Today I’d like to talk about space invaders. No, not the old school video game, but people who can’t seem to recognize personal space boundaries. I’m sure you know the ones who can’t seem to get close enough to you when they have something to say, the ones that are always up in your face in a conversation that is not meant to be an intimate one. For example, I have a coworker who shall remain nameless. She’s the sweetest woman ever, but she’s constantly invading other people’s space. Just this morning a group of us were in the hallway outside of my office talking and she walks up on me and starts sniffing my neck. She caught me off guard and I moved away. She then started complimenting me on my perfume. Ok, I’m fine with the fact that you think I smell good. I smell good everyday, but was it necessary for you to come up all on my neck as if you were about to kiss me? This wasn’t the first time I’ve had problems with her. She’s definitely one of those touchy-feely people, but when I think I’m finally getting used to her being that way, she does something else to further invade my space.
Not only is it an annoyance to deal with space invaders in a work environment, there are those times when you’re out in public and have to deal with complete strangers. Most people who know me, know that I hate public transportation with a passion. When I lived the NYC Metro area, the one thing I did not look forward to was commuting on a train or bus. I seemed to have a stamp on my forehead that said, “Hey Stranger, come sit next to me and invade my space”. I always had that one person who wanted to sit next to me and hold a conversation or lean over and try to read my newspaper or magazine with me. There were several times I had to either give someone the evil eye or come out and ask them if I could help them with something.
I like my space. I hate space invaders.
Don’t breathe too close to me. Don’t walk too close to me. Don’t talk too close in my face. If you need to find out what perfume I’m wearing, don’t take it upon yourself to smell my neck. If you happen to like my hair, don’t take it upon yourself to reach out and touch it, because you might draw back a nub. If I could find one of those bubbles from The Boy In The Plastic Bubble, I’d proudly wear one.
Have you ever had your space obnoxiously invaded by someone? How did you handle the situation?