I just can’t stand people who get into my space

Personal space is the invisible border that surrounds us and sets our comfort level when we interact.

Do you have a neighbour who plays loud music late at night? Do you have a colleague who has a habit of slapping your back when talking? Do you have a friend or sibling who “borrows” your clothes without asking? These are just a few ways through which personal space is violated. The golden rule of social behaviour is ‘thou shall not transgress thy neighbor’s personal space’, yet I see people intruding other people’s personal space. If you want to see me fly off the handle, try invading my personal space.

Here are a few personal space rules that Kenyans keep breaking.

Asking for hugs

Asking “where is my hug” seems to be the standard greeting in Kenya. Hugs are great but you should never ask a person you are not well acquainted with for a hug. It is creepy

By moving in for a hug you are getting too close for comfort.

Playing loud music

Someone once said that if we all liked the same sounds, noise would not be a problem. What is music to your ears, your neighbour might consider a nuisance. When you live in an apartment building with other people, you’re bound to encounter at least one tenant who is a bit noisier than the rest and there is nothing as grating as excessively loud music especially late at night. People who play loud music are invading your personal space and shouldn’t be tolerated.

Cutting in line

Other than having to deal with the fact that you have to wait longer because an entitled idiot has cut the line in front of you! You have the added discomfort of someone squeezing in front of you or behind you and you can feel their body next to yours. Eeew.

Going through another person’s belongings

You should never ever go through someone’s belongings without their permission. It doesn’t matter the relationship you have with that person. It is rude, disrespectful and a total violation of their personal privacy. Do not go through their purse, snoop through their phone or read anyone’s diary.

Reaching for someone’s child, regardless of the intention.

I have a friend who likes to pick up random kids and hold them because she finds kids cute. Even though most parents don’t say anything, they don’t take it kindly. It is inappropriate and a violation of personal space. Ditto for pets.