Wednesday, November 25, 2015

7500: Personal Space

Although this is a horror movie, this scene, of course, is light and it can be used with all audiences. However, in order to prevent the youger ones from being curious and renting the movie, I recommend you show it only to adults.

Personal Space - This air space around us is a private area that we consider almost as an extension of our body. Personal space is the distance that you keep between yourself and another person. It varies widely between cultures.

I. Work in groups:

There are actually many psychological and physical effects that are immediately activated when someone is getting too close, invading your personal space. They cause us to behave a little different than usual, some examples (not all of them must occur). Discuss how you would feel, and if the following reactions would apply to you when someone invades your personal space. Think about traveling on a crowded airplane or/and a stranger asking you for directions.  :

●     Extreme self awareness – suddenly you forget how to act 'naturally'

●     You limit movements and gestures

●     You reduce eye contact

●     You turn aside or away from the intruder

●     You immediately take a step back or get away from the intruder

●     You adopt a defensive position – folded arms, less smiles, tense posture

●     You stop the conversation entirely

Inspired by:

It's important to understand the personal space requirements of a different culture, so that you're not perceived as rude (by standing too far away) or pushy (by standing too close).
Personal space also includes touching. In Mediterranean and South American cultures, touching is an important part of conversation and connecting. If you don't touch others, you'll be considered cold. However, in Eastern countries, touching is often considered taboo, and you'll offend your colleagues if you pat them on the back or touch their arm.

II. Read the information below and decide if you agree with them and why. 

  • Women are more sociable than men: they get social cues better, more emotionally expressive and are generally better than us men when it comes to emotional communication. It's only natural then that women     will feel more comfortable being closer to each other than men.

  • Men are more territorial and aggressive by nature and will keep more distance from other men, but when it comes to women we will usually prefer to get a little closer.

  • "Distant" cultures (northern Europe, US, and many other westerns cultures) tend to keep more personal space and use less touching than other more 'warm' cultures.

  • Asian cultures are characterized by more accommodating accepting attitude when it comes to personal space, the theory says it's due to more crowded living conditions.

  • Other cultures including south Europe, Middle East and South American's are considered to be more 'warm' by nature – touch and close proximity are more welcome and socially accepted.

  • Your status has a huge effect on your personal space size and demand.It's no surprise that the first class seats are bigger and have more space per individual.

  • What type of social situation is this? Is it a cocktail party? Is it a staff meeting in the boardroom? A fishing trip with some friends? In each of these situations you'll act and keep your space differently. Even if these are the exact same people.

 According to the site above, all of them are true, and I definetly agree with them.

III. Watch the movie segment and discuss with your friends:

1. Where is the couple from?

2. Why were they so worried about who could seat next to them?

3. Who was more worried? The man or the woman? How do you know?

4. How did they react when they felt their personal space invaded?

5. How did the "intruders" react?

6. How would you have  reacted?

7. How would someone from your country react in that situation? Would their reaction be the same as yours or the couple's?

8. Have you ever traveled with someone that invaded your personal space? Share your stories. 


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