UNITED STATES—Personal space, we’ve all talked about it before at one point in our lives. People don’t like others to invade their personal space, which I believe too many Americans don’t consider. If you have an interaction with a complete stranger, you have to understand that there are certain boundaries that may be in play, and you cannot be offended if someone is taken aback by how you judge the situation.

Why? There are many people who are huggers when they first meet a new person. I’ll admit I’m not really a hugger when it comes to complete strangers. I don’t know you and a hug to me is a bit more personal, that means this is someone I know and trust. I prefer a handshake, but I know plenty of people who hate shaking hands. I can understand the reason why? Why? Well people carry germs and a handshake is the quickest way to catch an illness or get sick. People are nasty nowadays, and I cannot tell you how many times I’ve witnessed people just exit the bathroom without even washing their hands and acting as if it is no big deal. Jeez, where the hell is the home training?

This brings me to a bigger dynamic when it comes to the household. Anyone who grew up in a large family understands how precious the notion of having your own bedroom or a place in the home can be. It gives you that opportunity to go to a place where you can collect your thoughts, have a moment to work on your creative juices or just relax. Yes, many people would like to argue such a place is likely your bedroom, but in my opinion, that is a place where you sleep and who wants to be sheltered in their room most of the time. No one does, at least I know I don’t. Having everything of convenience in a single room just becomes complicated after a certain time frame if you ask me. It’s not like you’re in jail, but in some ways, you’re allowing yourself to be in jail.

Personal space is more than just a place that one goes to when having a tough or stressful day, it’s a place that sort of allows the personality to roam free and be itself. It’s a place where you don’t feel judged. That is something that I think is quite important. It’s one thing to have your bedroom, which is a place that allows one to allow their personality to flourish, but at the same time you can have that distinct place where who you are, what you do, and how you do it is not judged or on trial by the rest of the world. For kids having that personal space may not be as big of a deal, but when one gets into the tween, teen and young adult years it’s vital for that getaway place.

It might sound weird for some people, but that place could be the house gym, it could be the basement, it could be the laundry room, it could be the nook, it could be the library, it could be the theater room, it could be a multitude of places. However, I will argue that place is of importance to not only you, but others around you who notice this is a place you frequent to when you are looking to have a bit of down time. Having your own personal space is like a freedom from the rest of the world. You get to be YOU, and it’s a place where all the judgements are left out the door as soon as you enter.