Americans and personal space

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  1. I was recently in Europe, and I noticed that when I was standing in line, people were RIGHT behind me, like a space of two inches. When I would move forward an inch to give myself some room, the person behind me would move forward too!! If I turned around and gave them a look to back off, they looked confused.
    My husband said that Americans need more personal space than a lot of other cultures, and sure enough I googled it and that seems to be the case! Does anyone have experience feeling this way? And if you're not originally from the US, did you have to adjust to how close/far away you stand and or sit from others? I find this whole subject fascinating!
     
  2. Yes, I had a similar experience in London. It was during the Olympics and people were everywhere already, but for some reason I was always annoyingly shoulder to shoulder with people and looking for openings then realized it was me.
     
  3. I'm Canadian and lots of other fellow Canadians I know don't know what personal space is. A lot of the times at the store they are usually breathing down my neck.
     
  4. Yes I'm living in Mexico and people are always getting way to close even yelling right behind me its so annoying.
     
  5. Yes I really believe that its an American thing, I go to Europe and people kiss on the cheek a lot...I don't remember the last time I gave someone a kiss on the cheek :blah:
     
  6. In France people tend to stand very close to one one another, probably just in case someone tries to take their place....and it happens unfortunately....
    I remember the last time I went to the pharmacy, the man waiting behind me was so close that when he saw what I was buying he exclaimed " Oh my God, don't buy this, I have been seriously allergic to it and nearly died!"
    The pharmacist went into a rage " Sir, I will ask you to leave immediately"
    And he did....
     
  7. I keep people at arm's length ... literally. And I have long arms. Get too close and you'll probably have to bend down and pick something up that you were carrying.

    If there are more than a couple of people in a checkout line, I'll go wander around the store some more until the lines go down. If that doesn't work, I'll keep my cart behind me, then set the space in front of me.
     
  8. I think personal space is a distance of 18 inches. I read that somewhere a long time ago, and I am very good with that.
     
  9. Yes, that's where I was! I hated how close people stood to me.
     



  10. Yeah! I hate it even more when they haven't even taken a shower! :yucky:
     
  11. Yes, it's a North American thing, so both Americans and Canadians. If you think Europe is bad, try Asia! Asian countries are heavily populated, so it's practically impossible to have the same kind of personal space in public places. If you're not in that empty spot, someone else will be.
     
  12. I've never heard or even thought about this - Interestingly im from UK !
     
  13. Oh yes! I've never traveled internationally, but I know when I'm in a place where there are lots of international tourists, such as Disneyland, some of them get unbelievably close in line. It's really hard to not get annoyed or feel violated. The only reason I knew it was a cultural thing was bc my friend who travels a lot explained it to me. I would have thought they were just horribly rude inpatient people all over! It's hard for me to imagine to even want to be so close to all those strangers!
     
  14. I think it also varies within countries. I live in a rural area in UK and personal space is respected, I do notice that in London, not so much. Mind you, I used to travel on the Central Line in rush hour, I'm sure there are some here who know what that does to your personal space!
     
  15. I prefer lots of personal space. there are a lot of people from other countries where I live, so I run into the annoying person standing thisclose behind me in line frequently. I have noticed it in europe, but I agree that the lack of personal space in asia is INSANE.