I just remembered an incident from a dark time long ago. I am someone who appreciates a bigger private space than most other people do. In the bodily sense. I detest strangers coming too close. When I was younger and didn’t know as much about myself as I do now, people crossing that line provoked a bodily reaction. The way I learned that fact about myself was interesting and surprising to me. In a big hall a group of people was stood opposite me, the distance between us streching the entire big hall. Slowly, every individual was asked to come closer one by one and step by step and I had the opportunitiy to stop them, where- and whenever I felt the distance between us appropriate and comfortable. That way I learned, that the comfortable distance between strangers I am indifferent about and me is about 15 to 25 meters. People I like on first sight I am comfortable with up to a maximum of five meters. I suppose, only loved ones are welcome any closer. Oh, but someone I dislike best stays out of my sight all together. One woman, I recall, I asked to leave the hall. What a relieve. That little experiment was invaluable to me. Given, I still cross my arms most of the time when in company. But at least I am able to give people a chance to reveal themselves as likeable rather than investing all my energy into defending my territory. Plus, ever since then I understood, why people used to call me arrogant and off-standish that often.


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