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How To Keep People Out Of Your Personal Space

How To Keep People Out Of Your Personal Space

For When People Stand Too Close 

By Sienna Day 

If we had no concept of personal space, that would be a problem for many people. Here are some ways to get people out of your personal space, and keep them out. 

Aww, just look at that adorable smile! Photo by Ricardo Esquivel. 

Personal space is a big deal in our culture. It keeps people from feeling uncomfortable, gives a little more privacy, and helps introverts move around society without having a panic attack. 

Adding spikes or something similarly dangerous to your attire can keep people far away. This is because, in case you didn’t know, most people don’t enjoy getting impaled by spikes. Of course, you may encounter exceptions, in which case they might need a hug (though make sure to take off the spikes before you hug them). 

For centuries, skunks have mastered the art of personal space by a method most of us wouldn’t use (even though it is extremely effective). Letting off a stench will let people know that you want personal space and have bad hygiene. To achieve an effective level of smell, I suggest eating one whole garlic clove a day or getting a pet skunk (which can be carried around in a fanny pack if you so desire). 

Wearing neon-colored clothing is perfect for blinding other people so they can’t even look at you. The only downsides I see to this are that you will have to avoid mirrors and be aware that people may walk into you after being blinded. 

 A unique way to help people realize how close they are. Photo by Alex Iby. 

Light-up signs are all the rage… or at least they should be. Even though they can be a little heavy to hold up, whether with your hands or attached to your back, they are totally worth it. You can put on quotes like “Get out of my bubble,” or “If you can read this I hope you step on a Lego.” 

Have you ever wanted a pet alligator, but never had a reason to buy one? Well, as it turns out, if you want personal space, these little guys can give it to you. Just train them to walk on a leash (has anyone seen the monitor lizard from “Jessie?”) and people will willingly steer clear from you. For an added bonus, name your scaly companion something like “Fang” or “Killer.” 

If you don’t mind the sound of loud alarms or sirens, this suggestion may be right for you. Buy a small yet powerful speaker from your local supermarket and attach it to your head (this can be via a hat or just a fancy ribbon). Connect it to your phone and play whatever ear-piercing, mind-numbing sounds you feel like (screaming cats, jet engine, fingernails on a chalkboard, etc.). 

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Scaring people away is a surefire way to spook those who wish to converse with you. By buying (or drawing) a creepy face on your COVID-19 face mask, it may decrease your chances of any unwanted encounters. 

The masters of personal space; learn from their wisdom. Photo by Bryan Padron. 

Some people (like me) have a resting face that is… unpleasant. People think that they are stuck-up and unapproachable. You can actually use this to your advantage if you want to stop people from talking to you. Though keep in mind that if you ever see these people again, they may not have good first impressions of you. 

You know how some people have motion sensors at their house to keep unwanted people or animals at bay with strobe lights and sprinklers? You can do that in public with people as well. And if you don’t have enough money to hook up a portable motion sensor on your clothing, all you need to do is carry a spray bottle around and squirt it in the faces of creeps who stand too close. 

There you have it. Another list of interesting things to try that may help with a problem of yours—in this case, people invading your personal space. If they don’t work, come up with your own, but I don’t see why my advice wouldn’t be helpful (especially the alligator idea). 

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