Social Question

rojo's avatar

What is your "personal space"?

Asked by rojo (24159points) January 13th, 2015

This question came about as a result of watching starlings on a power line. They were all spaced out along the pole at approximately 12” (or 30.48cm) apart. As a new one landed between two others, they would hop over to adjust the spacing to be approximately equal between all those originally in place.
But this was a large flock and it continued until there was slightly more than a bird-width between them.
At that point critical mass was, I assumed, reached and as one landed, two others would fly off and the spacing would again be adjusted to allow more space between individuals until once again reaching approximately 6”. It seemed to stabilize at that point with one leaving for every new one that landed.

How much room do you need between you and another person to be comfortable and how much does it vary depending upon the situation or location? Does it make a difference if you are interacting as opposed to just being in the vicinity (such as an elevator or at a urinal)?

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14 Answers

Coloma's avatar

People close to me can be as close as they want, strangers, the standard 3 feet or so.
I’m not overly in need of space, ( except my solitude times ) and am not uptight about being close to others. I don’t like subway close, but being close to others doesn’t bother me. I just got naked for a male masseuse yesterday. lol

Cruiser's avatar

If you go BO, bad breath, smoke or are drunk…in the other room is too close for me. Otherwise my personal space is just enough so I can jump rope.

ucme's avatar

The golf course.
Xbox Live
I frequently own all who dare to venture in :D

kritiper's avatar

When someone gets within 3” my alarms go off. If they get within 2’ they get my undivided attention.

ibstubro's avatar

2 foot minimum.

3 feet is comfort zone.

I wish I remember what question my Mr. Spitty post was on, so I could link to it.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

My mind. Nobody gets in there, nobody knows what is going on there.

rojo's avatar

Do you think that city folk have a greater tolerance or smaller comfort radius than people who live in a more rural setting?

or is that just stereotyping?

ibstubro's avatar

Typically, @rojo, city people have to adapt to less personal space. Public transportation and elevators, as example, require ‘sardineness’.

ucme's avatar

My personal space around men, old ladies & children is beyond erection distance, or in old money, half a yard :D

gailcalled's avatar

Milo here: Mine is a good 3 inches. Any closer and whoever it is will bump into my whiskers.

elbanditoroso's avatar

As was said in the movie 2010:


chyna's avatar

Three feet is about all I can stand. Any closer and I practically start twitching. I don’t like people touching me so hugging is a big no no, unless you know me very well.

rojo's avatar

mine is around two feet, unless we are getting physical.
more in back, 3 -4 feet, I don’t like having people behind me
or having my back to a door or window.
I can tolerate close quarters, such as elevators, for short periods but prefer to be at the back if possible.

JLeslie's avatar

Depends on how much space is available. Also, depends on whether I know you. Another factor is whether we are side by side or face to face.

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