Do you feel uncomfortable when someone stands too close to you?

What will you do if someone stands too close to yo - A picture of no standing too close to strangers.
Singapore
April 6, 2007 1:52pm CST
Today is Good Friday and I met up with some friends for lunch. None of us is a Christian so we were just taking the opportunity to catch up. I took the train to my destination and it was quite a crowd. It is a public holiday and the people in Singapore seem to be out in full force. I managed to find a corner in the train to lean against. In front of me was a pair of middle-age men. They were standing such that both their left sides were facing me. They do not know each other. If you can let loose your imagination a little, you would be able to picture the scene quite well. Both were facing towards my left, and the front of the guy at the back was literally inches from the back of the guy in front. The one behind was just clutching his cell phone and looking around aimlessly. The one in front was reading an unfolded newspaper, and he was struggling to keep his stability in the moving train. They were already so close such that any sudden jolt of the train might cause them to collide. And it almost happened once - and that was the one and only time. The one behind poked the one in front and demanded that he move away from him. That "poor guy" was so embarrassed that he quickly moved a few steps away. Do you feel uncomfortable when someone stands too close to you? If you were in such a situation as above, would you ask that person to move away? Or would you just keep quiet and pray that he would not brush or fall against you? Or.. ? And would the gender of either or both of you be a factor for consideration? Do share your thoughts. ;-)
49 people like this
141 responses
@Ravenladyj (22994)
• United States
6 Apr 07
I cant stand when strangers stand too close to me and whats worse is if I'm in a "trapped" situation (like on a bus, trolly, subway in a crowded setting etc) then I CAN (but dotn always) go into full blown panic and claustraphobia kicks in etc....its not a pretty scene at all...and its an even worse feeling...
7 people like this
@Ravenladyj (22994)
• United States
6 Apr 07
And actually there are times when I cant handle even ppl I know including my kids and husband standing too close to me...its rare that I have days like that but they do happen...
5 people like this
• Singapore
6 Apr 07
I do hope you don't go kicking and punching people in public though. :P
6 people like this
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
6 Apr 07
As long as they are clean and weare on public transport it is no problem for them to stand close. I am a social person and meeting new people is a nice thing for me. Sometimes people feel invaded however when I am in public I know it is social time. Time to be on my best behavior also. I would communicate and see where that would lead. I would hope that we all could be on our best behavior while in public and have much more tolerance.
6 people like this
• Singapore
6 Apr 07
You are really fascinating. :P
5 people like this
@greengal (4288)
• United States
6 Apr 07
Yes I do, I am one who is concerned about proximity levels and don't like it when strangers are breathing down my neck..you know what I mean..lol Luckily for me I haven't had such experiences cause where I stay we don't have the train services, so no crowds, commute is always by car. If I were to be in such a situation I would probably try to find a better place to stand or sit. The only time my hubby and I travelled in a crowded train was when we went to Boston and at one station the train was jam packed, I was against the window and hubby was in front of me so I had no 'stranger' issues.
6 people like this
• Singapore
6 Apr 07
Yes I know what you mean... I am a guy and I hate it when people come so close already. You are a green gal! So I can understand. :P
5 people like this
@kgwat70 (13417)
• United States
6 Apr 07
This is a very good question as me and my coworkers had this situation months ago with a student. She would always get up really close to you. It was almost like she was right on top of us. It was very annoying and uncomfortable. If we took a step back, she would step right back in front of you. Sometimes a person may do it because their hearing is bad. It could also be that the person likes you. The only person that I would want really close to me would be my girlfriend or wife if I had one. Everyone else needs to keep some space.
6 people like this
• Singapore
6 Apr 07
Oh my friend, I literally laugh out loud when I read the "right on top of us". :P And I do agree that everyone needs their space. I want my personal space too.
5 people like this
@wolfie34 (26868)
• United Kingdom
6 Apr 07
I hate those sorts of situations, I get claustophobic and thankfully don't tend to use the tubes like I did in the past, commuting was awful because you were packed in like sardines and you were all squashed up against each other. I hate my personal space being invaded and yes I do feel uncomfortable, I would say something if the person knocked into me and the same would apply to both male and female.
6 people like this
@freak369 (4370)
• United States
6 Apr 07
I need my p[ersonal space; if someone is in that space I get really irked and move. Even family members know this and if they crowd me, I let them know to back off. I have always been like this, must have been something that happened when I was a kid :]
6 people like this
@wachit14 (3603)
• United States
6 Apr 07
I agree with you. I think too many people disregard other people's personal space. I don't like anyone standing too close to me for any reason and I am always amazed at how perturbed other people get whan I ask them to move. At the very least, I will make an attempt myself to move away hoping they will take the hint that they are invading someone else's personal space.
6 people like this
@jamie622 (508)
• India
6 Apr 07
I am not too concerned if someone stands too close to me if he is not trying to be notorious or touch the restricted parts . Infact I like the different smells of people as they come close . Existence of a life close to my body is comforting in the sense that for a moment you are less lonely . I certainly understand if there is too little space in the bus . I realise that balancing is equally difficult for the other person .
• Canada
6 Apr 07
All people have there comfort zone in which the feel comfortable with the person being in if peopel get too close or in that zone then the person starts to back off without realising it unless that persoen want them ther eliek a g/f or lover. When this happens the other person will do what the other person asks or wants soemtimes it take a while for it to happen other it does not. It is all human nature.
