When it comes to space, there are terms such as personal bubble which individuals use to describe their ideal amount of space away from others. Personal space is the portable and invisible boundary which surrounds your body and it never goes away. Your personal space is always with you.
Some functions of personal space include:
- Avoiding overstimulation
- Avoiding stress
- Avoiding behavior constraint
- Non-verbal communication
- Boundary regulation
- Intimacy-equilibrium model
- Protection from harm
How close is too close? Well, according to Hall’s Spatial Zones, there are levels of appropriate space depending on the relationship between individuals. There are four levels: public space, social space, personal space, and intimate space. The closer the relationship, the less of a distance is allowed between individuals.
Other factors such as attraction and type of interaction, positive or negative, impact the distance between individuals. Gender, age, and personality traits also play a role in the optimal distance of personal space. When it comes to physical reasons for personal space, individuals require a larger personal space when there is no easy escape route. This is a protective mechanism
When it comes to physical reasons for personal space, individuals require a larger personal space when there is no easy escape route. This is a protective mechanism. When personal space is invaded it results in arousal. When the invasion is unwanted, it results in a flight or fight response.
Watch this video to see people’s reactions to someone “invading” their personal space.