Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What is your personal space expectation?

Do you know that each one of us have our own personal space expectation?

Each one of us have our own expectation of an appropriate interpersonal distance.

Personal space is the “invicible”, variable volume of space surrounding an individual that defines that individual’s preferred distance from others.

Do you ever wonder sometimes, why is it that you readily agreed to certain requests by certain people while you just as quickly turn down certain requests of others?

That is because your decisions may have been influenced by the conversational distance between them and you. Some of them might have invaded your personal space, while some might have approached you from just outside the range that you would have expected them to, hence, respecting your space.

The size and shape of our personal space depends on our cultural norms and individual preferences, but it’s always a compromise between the conflicting approach – avoidance needs that we as humans have for affiliation and privacy.

How does this expectation arise? 

Each time someone approaches us, we process the context, the type of relationship, and characteristics of the others automatically in the mind so that we are able to gauge what to expect that person will & should do.

Why is it important that we are aware of this..?

Violating another person’s interpersonal expectations can be a superior strategy to conformity. When the meaning of a violation is ambiguous, communicators with a high reward can enhance their attractiveness, credibility and persuasiveness by doing the unexpected. When the violation valence or reward valence is negative, they should act in a socially appropriate way.

You might be interested to check out my previous blog post below :

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