You've been there before. You're standing in a public place and a stranger approaches you. They stand right next to you, in your "personal distance" (1 ½ - 4 feet away). You wonder why they're so close, but you stand your ground. Then they decide to start a conversation, and they are wayyyyyy too close. What could be worse? Their breath smells, of course. Ever notice how people that have really bad breath always want to tell you secrets? Why is that?
According to the textbook, there are 4 levels of personal space. Public distance, 12 or more feet, is known for public speaking or a professor in lecture. Social distance, 4 to 12 feet, used for when you meet someone knew (obviously the person in the situation above is unaware of this). Personal distance, 1 ½ to 4 feet away, is reserved for your close friends and significant others. Intimate distance, 1 ½ feet or less, is saved for kissing, hugging, whispering, and affectionate touch.
So why is it that not everyone is aware of these four levels and find the need to make you feel uncomfortable? When you're at a party and a guy/girl decides to make you their "target" for the night. Notice the intimate touching and that they are coming way too close?
I'm just saying... strangers should take notes on these levels of personal space.