Etiquette expert Ellen Reddick shares some tips for maintaining personal space. Anyone in a public space, grocery store, work or public transportation can be annoyed when their privacy and personal space is invaded. It is very important to remember your etiquette and people skills when dealing with others in public spaces. One of the easiest mistakes to make during any encounter is to misjudge how much space the other person needs. Below are some suggestions to determine one's personal space.
Helpful zones to determine personal space:
- The intimate zone (0-18 inches) is reserved for family, loved ones and animals. Within this zone we embrace, touch or whisper. This close contact is appropriate only for very personal relationships.
- The close personal zone (1.5-2 feet) is the 'bubble' most people in the United States like to keep around us. This zone is used for interactions among friends or familiar and trusted business partners.
- A far personal zone (2-4 feet) is for interactions we prefer to conduct 'at arms length' and in this zone we can communicate interest without the commitment of touching.
- The social zone (4-12 feet) is most appropriate for the majority of most daily interactions. It is where we interact with new acquaintances or at more formal social affairs.
- The public zone (over 12 feet) is mostly used for public gatherings.
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