Exploiting Social Norms -- The Conclusion


If you haven't read the previous posts in this series, start reading here!

Over the past four posts, I have talked about our personal bubble, the idea behind Proxemics and how I performed some unofficial social experiments on unwitting groups of individuals trapped with me in various Southwest Airlines flights.  Just before sitting down to write these posts I used this knowledge to score an electrical outlet at LAX.  For those of you that travel, you know that in LAX airport, electrical outlets are a PREMIUM!  There was no electrical plugin available at the gates where I was waiting for my flight.  

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Then…I saw a young lady sitting in front of a set of plugins at a high-top-table charge station…merely looking at her phone; not using electricity. She was wasting a very good charging spot!  I used this knowledge of our Proxemics and our individual space as a tool to get what I wanted!  I walked over and stood within three feet of her and leaned up against the table where she was sitting.  I smiled, then parked my luggage about two feet from hers and leaned against the counter facing away from her.  Then, I leaned down to get something out of my bag and that was all it took: she stood up and walked away.  I quite happily took the charging spot and began writing the past four posts you, hopefully, have read. 

No one forced her move.  She chose to.  She could have as easily engaged me in conversation or asked me to give her space…but she didn’t.  Most people are not the confronting kind; I utilized that knowledge along with Proxemics to invade her space, and her response was to keep the social norm since I was not.  I stepped into her four-foot space and she decided to add distance. This became my gain.

As you are in relationships and around people, I hope you will ponder this.  Are you allowing a social norm to rob you of a friendship or experience?  Are you allowing a social norm to dictate your responses in a circumstance?  Why?  Fear of the unknown?  Fear of a social difference?  If you now know this about yourself, you can choose to address the discomfort and the unknown instead of succumbing to the social norm. How can you use social norms to your benefit?



Please pass the Buck! Will you tell three people about this blog?  Thanks for helping me.

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