Everyone has a bubble, even extroverts, and everyone’s bubble is different. For example, I have a very small bubble. And it’s not just small around strangers, it’s small around my family too. Sometimes it has to do with my mood but generally speaking it stays the same. I think the older I get the smaller my bubble gets. This year I’ve noticed more and more how small it is. Here are some examples of how my bubble is small.
- I like people to stay a good arm to half an arms length away from me. I don’t think that’s to much to ask. It keeps from awkward things happening like your spit flying in my face, grazing my boob, etc.
- I do not like people standing directly behind me. So no reading over the shoulder, touching me from behind or leaning over me to get something.
- I’m not a huge hugger. I don’t mind hugs but only from people I know really well and if I don’t I have to be the instigator.
- Touching is another big thing. If I don’t know you don’t touch me, even if you think we’re chummy don’t touch me unless I say it’s okay.
Three people in my life have recently made me realize how small my bubble is. The first one being my little sister. She is proof that even though I like hugs, I do not like them all the time. She is constantly giving me hugs, even when it’s obvious I’m doing something like holding a glass bowl full of scalding liquid (just an example). I understand that part of it is just because she missed me a lot while I was living in Grand Rapids but I’ve been home for five months now (eesh that’s scary), she needs to calm down.
The second person is my father. He has absolutely no understanding of personal space. He’s especially notorious for standing behind me while I’m working on something and talking in my ear. Very uncomfortable, distracting and annoying. He especially likes to get in my space early in the morning when no one should be talking to me. I’m basically an introverted Ogre in the morning.
The third person is my boss. One of the biggest space invading bosses I’ve ever had. It’s especially been a tough transition because my last boss wasn’t touchy, feely or a space invader at all and I loved it! She was sarcastic, honest and upfront and she didn’t like hugs, which meant I wasn’t getting random ones from her. Sure I’m a sensitive person but I don’t like spilling my personal life to people, unless I like them. I liked my last boss, I don’t like my current boss. Since I started my new job she has given me a hug, touched my hair, pats me on the shoulder, and stands behind me and talks in my ear. It’s just to much.
Now, some people would probably say, well tell these people to leave you alone. Well if it isn’t obvious yet, I’m an introvert, yeah I’m gonna use that excuse. I don’t like confrontation, not even with family, and especially not with my boss. Besides, how do you tell your 7 year old sister, you don’t want her hugging you? How do you tell your father that you want him to take a couple steps back? And how do you tell your boss she makes you uncomfortable. These are things that I am not good at.
Maybe some day I will be able to face my issues and learn to confront people or not even confront them, just be honest when they do something that makes me uncomfortable. But it is not this day.