Keep Your Distance!

Posted: August 2, 2009 in About Me, Fiction and Non-Fiction
Tags: , , ,

Last night, I was searching for random words at google. It has been a habit to check on some words, their history, meaning, etc. Words like hugging, people, personal space and bubble were just some of the things I typed at’s seach box. Then I came across this word: PROXEMICS.

According to one entry, Proxemics was introduced by one anthropologist, Edward T. Hall. It refers to the measurable distance between two interacting people. There are 4 delineations for same. They are:

  1. Intimate Distance – close phase at less than 6 inches, far phase is from 6 to 18 inches
  2. Personal Distance – close phase at 1.5 to 2.5 feet, far phase is at 2.5 to 4 feet
  3. Social Distance – close phase is at 4 to 7 feet, far phase is from 7 to 12 feet
  4. Public Distance – close phase is 12 to 25 feet, far phase is 25 feet or more

If we’d look at the distances, we can say that:

  1. Intimate Distance – for people with good relations, possibly romantic because this is the most common distance for embracing, touching or whispering
  2. Personal Distance – distance for good friends
  3. Social Distance – for acquaintances
  4. Public Distance – usually used for public speaking

Now, Proxemics vary with one’s culture. A personal distance for one can already be an intimate distance to another.

So, if you happen to find yourself in the company of someone who drives you away to be at least 2-3 feet far from them, try not to be angry at them. For all we know, we’re just making them uncomfortable with the short distance. You wouldn’t want them to think you’re intrusive, right?

As for me, you might make the distance a bit bigger. I become uneasy whenever someone’s within my personal bubble.




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