Stay out of my bubble! Personal spaces and public places


A man sat next to me on the bus the other night. The bus wasn’t crowded- there were plenty of free seats around me. It was late in the evening, the second last bus of the night. He sat next to me and, without reacting visibly in any way, I noticed all of those things. I saw the empty seats around me, I remembered that it was late and, from then on, began to take more detailed notice of my surroundings, very aware of exactly where he was, how he was sitting, where the closest other people were. I kept on reading my book- I wasn’t about to let some guy with a less than stellar grasp of social niceties keep me away from Emma Woodhouse- but I did keep a closer eye on my surroundings than I had been doing. As you do.

I’ll bet that’s familiar to most of you, right? A stranger invades your personal space in public in a minor way. You’re not scared or tremendously put out, but you do notice, and you do find yourself alert to the possibility that they might, possibly, follow the minor invasion with something a bit more substantial.

Continued over at the Tea Cosy’s new home. See you there!

13 thoughts on “Stay out of my bubble! Personal spaces and public places

  1. h my gd. Y’r bng sch typcl sbmssv, plgtc fml bt ths.

    This guy sounds like a potential rapist. I would have gotten up right away or said something, and I wouldn’t have cared if it was rude. Personal space is where the gloves come off. No holds are barred. I will f___ing destroy anyone who invades my personal space.

    • I find it interesting that you think it is okay and acceptable to stand up and speak rudely to a person in a public place who has not, actually, broken any rules of that space, and who has simply sat down in a public seat. Also, that you think that it’s appropriate to “f___ing destroy” someone who invades your personal space.

      I wonder, do you take public transport often?

  2. Ths s why wmn pprntly nd mn t prtct thm, f nt byfrnd/hsbnd thn fthr/brthr. t’s nt nly tht ppl trt y lk vctms. t’s tht y thnk lk vctms nd rfs t dfnd yrslvs.

    Prv m wrng nd stnd p fr yrslf nxt tm.

    • Does disemvoweling your comment, as per my comment policy, count as standing up for myself? Count this as a warning.

      • I don’t like the disemvoweling, I want to see what it says and it’s too much work! Lazy bitch that I am!

      • I found your blog because I googled this psycho man “Matthew Chiglinsky.” I’ve been having some horrible comments from him … calling me a whore, slut, bad mother/wife, etc. It seems like he goes around the internet posting on women’s blogs like a coward. Glad to find the way that you dealt with him🙂

        Cheers to psychos on the interent.

        • You too? My sympathies, he really is unpleasant to deal with. When I sent his posts to mod I got an hours-long stream of abuse- that all went straight to the bin, of course, but it wasn’t nice to see. On the other hand, I did the same thing as you and google’d him, and I found a whole bunch of really interesting people he’d been commenting on too. Which was a nice silver lining to a bizarre day, y’know?

  3. It isn;t just the possibility of danger that makes the man’s actions annoying. I’m claustrophobic==so if there are 15 empty seats on the bus and ANYone sits right next to me, I always feel like, Hey, don’t you wan’t your own nice big seat and leave me to mine? Also, it’s another one of the distractions that take women away from whatever they were focusing on. The threat of rape is omnipresent and follows us around all of our lives;even if one is never raped it still has an effect on us.

  4. Pingback: Link Love (2013-12-14) | Becky's Kaleidoscope

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