5 people like this
• Philippines
6 Apr 07
No, I will never be comfortable if somebody will be standing too close to me in a train. Even if I will be with my kids, I will not desire it. When a jolt will happen as you pointed out, we will collide with each other and bumps might take place. That will be hurting both me and the one who bumped into me...how undesirable. Neither will I welcome the thought of bodies brushing from time to time. No one will be able to stand up with sufficient stability whether in trains or in buses. Swaying bodies will be brushing one against the other, no one can help it from happening. Even in the church when I attend Sunday service, I can feel the body heat of the person next to me if we are seated too close. I don't like the feeling at all although, there are separate seats for men and women.
• Singapore
6 Apr 07
:/
2 people like this
• United States
6 Apr 07
I don't have a problem with people I don't know standing to close to me no matter the gender. In crowded situations it is almost inevitable that by chance someone is going brush against you, bump into you, be rude and push you out of the way, or have some sort of funky smell to them. I just smile and ignore them for the most part unless they make it a thing to be rude and obnoxious. Than I be rude and obnoxious back to them. :) I may be the shy type, but don't take kindly to being disrespected.
• Singapore
6 Apr 07
I just can't help conjuring an image of you smiling at people when everyone is crowding against you. They might be turning around and thinking you are some devilish gal! J/K :P
4 people like this
@winterose (39928)
• Canada
6 Apr 07
here the buses and trains are crowded most of the time and we have to live with people being to close. My son refuses to go on them because he can't stand it. I don't like it feel uncomfortable as I need my space but I will do it because I have to.
4 people like this
• United States
7 Apr 07
I live in a large city and have great difficulty with the closeness. I go out of my way to avoid it because I will put me in a bad mood. So, I, like your son, know what I can handle. I am going to New York next month and I know that I must be tolerate, so I am preparing myself. Ugh!
2 people like this
@charms88 (7547)
• Philippines
6 Apr 07
I'm a woman and I try to keep a little distance with anyone. If someone especially a guy is standing near me, I tend to back away a little or try to bring up my purse to cover myself. I had countless of unpleasant experiences in riding the public train. Most of them will intentionally bumped into me or do something else. I think I stopped riding the train 2 years ago. I rather drive my own car than to meet some jerks.
• Singapore
6 Apr 07
I understand..
3 people like this
@GardenGerty (70624)
• Marion, Kansas
6 Apr 07
Well, we do not have public transport where I live. I might have tried to turn sideways, or moved myself. I certainly would not stand too close if I had a choice. I think different cultures have different standards as to what is too close. I try not to go to places that are too crowded, they just make me creepy.
@all4ucnc (861)
• United States
6 Apr 07
If it bothers me then I myself try to move else where. unless the guy is standing on my feet or actually touching me, then I probaly wouldn't say a word.
@gabs8513 (48830)
• United Kingdom
6 Apr 07
In that sort of Dilema no I wouldn't as it is unavoidable and not intentional there was nothing the poor Guy could do and on public Transport it is awkard anyway
4 people like this
• United States
6 Apr 07
I feel very uncomfortable when certain people stand close to me. Sometimes I will pick up a "bad vibe" from a person, I just get the feeling that they are moving towards me in a threatening manner and I get prepared. Standing on a street corner or on a subway I am uncomfortable with people too close to me but I normally don't do anything about it, unless I get that "bad vibe". If I am too uncomfortable, I will just move away rather than confront anybody.
3 people like this
• Tanzania
6 Apr 07
Just pray to the Lord make sure that kind of devil spirit is away from you,why you feel that way.Before i proceed let me tell ask you some thing,if they told you they feel very uncomfortable when you draw near to them how you feel?Do to others as you like it be done to you.So make a change.Nothing is impossible under the sun.
2 people like this
• Singapore
7 Apr 07
I am not there so I don't know if you might possibly be... over-reacting? Or are you so highly empathetic that you can pick up bad vibes from someone. Either is possible so I guess only you know yourself. All the best..
1 person likes this
@yanjiaren (9050)
6 Apr 07
It is so hard..I used to be packed like a sardine on the greek buses years ago when I lived in Athens for a year..and I was only in my early twenties too..These middle aged morond..in greek we call then yerobisbikides..would on purpuse try to rub 'their bit's against young women like me..well once I did such a karate chop on someones two little b_lls that I don't think he ever would have pulled that stunt again..the dirty old b_gger!1 Excuse my french!! You reminded me of it!1 So since then I am a bit wary and try to dins a place where it isn't too crowded to avoid the perverts!!
• Singapore
6 Apr 07
Aw.. that is sick of them.. to take advantage of barbie this way. *humph!*
2 people like this
• United States
6 Apr 07
yeah i don't like when anyone stands too close to me. If there's room, i would just step away a little bit. If we are in a crowded space then you just have to deal with it.
@Shaun72 (15972)
• Palatka, Florida
6 Apr 07
I know I would feel very uncomfortable and I would try to move if I could away from him. That has to be hard while the train is moving though. i have only been on one train and that was when I was in kindergarden so that was almost 30 years ago. I bet you were glad when the this ride was over.