How to Get Your Coworker to Give You Some Space

If someone don't respect your personal bubble, it's time to take action.

If you know close-talkers or arm-touchers, you've probably realized that slowly backing away doesn't always work. While sometimes a hug or a pat on the shoulder is encouraging and warm, it's okay to want your own space, and on this week's "I Want to Like You," the experts tell you how to (politely) ask for it. Host and Real Simple editor Kristin van Ogtrop speaks to Dr. Lillian Glass, body language expert and author of Toxic People, and Jacqueline Whitmore, founder of the Protocol School of Palm Beach and author of Poised for Success.



It turns out, arm touching might be a power move—according to Glass, consistent patting and contact might be a subconscious attempt to equalize yourself with someone who's higher in rank (like your boss). Both suggest carrying a buffer with you—like a cup of coffee—which can act as a barrier between you and your more affectionate coworkers. Listen to the full episode below, and don't forget to subscribe on iTunes!