Communication rules: personal area

The personal area covers a range of 60 to 150 cm, which is the usual distance during communication. The convergence of partners within these borders and, consequently, the reduction of distance (say, from 100 to 60 cm) indicates a close degree of familiarity and sympathy. This zone is for friends, relatives, sometimes colleagues. 

Communication rules: personal area


If, for some reason, these boundaries are violated by outsiders (for example, on the bus), and they are introduced into our outwardly manifested personal or even intimate zone, this leads to a strange phenomenon: we treat these individuals as persona non grata. The reason is simple: we have to resort to defensive measures to cope with the discomfort. We become motionless, our muscles tense, and we fix our gaze on a distant point to avoid eye contact. In part, we learn this way of behavior from childhood, and depending on the characteristics of the national culture, it can wear different shades. By the way, if we turn sideways to our communication partner, the personal zone narrows. In this zone, we can also have private conversations without feeling embarrassed.

Translated from German and processed by and. Yegorov (aka_silikus)