First, what is personal space?
Personal space is the immediate space around you, which you consider yours and where you feel most safe. Personal space is used to help us figure out what physical behavior is appropriate when interacting with others. The way you allow someone to enter your physical space indicates your degree of comfort and type of relationship you have with them. Remember the boundary levels and relationship circles?
What is a personal space invader?
That is a very good question! A personal space invader is not an alien from another planet. Rather, it is another person who “invades” your personal space and makes you feel uncomfortable. You may feel angry or annoyed by their closeness. You also might become anxious and overwhelmed and want to find a way out. Personal space invaders are not always bad however. A personal space invader may not be aware they are invading your personal space, especially if they think they are being friendly or are interested in you. Use the space invader sheet below to see if you ever do anything that might make someone think you are a space invader.
Remember! Sometimes, personal space cannot always be maintained, such as when you are using public transportation or in a large crowd. It can feel very uncomfortable and that is ok! You can still maintain some personal space while getting that extra space you need in your mind by thinking about something calming or positive. Also remember that different cultures have different ideas of personal space. You CAN let others know if their actions make you uncomfortable and that you do not like it.
Doing so can make a negative experience much easier by ending it instead of having to suffer in silence.
"Social Boundaries in Relationships." Teachers Pay Teachers. Teachers Pay Teachers, 2002. Web. 18 Sept. 2015.
N/A. (2014). Am I being a personal space invader? Retrieved September 19, 2015.