View Full Version : People standing too close?

09-19-05, 12:13 AM
I have a really hard time with people standing too close to me. I like a lot of distance when im talking to someone, more than most people and sometimes a lot more depending on my mood.
It doesnt make me uncomfortable, just really irrtated.

Anyone else need a lot of personal space?

Trooper Keith
09-19-05, 12:43 AM
Personally, I prefer to be in closer quarters, but these things are matters of personal and cultural preference. In the Eastern European countries, conversations are often held within 2 feet of one another, while in the United States, 3 feet of distance between speakers is typical for intimate conversation. I like to be right around 2.5 feet for intimate conversation. From a historic survivalistic perspective, this close range is very indicative of trust, as an individual in that close range will be generally surprised by an unforeseen attack from the person with whom he's speaking...individuals who prefer longer distances are indicative of less trust. For this reason, individualistic cultures (where the individual is emphasized, rather than the group, such as the United States, England, France, etc. ) tend to stand far apart, where collectivist cultures (where the individual is less important than the group, such as China, Japan, Cuba and Socialist states) tend to stand closer to one another.

09-19-05, 12:44 AM
My sense of personal space has become pretty plastic after living in countries with very different cultural norms for appropriate space (Panama and Japan).

I think North American space falls between the two, but depending on the context I feel comfortable with all three.

Another one is how much time you can allow a silence to last during conversation. By my observations, that time span is pretty short for North Americans.

09-19-05, 02:01 AM
i dont think its mistrust. I am not afraid of the person im talking to or what they might do, I just dont like being that close to people..personal preference I guess. Sometimes I can sit really close to people I know, close people, but I hate public transit becuase of the close courters with complete strangers,
Sometimes it doesnt bother me much, othertimes I just want scream when someone is close to me...
I dont think its really cultural either becuase its so on and off and 3 feet is usually just too close for me.

09-19-05, 05:35 AM
I have a really hard time with people standing too close to me. I like a lot of distance when im talking to someone, more than most people and sometimes a lot more depending on my mood.
It doesnt make me uncomfortable, just really irrtated.

Anyone else need a lot of personal space?
I can relate to what you are saying wheresmykeys!

I feel my space is invaded if people come too close to me! ; I then feel aggitated and uncomfortable... and especially if someone was to touch me unexpectedly!

'Arms reach', it needs to be!, unless i make the initiative, to be closer, then i can feel comfortable with the situation ; Having said that, i'm a very touchy feely type person...
My senses of touch, smell and hearing are quite strong...
Do other ADDers find their senses are more intense, than non-ADDers explain theirs to be?
*I can hear things and smell things, non-ADDers take a time to sense.*


09-19-05, 08:20 AM
For most interactions, my personal space is within the 4 to 6 foot range. I can't STAND for people to be any closer than that. Heck, there are times that even my family/loved ones can't come any closer. If it doesn't agitate me, I find I'm consumed with a claustrophobic sensation that can cause me to panic. This especially happens in a crowded store or an elevator, etc. There are times that I can handle a more intimate interaction with coworkers/strangers but more often than not, it's in the other person's best interests to keep their distance (I can give the look of death and carry a sharp tongue...beware :D).

I am very tactilely stimulated and it is NOT wise to touch me without giving some type of warning or social cue...not that this matters when I'm in one of those, "leave me alone/do not touch me" moods. There have been many unfortunate people that have come up behind me or have touched me without warning. I'm really not a pleasant person when that happens (not that I'm usually pleasant :p). Given the right situation, I can be VERY touchy feely. In fact, when I'm stable and feeling comfortable, I not only WANT to be touched or snuggled, I crave/HAVE to be touched or snuggled.

So yes, my senses are VERY strong. I hear, feel, see, and smell things that others cannot. My sense of taste was damaged from years of "I don't care if you like it, there are children in other countries that are starving and would be glad to eat it." Gotta love the depression generation :)

09-19-05, 08:32 AM
I have a really hard time with people standing too close to me. I like a lot of distance when im talking to someone, more than most people and sometimes a lot more depending on my mood.
It doesnt make me uncomfortable, just really irrtated.

Anyone else need a lot of personal space?

Oh yes, I'm the some way

09-19-05, 02:00 PM
I also need lots of personal space. My therapist tells me it's a sensory thing.

