Each situation requires a different distance to the other person.
Distance 0-15cm (~5″) -> very close intimate space
15cm – 45cm (5-15″) -> intimate space
45cm-1.20m (15″-4ft) -> personal space
1,20m – 3.60m (4ft-12ft) -> social space
>3.6m (>12ft) -> public space
When looking at space between people, the rotation of the bodies towards each other plays a big role. We have no problem to stand next to someone that is 30cm (~10″) away. However, if the person faces us completely at this distance, we start feeling uneasy.
The ‘intimate space’ is reserved for people who are close to us, such as your partner or family. We allow people we like and know well, such as family or very good friends, into this space. In the ‘personal space’ we interact with friends or colleagues, e.g. at a party. In the ‘social space’ we communicate with people, we have a neutral attitude towards, for example sales man. In the ‘public space’, most people feel safest. E.g., this distance is common in lectures or presentations.
Categories body, territorial
This is one out of 63 gestures from the body language trainer.