Search for

January 01, 2011

Secret of metropolitan nervousness

I'm quite sure that you could easily spot the difference among rural, sub-urban and metropolitan people just by looking at their body language. Rural and sub-urban people appear more open, friendly, stress-free, touch-friendly and more expressive as compared to metropolitan population. Also, their body language is apparently a little bit different from each other.

Metropolitan people appear more shrunk, tense, nervous or expressing no emotions on their faces while traveling, shopping, standing in queues, riding in elevators, walking and driving on roads. When they're outside of their cities, they appear quite differently. The very secret behind this seemingly 'weird and unsocial' behavior of metropolitan citizens has to do with amount of space each person shares with others over a territory.

Every living creature needs a certain amount of physical space for fundamental necessities like sheltering, resting, feeding and breeding. Members of some species mark and aggressively defend their territories like the way they compete during their mating seasons. More the intrusion in their territories by strangers or rivals; more there are tensions, conflicts, battles, bruises and killings.

In rural and sub-urban areas or small settlements, there are very less chances of intrusion or trespassing of personal and intimate zones by (complete) strangers. Also, every person has more geographical area around itself. In rural and sub-urban areas, almost everybody is familiar with each other people are adapt in handling intrusion or trespassing in more friendlier and social ways.

It has been observed that a large no. of animals forcefully packed in limited geographical areas are more susceptible to anxiety, violent breakout, abnormal behavior, psychological disorders, infections, diseases and deaths ultimately. Despite of being advanced species, humans are not excused of this rule. We also struggle to maintain comfortable and safe interpersonal distance with others, especially with (complete) strangers.

Basically, there are only reasons to invade personal and intimate zones i. e. either to attack and harm somebody or to get intimate with somebody. Hence, lesser the physical distance remains between any two individuals, more both of them expect non-offense, courtesy and carefulness. Otherwise, they try to fight or run away (flight) for their own safety. More unfamiliar individuals gather in a space by keeping less physical distance among each-other, more peaceful, cooperative and non-confrontational behavior they expect.

In comparison to the smaller settlements, more strangers trespass or accidentally come closer to each other very frequently, at different places and at several occasions in large cities. Expressing yourself openly, loudly and spontaneously to someone you are not familiar with is likely a provocation and intrusion of its personal space by itself.

A completely strange individual (irrespective of the gender) who is gesticulating, talking loudly, laughing, sharing jokes, touching, fidgeting, making aggressive body movements, exhibiting intimacy and expressing emotions on its face uncontrollably in front of a few random individuals would make them feel invaded, offended or attacked unconsciously.

During such unavoidable situations, we share our personal and intimate zones with others on an unspoken agreement. When two strangers invade or share their personal and intimate zones with each other by keeping very less distance between themselves; they tend to appear idle, inexpressive and most possibly - motionless to avoid appearing provocative or disturbing to one other.

This adaptation assures less uneasiness, stress or conflict and let space sharing individuals to perform different tasks peacefully while staying closer for a certain period of time. This adaptation assures less conflicts and let all commuters and travelers to reach their destinations peacefully.

Metropolitan public transport system is evident to any observer. Most people simply divert their attention from others by mimicking sleep, reading newspapers - books - magazines, listening songs, eating, looking at sealing - flooring or looking out through windows.

There's a good solution to break the icy cold environment inside commuter buses and trains. Forming a small friendship group with regular commuters helps most of us in mitigating (unconscious) threat of being looted, harassed, provoked or harmed by strangers.

Related Articles:
1) Elevator Etiquette 2) Importance of Touch 3) Proxemics

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please post your valuable comment here.