Proximitist - I am one

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Star*, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. Star*

    Star* call 911

    And now that it has a definition? I don't feel so odd when I'm standing in line in a library, post-office, grocery store, shoe store, any federal building waiting for an elevator, or at just about any other place in the world.

    LEAVE ME AT LEAST A 3' SPACE - between you, your foul garlic breath, your body odor, your passing gas, your screaming child, your other child with a poopy diaper, you overdone perfume my WORD your perfume allowance per month MUST be $1200 - becaue you used 1/2 a bottle of Emeraude or Tabu - spritz girls spritz! Your talking and telling all your business on the phone - and belive me NO ONE wants to hear in public about your aunt flow -eech....your humming, your whistling....

    I swear there are days when I try to figure out how to stand in a line with my feet in ballet second position and stretch as far as I can without doing a split to keep people from breathing down my neck....AND

    I thought I was just a little weirdo -

    Nope. Turns out I'm a proximist. Now I can turn to the person behind me and say "Excuse me, I am a proximist and you are in my space. YOu must be three feet minimum from me or you are intruding in my comfort zone."

    Or I'll just get a tshirt that says
    STAY 3 feet
    away from this person.

    Anyone else feel crowded?

    The radio man was also talking about people who HAVE to be in a crowd to feel normal. I'm not sure what the scientific or urban name for them would be, but I'm not that.

    And you?

  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Star* - I know exactly what you’re talking about!

    The difficult children’ maternal grandmother is Japanese. So both kids get very, very close. difficult child 1 , not so much because of what happened. But there are a lot of times when I have to tell both of them – back off – because I feel very, very crowded.

    husband does this a lot too. I like my personal space! I’m a loner, so having a family who crowds can be quite annoying. If I didn’t love them so much…

    That said – I love hugs from people I know. Well, know and like!
  3. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    I find if you want to annoy someone really well, step into their personal space.

    I used to 'teach' about personal space all the time to my students. At 11 or 12, they don't get it. For whatever reason, I'd have a dozen kids in my face all talking at the same time. I'd yell, "EVERYONE! Take 10 steps back!"

    As the year would go on, I'd always have at least one kid recognize my frustration and hollar - 10 steps back! Now!

    Then there is the 'follower.' I would always seem to have at least one kid that was on my heels all the time. I'd turn around and nearly topple over him. One day, out of frustration I said sternly - Justin! Stop being a darn puppy. You're driving me nuts. He was also a profusely apologizer. I'm sorry, Ms. M. Sorry, sorry as he slinks back to his chair. Justin...stop apologizing. Start by not following me all the time. THAT's an apology.

    I think we should all make a nice tight circle around Star.

  4. Star*

    Star* call 911


    youuuuuuuuuuuuuu puppy. :surprise:
  5. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I am for sure a Proximitist times 10. Wonder if I can get a restraining order against EVERYONE to stay atleast 10 feet away? Hmmmmm A sign stating, "Judge's orders - stay back!"

    difficult child is also one. When he was an infant, I put him on a couch at day care with a line of other kids (so unusual for that many to be sitting there but it was their choice). The other kids instinctivly moved away from him. I laughed and said, "Don't you want to sit by my baby?" The day care provider chuckled and said, "They know he will physically push them away". Not in a mean way but just a, please get out of my space sort of way from a baby who could not yet talk. That's my boy!
  6. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    There was an evening not too long ago where a bunch of neighbors were all outside. Some were playing basketball, some were just talking so I thought I would be sociable and go out. One of our neighbor's daughter has moved in with him. After talking with her for all of 5 seconds I could tell she would never stop talking. Plus, she HAD to stand about 1 1/4 feet away while she talked. I would take a step back....she would follow. I finally gave up and went inside.

    My favorite is at the grocery store though when the person in line behind you at checkout has their cart at your backside. Of course, sometimes I'm able to act like I don't notice and then take a step back thereby shoving their cart back at them.
  7. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I am one too!! Last night H sat on the couch so closely that I could smell and hear him breathing on me. I was crocheting and we were trying to order Chinese takeout and he just plopped down and started breathing on me, ugh. I nicely asked him to move over but him being him, just stayed put. Finally, easy child turned around from the computer and said, "OMG, P, back away!!! You're in her space!!! Ufg, that would drive me nuts!" easy child and I laughed and H did finally move over a bit, though not enough for me.

    The worst is when you're on line and someone is just behind your shoulder and you can smell and hear their breath...or they are coughing on you and you can feel the wind. So you do the most logical thing and inch up a bit but then they inch aggravating! I have asked, on more than one occasion, for a person to back off and give me my space. The look on thier faces is priceless.

    Or when you meet someone for the very first time and they are one of those "close talkers" who want to look directly into your soul as they get to know you!!! I back up and my mind is screaming, "Space, I need more freakin space!!"
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Proximitist times ten.:tongue:

    I take great pains to avoid large groups of people.

    I'm so bad I can't even stand to watch other people's personal space tromped on. lol In Drawing class we had a student so far up in instructor's arse I literally had to take smoking breaks to not knock her out flat.:ashamed: Nice lady otherwise. But once he walked into the room OMG.:mad:

    My kids know not to stand more than 2 1/2 feet close to me. So do the grands. Unless I invite you closer.
  9. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Like others, I have a problem being "breathed" on.
    WHen I'm sleeping next to husband and can feel/smell his breath in my face I HAVE to get away from it! lol.

    Oh, and Loud perfume smells are definitely a problem too.
  10. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I have the same issues. I cannot stand when someone is too close to me.....especially someone that I don't know.

