Post date: 2008-12-04
Ok, last boring article, I promise. I just wanted to cover a few basic things to keep in mind. I'll start putting it all together after this.
Proxemics is the study of how people use and perceive the space around them. No matter what you are doing, people can use space to make a pretty decent guess at what you are/were/intend on doing. If you're standing in front of a toaster facing it, I can safely assume you are making toast. Proxemics also relates to how one communicates.
There are 4 types of territories:
Primary: This refers to an area which someone has the exclusive rights to. For example: someone's house. No one may enter without the owner's permission
Secondary: With this one, there is no real ownership, but if invaded, there can be some discomfort. For instance: the seat in class that you always sit in.
Public: This refers to a place that is open for all, but for a limited time such as a parking space in a parking lot.
Interaction: This is the space between people as they interact. This is going to be the one we focus on.
Proxemics is an easy concept, but misjudge it, and you're going to look mighty creepy. Basically, the less distance between you, the better you're doing; however, I should add that you're only doing well if the other person doesn't feel threatened by the close quarters.
With almost all communication, you'll find that the things that can win the person over are also the things that can bury you. There is often a thin line between what is seductive and what is aggressive, and it's mastering this that will bring you success. Proxemics is a prime example of that thin line.
Think back to kindergarden. Everyone has their bubble which you aren't supposed to invade. Well all people retain that bubble long after school. It's just their comfort zone. Obviously people will have different size comfort zones and it's going to be up to you to figure these out. When things are going good; though, these comfort zones will shrink.
The only real advice I can give you about this is to use your best judgement. Don't run right up to someone and try to hit on them in their face. Start at a distance. As things start to go well, move closer. Assess their reaction. If it's positive, try getting closer. Re-assess and act accordingly. It isn't rocket science, but it does take some understanding of human nature. Master this and the other important aspects of flirting and you now possess a good blueprint for flirting.