Right. Today I want to talk about personal space. One day, I was at the supermarket by the yoghurt section. This lady comes up behind me and starts checking out the yoghurt shelf as well. What’s wrong with that you may ask? Well, nothing except she was practically standing on top of me! I could hear her breathing! I just turned around and gave her the dirtiest look I could! Why do people do that though? There’s so much space all around but for whatever reason, someone wants to be all up in my personal space. I find that extremely annoying. There are also those people who just like randomly touching others. Like what’s that all about? I am actually generally quite a “touchy-feely” person but unless you’re my mother, husband/boyfriend, child or really close friend, DO NOT TOUCH ME!
I remember this one incident when I almost lost it. I was in a boutique and one of the sales ladies fell in love with my box braids (which were dope I must admit). Did she not just come up to me and stick her hand in my hair! I think her guardian angel was working overtime that day because all I did was quickly move my head out the way and give her a dirty look. Not that she got the message. She keep going on about how lovely my braids were and how she can never find someone to do hers that nicely. Her colleague read the situation though and quickly said “Musangobata misoro yevanhu, vamwe havazvifarire” (Don’t go touching people’s heads, some people don’t like it).
Then there those people who think standing in a queue is the perfect excuse to rub up against you. Ewwww! We’re standing in a queue for goodness sake. Pushing me with your pot-belly is NOT going to get you to the till any faster! I remember there was a day my mom got so annoyed with this man. She would move, he would move. She gave him dirty looks hoping he’d realise what he was doing but nope, he completely ignore her. She ended up asking him what his story was and he quipped “Ah, ko munoshamisira chiiko musingadi kugumwa?” (What’s so special about you that you don’t want physical contact with others?) Yeaaah. Wow.
Proxemics is the study of human spacial requirements and the effects thereof on behaviour, communication, and social interaction (so you see, it’s not just me being fussy, it’s actually a thing!😜). In Proxemics, the below diagram is used to gauge the effect of distance on behaviour and communication.
Of course they’re not saying walk around with a tape measure and measure your distance from other people all day long. All they’re saying is just be cognisant of the fact that some people, like me, don’t like their personal space invaded. I’d like to believe that most “invaders” out there are genuinely clueless about this habit. Just keep in mind that some people don’t mind or even notice personal space invasion and that some do.
Have you guys ever had interesting cases of personal space invasion? Do let me know about them in the comments section below!