The use of space is one of the most informative aspects of nonverbal communication. Observing men and women in different situations I was able to conclude that women are generally more comfortable at a shorter distance than men, but both genders display similarities in the issues of territoriality.
Personal distance differences are quite visible in everyday situations. For example, looking at the line of people in the supermarkets or other places I noticed a clear tendency of women standing closer to the person in front than the men. Observing my professors, I could notice that the public distance of women is shorter. The lessons with such teachers seem more personal and the teachers more approachable. On the contrary, male teachers seem to hold the students a bit at bay and the lessons are more reserved.
The similarities can be found in the way men and women treat territory. Even talking to different people I found out that both genders prefer to have their fixed physical personal space that is not transgressed. This is so important that even family members have their own territories at home. Some of my friends’ fathers have separate office rooms not to be disturbed while some mothers have separate wardrobe rooms. Apart from territoriality, the personal distance violation is similarly not welcome by both genders. During the rush hour in public transport I could see the same expression of emotional pain and discomfort on virtually every face.
Therefore, understanding the way people use their space can tell a lot about their personality and the level of intimacy in any given situation.