interaction

Personal space
How Close is Close Enough?’ 
Photo by Inga Seliverstova from Pexels

All of us maintain a certain distance from other people, depending on the settings we are in According to Edward Hall, who pioneered this subject describes four zones.

  1. Intimate distance (sexual intercourse, breast feeding an infant), 0 m to 45 cms (0 to 18 inches). I can add here pets and our children where we tend to be closer.
  2. Casual-personal distance (conversation with family and friends)… 45 cms to 1.2m (18 inches to 4 feet).
  3. Social-consultative distance -1.2 m to 3.6 m (4 feet to 12 feet).
  4. Public distance (talking to a group of people)-3.6 m to 7.6 m. (12 feet and even more).

So the whole thing depends on the closeness & personal relationships. (Source: Adian Sammons,

Can Invasion Come From People Who Are Very Close To You?

Yes. But it should not suffocate you.

“I need space away from you so that I could love myself more, and so that I could love you even better”. Enki quotes

Are Women More Prone For Personal Space Invasion?

Yes and no, but I feel it can happen to men also.

Have you ever traveled in crowded buses and trains?

How about small but crowded lift?

And the busy tourist locations?

College functions?

How close you were to the unknown people in terms of distance?

I understand many times women are subjected to groping if opportunities are ripe. Example: new year celebrations.

What Precautions You Can Take So That You Are Not Blamed Of Invading Others Personal Space?

Some of my thoughts:

  • Stand 120 cms (4 feet) from strangers.
  • In relationships (family, friends, spouse) respect the personal space. Everybody needs this sacred space.
  • Don’t touch unknown people.
  • Never reach for other’s children.
  • Don’t slap anyone from the back side unless you know the person.
  • Maintain the standard etiquette all the time.

What Is The Deadliest Item Invading Our Personal Space?

I guess it’s the cell phone.

I can also add drone photography.

“Camera phones threaten to turn everyone into amateur paparazzi. We are witnessing our personal space shrink because of the way technology is being used”. Daniel J Solove

What is your experience? Do you give a stern warning or are you OK with it ?

Please share your views on ‘personal space’ .

Check this video clip.

About the guest author:

Dr. Sridhar is the man behind Philosophy Through Photography.

This deep thinker from India wears many hats; he is a physician, a blogger, a philosopher and an amateur photographer.

Published by philosophy through photography

My philosophy is: Life is hard, but God is good. Try not to confuse the two. Anne F. Beiler

17 thoughts on “Space Invasion

  1. Yes, I don’t like my personal space invaded and depending on other matters I may find it uncomfortable and uneasy with the situation.

    I have not said anything stern, but once just said politely, excuse me, but could you back away a little, as I need to see your face and body with me being deaf, as I lipread.

    There was another ocassion I have stepped back to get my personal space. Unfortunately that person never observed my reaction and I am sure my face would have shown it too and she immediately moved forward.
    In the end I played a tatic of putting my mother in the middle who wasn’t as bothered so she could speak to her.

    But if I am in a situation where I feel uncomfortable, that I have to get away. I will do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Liz.
      Beautifully you explained.
      You are too polite and too kind in dealing these kind of situations.
      Bringing your mom is the coolest trick. Cute indeed.
      Mostly I feel men take liberty and invade personal space as compared to women.
      Thanks again for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The woman was lovely who kept invading my space. But I still did not like her doing this. My mum knew I did not like this and she liked speaking to her, sticking up for her invading my space, so that’s why I put mum in the middle. Mum was aware of what I was doing, as she gave me a warning she was coming when I once wasn’t aware.

        We were all at a bus stop and so I couldn’t avoid the woman completely, as buses were not often where we lived, so it wasn’t like I go on the next bus option.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks again Liz.
          Agree.We all come across situations similar to yours,where you couldn’t avoid this lovely lady totally.Mom was life saviour.
          I remember one of my friends telling how she was harassed through out her flight by an unknown man sitting next to her.
          Now a days social behaviour is at its worst.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Personal space is very important and I feel there are times when others don’t realize they are being invasive. Then, there are those that are intentionally pushy and crass. In today’s crazy world, just about everything invades our personal space. Outstanding post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well said Eugenia.
      Unintentional intrusion can be polietly dealt with,but when some one is bent on,then a good slap can take care.
      In these days of technology,a high power tele photo lens can tell every inch about you without bursting the personal boundary around you.Thank you Eugenia for stopping by .

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am especially impressed by the reference to Edward Hall who also wrote about context of communication being delivered and perceived according to culture. He posited that both in delivery and perception of context personal space norms vary depending to culture.
    Excellent post, interesting read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you my friend.
      TRUE.Edward Hall made us realise that there is something called personal space,hitherto an unknown subject.
      Of course,different cultures have different interpretations on,what limits the personal space and irrespective of this each individual is unique in defining his/her own personal space.
      Thanks again for taking your time and joining the discussion and giving your valuable inputs.


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