September 27, 2022

The closer the distance between people, the better? Psychology tells you the truth


Psychologists have done such an experiment: In a large reading room, when there is only one reader, the experimenter went in and sat next to him (her) to test his (her) reaction.

As a result, most people quickly and silently moved away from the experimenter to sit down elsewhere, and others simply said, “What do you want to do?”

A total of 80 people were tested in this experiment, and the results were all the same: no subject could bear a stranger sitting next to him.

When a host arranged a seat for diplomatic talks, due to negligence, a coffee table was not placed between the two side-by-side single sofas.

As a result, the guests sitting on these two sofas have been leaning on the outer armrests of the sofa as much as possible, and they often leaned back, making them uneasy.


In fact, everyone needs a self-space that can be grasped.

It is like an invisible bubble that divides a certain “domain” for oneself. When this “domain” is offended by others, people will feel uncomfortable, insecure, and even become angry.

The distance between people is not as close as possible, which is the so-called “hedgehog principle” in psychology.

Through research, American anthropologist Edward Hall believes that the scope of people’s self-space is determined by the interpersonal relationship between the two parties and the situation they are in.

He divided four distances.

The first is intimacy, which is the smallest distance in interpersonal relationships, which can also be called zero distance.

Within this range, you can feel each other’s breath and body temperature, rub your ears and temples, hold your hands in arms, or talk with your knees, usually the distance between lovers or closest friends.

The second is personal distance. Being able to shake hands and have friendly conversations is a space for acquaintances.

The third is social distance, which reflects the social or courteous distance, which is reflected in the workplace and social gatherings.

The fourth is the public distance, generally the distance between the public speaker and the public. This space is basically completely open, and people can have no contact with each other.


When I first met a male classmate, it was difficult for him to figure out his boundaries with others.

When chatting with a few girls we just met, he also acted as if he was very familiar with “hands and feet”, which made me feel very uncomfortable, because at that time he was only in the range of social distance, but he entered my private range. , Aroused my disgust.

This has caused me to have a prejudice against him for a long time. It was only when I got in touch with more subjects and gradually got closer and entered the circle of acquaintances and friends, I dispelled my previous views on him.

If you want to feel like a fish in the water in social situations, you must first pay attention to distance. A gentleman generally has one characteristic: respect for the privacy of others, never infringe on the personal space of others without permission, and will not speak shallowly.

If you are a lover, you also need to give yourself a corner outside the two-person world, leaving some gaps. If two people are completely intimate, they will gradually lose themselves, which will cause more and more problems.