In 2022, we are still discussing personal space and boundaries. Why? After all we have seen and heard about people's cleanliness. It seems ridiculous that during and post the COVID-19 scare, back the f&^ck up is still a common phrase. Actually more common than I remember before COVID-19. What sent me on this rant? This woman (White) tried to touch my hair like I have a sign that says free petting. Before I go into my rant, I would like to explain how boundaries work for the people who are new here and refuse to understand.
A boundary is an invisible bubble we create around ourselves. A comfort zone, if you will. It is instinctively created by our familiarity with our surroundings and the people in them. For example, I can be in a familiar place with familiar people and still have a very large bubble due to my feelings about said people. I can also be in a slightly less familiar environment with differently familiar people and allow all of them to be much closer in my personal space. A boundary for a person or a group of people is not set in stone, and it may change as the feelings for the people or the area change.
The unwritten rules are very murky, and they may, at times, be difficult to understand. I have appointed myself the “Clearer Up of Personal Space Confusion!" I am here to explain the rules of the bubble, how to determine where the bubble of the people around you sits, and where you, at any point in time, may position yourself in or out of the bubble.
I will not act as the ambassador for all bubbles, I will speak only of mine. I ask that you learn from my rules and govern yourselves accordingly to avoid being flogged or hurting your feelings.
Rule 1. My face will tell you everything about how much personal space you should allow me. My advice would be if my nostrils are flared and my eyes are aggressively squinting, do not approach, or stay as far back as possible to complete your task. Any violation of this very simple rule may result in hurt feelings or physical harm.
Rule 2. Be cognizant of the nostrils and eyes at all times. Don’t confuse a normal nostril for the person next to you as permission to approach. The nonverbal clues are individually sent. Please watch for your own.
Rule 3. Let me approach you if you are confused in any way, shape, form, or fashion about where you are allowed in my personal space. I will watch you and your non-verbal clues. We can compromise on a comfortable space between our comfort zones. I assure you the comfort zone will be the farthest from my personal space as possible.
The most important takeaway from this is if you don’t know where the line between my comfort with you and the danger zone is, give me at least six feet. Six feet is a safe zone because you never know a person's mental state. I tend to stay on 10 in public since people still need reminders of PERSONAL SPACE.