Dealing With Someone’s Personal Bubble
Personally, I’m sure that one of the aspects of Human Communication that I excel at the most is the Human Touch. At this point, my own bubble is basically gone. However, almost everyone you meet will have some idea with how comfortable they are with people and their personal space. But while everyone will have a different sized bubble, it’s not a difficult process to pick upon what they’re comfortable with once you get an idea of what you’re looking for. However, it’ll take a bit of tweaking, and you’ll have to of course experiment with what your comfortable with in order to decipher your own bubble. Honestly, that needs to come first, if only for the shear fact that until you discover that, you’ll find it nearly impossible to figure out anyone else’s. But then, how would you discover what your comfortable with? More then that, how do you discover even the beginning steps of knowing where your bubble is? How do you learn to overcome your own bubble? Is there a solid exercise to help push the boundaries of a conversation a bit? In this short article, I’m going to explain exactly how to discover and deal with personal bubbles in conversation, because experimenting with them is awesome.
One of the biggest factors in how much personal space you have is actually incurred from your environment. Not in the same thought process of your house, but the culture you live in. Body Language is almost Universal, Personal Space is not. So if you’ve ever had an interaction with someone from another country who’s standing too close to you and it bothers you, now you know why. A perfect example of this is the cultural communication gap between Chinese and Americans. China’s populace have much smaller personal bubbles then Americans, and therefore often times stand much closer to each other while speaking. When you interact with someone who’s visiting over here or your over there, the interaction can get quite uncomfortable simply because neither quite recognizes where the others space is. It has nothing to do with a communication gap, it’s a personal bubble gap. Someone standing too close to you can quickly make you uncomfortable. At one point, I’m not entirely sure where I read it and I’ve had trouble tracking it down, is a note that American’s have amongsat the largest need for Personal Space on the planet, which to me makes absolute sense. Mainly because it gives you a solid playing ground for discovering how comfortable you are with your space.
Personally, the way I interact with people is a matter of making them curious about me while I discover things about them. I make myself mysterious and relate to what they’re telling me, while at the same time only bringing up aspects of myself known when it’s relevant. However, this gave me a lot of play while discovering body language. I was able to fully analyze how I was feeling in different conversations, standing at different positions and different distances from people, so in a way, this was my way of discovering and challenging my personal bubble. I now have a clear picture of where I’m comfortable, and often challenge myself to erode those lines so I can get comfortable in just about any position in a conversation. But after I’d discovered where I was, I also started to watch where other people would stand, how they would react to me moving into different positions, and realized that I had unintentionally discovered an exercise in which I could quickly solve how comfortable other people where in a situation like this.
So after you take some time and figure out where the extents of your personal bubble are, here’s what you do next. Continue to shift into different positions and location in a conversation. As you do so, you’ll be able to accomplish two things. Firstly, you can watch and analyze how they react, when do they step back? Why did they cross their arms? Is there a tiny bit of uncomfortability (thats a word right?) in their eyes? You quickly pick up where they are most comfortable with you standing. The Second is how much of an impact that words you’re saying are hitting them, in doing, courtship often involves moving in and out personal space to ramp up attraction through emotions. At the same time, When a boss is getting in your face and screaming at you, isn’t one of the big things that you can’t help but focus on is that fact that he’s so close to you while it’s happening? I use that same mentality if i’m trying to get through to someone. The closer you are to them while speaking, the deeper pings you’re going to hit. Learning people’s Personal Bubbles is a solid way to learn how to interact with them, because a lot more about who they are lies in how they move and act rather then what they’re saying.