My biggest thing about the space issue is when I am in a line to check out of the store and the person behind me is getting too close and making me feel crowded. What? They think someone's gonna run up and cut in front of them?

09-19-05, 02:04 PM
I am like this too. I don't like, when people are standing close to me.

09-19-05, 02:06 PM
OH my gosh, lineups are the worst! Why do people behind always have to stand so close!! I cant think about anything else when they do that, but if I move up I'm then too close the person in front and the one behind will just move up anyway. AHHHH!!

ANd yes, I crave being touched or being close to someone at times..I'm very touchy feely..which makes it kind of hard to explain why I can't stand someone being that close to me.

I guess I have to be in a certain mind set that pre-ok's it to myself.. "this person can sit this close to me" ..otherwise no dice.

I have strong senses as well, I am always picking up on things otheres arent...but at the same time there is the occasion where others pick up on things i don't, so I don't know. I am the only one that gets distracted when I pick up on them though:P

09-19-05, 02:57 PM
hey i hate people standing to close to me there in my personal space.

09-19-05, 03:01 PM
hey i hate people standing to close to me there in my personal space.
Me too unless they are naked attractive women ;-) As if that's going to happen?

I hope this doesn't offend, it wasn't meant to.

Best wishes,


09-19-05, 03:10 PM
vic you are so funny.lololololololol

09-19-05, 03:32 PM

I'm the same way. I don't like people in my personal space when I'm having a conversation, especially when I'm being serious about a topic. I need them to be at least arms lengths away.....Deb

09-19-05, 04:47 PM
Me too unless they are naked attractive women ;-) As if that's going to happen?

I hope this doesn't offend, it wasn't meant to.

Best wishes,


Lmao,,, I agree 100%!!

I always feel claustraphobic when in stores and too close to most people unless of course,,, they are someone I really want close. Even my kids sometimes get too close. My babies are very clingy at times and it is all good but sometimes,,,,, I need my space so they know all about mommies bubble space. Please step away from the bubble. By the way the bubble is not my butt lol although my son likes to sleep on my butt because he says it is like a pillow. Ok I am sliding off topic here lol

09-20-05, 12:58 AM
wheresmykeys, I am some-timey when conversing with people also depending on mood when having conversations..
but generally I am very cuddly and will most likely initiate a pardon me if we should ever meet! :)

There are a few other things that are subject related I'd like to throw in.....the first is that I find it VERY uncomfortable for a man to come up to me when I am pregnant and put his hands on my belly without asking first....a big no no. I've noticed that women usually ask first, I don't mean to categorize...just noting my experience.

I have a sister in law who likes to give full body hugs that last at least 30 seconds and that is also very uncomfortable. If I am clung to I can feel like the poor kitty with pepe le pu very quickly.

I'd like to agree with KMiller in that I believe a lot of space related behaviors are cultural as well as generation related. I have noticed that many older men who have daughters like to come up to me and hold my face in their hands while kissing me on the forhead. I have seen my own father do this! We are in the deep south and that may play a part...not sure.

I also notice that Greek men never mind coming into my very close space and kissing me on the cheeks or beside my mouth while holding my face still.

I don't ever mind this type of affection because it feels very natural coming from these particular individuals.

09-20-05, 03:09 AM
This is MY dance space ...... This is YOUR dance space
I prefer most people stay out of my dance space.
For the simple reason my minds in different places at the same time.
And that unexpected tap or touch scares me.
I had no idea it was coming, I wasn't paying attention.
It's also a distraction during a conversation.

But hugs and kisses for Hello's and Goodbye's are fine.
And cuddling with the one's I love that's all good.

09-21-05, 08:11 PM
This is MY dance space ...... This is YOUR dance spaceI laughed when I read this because I use this line ALL THE TIME!

Also, I am NOT a cuddly person & that is one of my husband's biggest complaints. I am always telling him to get off me already! Also, I am not overly huggy with my kids. I was very affectionate with them when they were babies but I have to make a concerted effort to be that way with them now that they aren't crawling all over me anymore.

