Saturday, March 25, 2006

personal space

Lately I have been having this problem. I have been acting out strangely, and even though I catch myself doing it, sadly I realize too late after the fact. Once done, I immediately ask myself "Why, why, why???"

I have become a toucher.

For example, I will be in a meeting, and at some point I will have made a joke or engaged in a side comment to the person next to me, and then I reach out and touch their arm. Worse, often I touch it again ten or fifteen minutes later! Doesn't even matter who the person is, they could work with me, work in another department, or even be a vendor. It could be the most closed off, isolated, robotic person I know, and here I am invading their personal space.

What the hell am I doing???

This behavior has even extended outside of the boardroom. We are talking any time, anywhere. Elevator, bar, checkout line in the cafeteria, chance conversation on the subway platform, doesn't matter. A shoulder, the back, a tie, I see myself doing it like an out of body experience, all the time thinking "stop now! Don’t do it! No touching, leave them alone!!"

It worries me that I am creeping people out by doing this, but somehow it has become natural to me. I just don't want to be that freaky girl - the one who makes people uncomfortable by acting too familiar.

I wonder if this is some kind of mental backlash from working in a corporate environment too long. Argh, corporate life. They take away my sneakers and I become a social freak. Rock on.

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