I think people should have this invisible force field around them. The shield acts like a guardian of sorts–keeping nosy people, splayed arms and legs at bay.
I hated it when people invade my space. I hung out with a girl who has a tendency to encroach on my space, like my work desk and my PC and it bugs the hell out of me. I mean, yeah — we might be friends but kindly step away from my desk, put down my mouse and no one gets hurt.
I don’t know if it’s fine with her–but it’s not fine with ME. The sharing of the miniscule office space because she kept reaching for my stuff. The unnecessary bumping against each other, the fact that she’s using MY stuff, on MY desk. Yeah, granted she said so and she asked permission. But how do you tell someone to leave your stuff alone, that you’re NOT comfortable with people invading your personal and professional space. That you tend to evolve (devolve???) to a crazy bitch when people touch your stuff and you can’t tell them to back off?
Whenever someone tends to overstep their boundaries (perceived by me, not by them) I get agitated. It’s like I want to tell them to stop — maintain the spaces between us, and please FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, do not be touchy-feely with me, especially if we are not close. When people start patting my back, holding my arm–and we’ve met like five minutes ago I start getting uncomfortable and aloof. Call me crazy, but unless this person has seen me cry or throw up, I’d like to keep a respectable distance if possible. I don’t want them going through my stuff–or hugging me, for Christ sakes.
Years of being annoyingly paranoid about these “space invaders” allowed me to label them based on their various offense:
a) the body snatchers – they stand a few millimeters away from you when they talk, like you were two spies plotting the end of the world. normal behavior suggests you speak within a respectable distance away from each other, but the body snatcher seemed to relish the feel of the tip of your nose grazing the tip of his nose.God bless your soul should the body snatcher call you for a one-on-one discourse on your department’s strategic plan and he just had shawarma for lunch. I had the misfortune of working with a body snatcher before: the girl stands so close to me I am tempted to LOUDLY swear my allegiance to my sexual preference and my utmost loyalty to my husband, lest we were mistaken as making out.
b) the archeologists – these tend to pick-up your stuff (at your desk! on your work area!) and scrutinize them–holding them up before setting them down (most likely where it’s NOT previously located). Like archeologists digging through the Great Pyramids of Egypt, they have this belief that they are bound to found something (anything!) interesting in your work area–like Tutankhamun’s tomb perhaps? So, they go through your manga-action figure display, the piles of documents you have yet to study, as well as the piles of books on your table. These archeologists are like Robert Ackley, Holden Caulfield’s room mate at Pency.
c) the divers – the divers are the opposite of the archeologists. They like digging through your bag, hoping to find something interesting. I don’t know if you’ve encountered someone like this, but I went to university with a girl who kept on saying, “can I see your bag?” See what?
I am sure there’s many others who revel in a perceived relationship or friendship with people. But like what they always say, “never overstay your welcome”. Learn to respect personal boundaries. You never know when this will be finally over.