Coffee Rhetoric: Personal Space Invasion Syndrome (PSIS)

January 26, 2008

Personal Space Invasion Syndrome (PSIS)

I've been documenting the crazy on here since about 2004. I think regular readers (assuming people have been following this blog for that long)- probably are hip to the fact that I am a self-described neurotic with a smattering of germaphobia and a dollop of obssessive behavior (i.e. where I place items in my personal space matters, as I insist things be placed a certain way, and that they're neat and organized). And while this much I know is in fact true, my quirkiness has not prompted any need for prescriptions used to combat any anxiety or psychotic episodes. In summation, I'm a relatively normal person- (considering the levels of actual weirdness festering out there)- who is slightly askew. I pump a celebratory fist at my eccentricities and don't plan on changing any time soon. No one's infallible. And for those acting like they are... you all need to cut it out. The prologue aside, if there's one thing I cannot stand, it is when people (particularly those not close with or familiar to me) invade and tamper with my personal space and belongings without my permission. Close talkers (if I back up a couple of inches... please don't move forward to close the already small gap)- If you don't come in a wine glass, we aren't about to kiss, or about to engage in relations... there's no need for anybody to be 2 inches away from my mouth, beyond the standard (6 to 8 sq ft), conversational closeness. I think violating someone's space; adjusting and taking other people's things without asking is rude, discourteous, and disrespectful... particularly if you're the type of person who resents having your things tampered with and especially if it's within the context of a communal (i.e. work) environment, where the majority of the space is already shared, to begin with. It's almost as if certain people feel as if they're entitled to behave this way, or they have the right to impose their tastes by strongly suggesting a person should rearrange things to look a particular way other than how they choose have it set up. I mean, you listen and humor people afflicted with PSIS by saying, "Oh okay, that sounds nice. But I think I'll just leave it like this" and they're adamant about trespassing, like an uninvited guest who insinuates him/herself into your home, rearranges the furniture, and uses your toothbrush! You can see their sweaty fingers and palms wiggling with the desire to touch your stuff. To rearrange, to fix and fuck everything up... making you ready to sling some pimp slaps. These people, who like to stand shoulder to shoulder, toe-to-toe... so close that you feel a little of their spittle spray your face during conversation. Making you shudder with disgust, also prompting you to tap your foot uncomfortably, to swallow hard, and blink furiously to keep from going nuts. People, listen, regardless of how crazy this rant may seem, this type of bahavior is definitely a spatial DON'T. I think we've gotten too comfortable in this current cult of personality. Manners are a thing of the past. We live in a culture that divulges TMI about bowel movements, itchy delicates, and explicit sexploits (some great to listen to, some not so sexy), where people will grope, expose themselves or rub up against strangers, and where people think it's okay to invade... to bully their way into someone else's orbit, scattering forces messing up the alignment of your small planets. All it does is create tension, anger, and more neuroses to grapple with. How difficult is it to be respectful of other people's space and property? It's not. Some concepts are fundamental and implicit. So back the hell up and keep hulking figure and hands off of other people's sphere, unless invited. That's it.