09-29-05, 07:46 PM
I hate it when people stand too close, breath right on top of me or stare at me intensely

09-29-05, 07:47 PM
forgot to mention I was at times an overly affectionate kid towards people and animals alike

09-29-05, 08:22 PM
I am different with different people.
But I have a friend who is very like this. I can tell just where the edge of his space is, as he instantly moves away when you reach it, at about 4-6 feet. When I touch him unless he sees it coming, he physically flinches away, sometimes even moving several feet. Hugs are hard for him. Interesting, because he does not think of himself as an ADD person!
(yet has many many traits)

10-05-05, 10:54 AM
One of the info sites, it might have been, mentions "boundary respect" as symptomatic of ADD. I have always been this way, even to the point that coworkers forgot I was there.

10-05-05, 11:05 AM
My second daughter drives me nuts because she likes to be extemely close to people. Actually she likes to lean on me wherever we are and I like personal space. As long as I know that people are going to be close I can handle it as long as they are not brushing into me all of the time. I'm very reactive to touch so someone brushing against me makes me angry because it feels bad.

10-05-05, 11:54 AM
I'm the same way.....this morning a coworker came up to me to tell me something....the first thing I did was to step backwards a couple feet.....I feel uncomfortable when my personal space is invaded.....

I don't like it when I'm around the "close talkers"...:D


10-06-05, 01:45 AM
I too have some problems with being clung too.I have to allow myself to be loved and loved on.I have to make a effort at it.
Its a binding feeling for me.Short brief hugs and kisses are fine for me.

I also have a very hard time being in a close space with men.They always seem to invade my space.Even in a line in a gas station is a big worry for me.Just happened today.
I could feel him on my back and smell his breath!It made me sick to my stomach!I wanted to run out the door leaving my purchases.I dont feel that anyone should touch you if they dont know you unless its a handshake or a fast hug for greeting someone you know.

It always happens every time I go somewhere it seems.I dont go out with my girls very much because of it.
My hubby asked me why I just kept walking when this man in a parking lot kept mam,mam,mam,just one minute.......

I said its because men dont know how to act around me.They get real stupid and that can be scary.
So,no.I dont like to be touched at all.Any way shape or form.
I am very friendly and if I invite you in for a hug then thats what Im intending.Other than that,HANDS OFF!!!!!!

12-11-07, 08:58 AM
I hate it when people are in my space. but im very clingy to some people.

12-11-07, 02:22 PM
me to i have this same problem

Matt S.
12-11-07, 02:28 PM
It makes me irritable when people invade my 'bubble'. It is as if I can feel their energy or something.

12-11-07, 03:51 PM
Right brain function controls sensory input from 12" from your body and further away. Left brain function controls sensory input within 12" of your body. Add'rs are typically right brain dominate. Get with in my 12" inches and you risk seeing my ugly side.

12-11-07, 04:18 PM
I don't like total strangers up in my space. I hate lines and when I have to sit in like a waiting room, movie theater, or airport situation I always try to keep al least a seat between myself and people I don't know.
I'm also leery of getting too close to strangers because I catch colds, etc way too easily.

Sometimes I don't want anyone very close to me at all. Sometimes I'm all about hugs and patting people on the back or shoulder and such.

I'm so inconsistent with everything. :P Almost every question about me can be best answered by "it depends on what mood I'm in" or "depends how I'm feeling right then."

12-11-07, 09:15 PM
I hate lines too especially when I have someone with either a very loud voice or someone who breathes on me....EWWW:eek:


Irish Mermaid
12-13-07, 07:20 PM
Ugh, people crowding me from behind in lines make me so uncomfortable. Why must they stand so close when we're not moving? It's beyond me. I've developed a strategy where I'll put my hand on my hip so my elbow is bent and then half-turn so it bumps the person behind me and then fake apologize very sweetly. The implication of course being that if they hadn't been so close in the first place, they wouldn't have gotten whacked!

Oh, and LOL on the "dance space" - I use that one too, to try and nicely let someone know they're too close. It's especially effective on an actual dance floor if you find yourself fast-dancing with someone you don't know very well that you don't necessarily want to offend but aren't quite ready to share breathing space with yet.

12-13-07, 07:54 PM
I also seem to need more personal space than anyone else I know. I too get uncomfortable when others crowd me in a checkout line or place like that - especially if they are wearing perfume or aftershave or anything else like that as I'm very sensitive to those. I've always preferred to sleep alone, don't want anyone touching me while I'm trying to sleep.