Classification Essay

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Invasion of Personal Space

There are people in this world that do not understand the importance of personal space. The do not easily comprehend how uncomfortable an invasion makes others because they themselves do not have those boundaries. Everyone knows a person like this. For me, it's my little sister, Bethany. If you cannot immediately think of anyone, than it's probably you.

As far a one's personal space preferences are concerned, people can be broken up into groups. These groups are not set in stone. One can linger in between, but you'll definitely be on one side of the scale or the other. Issues arise when two people from opposite ends of the scale must interact or even co-habitate.

At one end there are the people that will greet a new acquaintance with a hand shake. That will be the closest that person gets to the acquaintance for the next year or so. It's not dislike, it's an extreme need for personal space. I am somewhere between this type and the next.

Huggers. That is what I call them. They substitute a hand shake greeting with a hug. And every time that they see that person afterwards, they'll hug them upon greeting and parting. And there will be the occasional arm contact or pat on the back. Just enough contact to make someone like myself uncomfortable, but it's bearable.

That is not the case with the next group. These are the people who cannot tell where their own body ends and someone else's begins. Every time one is around them, it's like a full scale invasion on one's personal space. They have the intimacy of a drunk. They are always within inches of whoever they're with, always touching and hugging and talking directly into your face. These are the people who have me up against a wall within minutes holding off my fight or flee instincts. And this is the group my sister is right at home in.

I don't have one in particular memory of Bethany invading my space. It's just one huge childhood collage of being...
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