    A woman that I barely knew stopped by my house to drop something off a couple of years ago. I had just pulled into driveway from the grocery store, so not to be rude, I invited her in to chat for a minute while I was putting my frozen stuff away. She kept standing RIGHT NEXT TO ME. I would move around the counter and she would come stand next to me. I went to let the dog out and she did it. It was really bizarre. I couldn't wait until she left. She really gave me the creeps.

    Offensive perfume....Oh Lordy, don't get me started. I swear some people bathe in the stuff.
  11. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Wow! It's so nice to know that I'm not the only one. AND that there's a word for it.

    I HATE it when people get too close to me. I can feel their body heat and it's very unpleasant.

    One thing I have learned...NEVER EVER EVER inch along to try and create more space for yourself. You'll end up cutting yourself off from the other side, and be squashed between the space invader and another person, or the space invader and a wall, or something.

    I've learned to lean in really awkward ways, use my briefcase, stretch out an arm etc. when standing in queues just to maintain my space.

    Oh, and the personal body space tango? Hate that. I remember once being at a party, stranded in a conversation with a close talker. My friends watched me back up as the fellow I was talking with inched forward. Over the course of about 20 min, we snaked through the whole party and made it all the way to the opposite end of the room.

    difficult child is TERRIBLE for this. He likes to stand so close to people that he's practically on top of them. Being bundled into a tight space makes him feel safe, so when he's trying really hard to get along well with someone, he will back them into a corner and then barricade them in with his arms. Eeeew. They're working with him on this, but it's very slow going.
  12. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Used to work with a guy who was constantly touching his hair and readjusting himself, and he just did NOT get personal space. He got too close behind my chair once... And I ran over his foot. It wasn't totally intentional but he never again came behind my desk! He wasn't creepy really, just oblivious.

    I've learned, if I'm uncomfortable at all, to say (politely the first time)... "I'm sorry, but I need you to back up a few steps. I'm rather protective of my personal space."

    If that doesn't work? "BACK OFF. NOW."

    And still? I leave.
  13. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    Put me on the list too. When I was younger I tried the backing up thing but people like that always follow and you end up in worse shape than you were. Now that I'm old and cranky I just say, BACK UP; I don't like people so close to me. Since most people think I'm nuts anyway, they back up pretty fast. LOL
  14. Star*

    Star* call 911

    So what are some viable solutions?

    I got tapped on the shoulder this morning while in line at the post office. There's the counter - two people working. Taped line on the floor indicating STAND HERE FOR SERVICE....and behind the first person standing behind the tape was another person close enough to count the hairs on her neck.

    I HATE that- I want to yell STAND BACK - you're too close. Sometimes I've even stepped backwards and stepped on the person and then said "WOW you were really close." or "Did you need something from me? and insert fake laugh - My kids don't even get that close to me." but it never fails they never move - and I find myself WISHING I had eaten an entire head of cabbage without taking BEANO.

    So when I was the 2nd person in line - I did NOT stand breathing close to the person behind the tape and a man 12th in line yelled up to me to MOVE UP. I got tapped on the shoulder by the guy behind me and when I turned around he was () right there and said "The guy back there said move up." and pointed him out. I looked at they boy and said "Two words Dude - TIC TAC. then looked over and here was this older man guesturing me to move up in line directly behind this woman. So I said "I'm not moving up - Why don't YOU BACK UP and give everyone their own space? then I got even more angry and said "IF I want someone up my kiester I'll pay a professional proctologist." and with that I bought my stamps, while some chuckled, the old man stared angrily and the guy behind me did the pit to nose test for smellability. On the way out I shook my head and the guy behind me was in the process of smelling his freshly licked hand for the breath test. I wanted to say TRUST ME JUNIOR - IT STUNK, but held my tongue and left. I could have added and you didn't take a shower - you wash your clothes in cheap laundry detergent, your feet have a stench like a 4 day old road kill squirrel and you are NOT wearing socks. OMG.....Germophobic and Proximitist. GAW....:whiteflag:

    Star -
    Wishing they'll bring back the hoop skirt. And hygiene.
  15. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    My feeling is that if they have no problem being rude by tailgating me, then I have no problem being rude back to them by telling them to take a step away and give me my space. Ugh!

    'pit to nose test for smellability' - hahahahaha, too funny!
  16. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Oh my goodness! People tap me on the shoulder or the arm at their peril. I would likely have belted the guy just out of sheer startlement.

    As far as strategies for getting people to back off, I usually rely on the Tiny Woman with Big Watery Eyes approach. Seems to work well.

    Trinity (making eyes as wide and innocent looking as possible, and talking in my "little" voice): "Oh excuse me. Would you mind stepping back just a bit. I find it a bit scary when people loom over me like that."

    People usually can't fail to comply without looking like a big brute and a bully.

    For those of you who are taller, there must be something similar that'll work.
    Maybe, swinging around quickly and belting them with your handbag, and then saying, "Oh, I'm so terribly sorry. This bag is heavy enough to qualify as a weapon. Maybe you need to step back a bit for clearance."

    Not sure what'll work, but there's usually something...

  17. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Trinity, that's funny. I'm not sure I could pull that off. I just turn around and simply tell people that they are too close and they need to back off. I have no problem coming off as a total you-know-what in MOST situations.

    I think it occurs more often in a grocery store where people are just impatient and are trying to get their stuff on the belt before I am even finished with mine. I have had people bump me with their carts and I pretty much let them have it when they do bump into me.
  18. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    We seriously should all go and live in a commune together...

    I almost got fired so many times when I was a bartender (for 10 years!) because the men felt the need to touch me, in various places. As well as get very close and breathe beer breath on me... MMMM, delicious.
  19. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    If I stretch my arms out and can touch anyone in any direction, they are too close and they need to move.
  20. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    "TWO WORDS DUDE,-TIC,TAC" I'm stealing that and using it. ....