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Brazil > HOW CLOSE SHOULD I STAND?

HOW CLOSE SHOULD I STAND? Image

Less than 1 foot apart.

Brazil is a wonderful example of a culture that communicates in close proximity. Brazilians may touch you intermittently on the arm, hand, or shoulder during much of your conversation. Never back away from them. They are unconsciously setting up the correct proxemic zone with you, and if you move, they will probably close up the distance at the first opportunity. Let your Brazilian associates define the proper space, or you may find yourself followed around the room.

Many believe that proxemic behavior is driven by sensory responses, which are established in childhood. If you grow up physically close to other people (with multiple people in each room of the house), your sensitivity to reflective thermal heat, scent, and visual stimuli will be set for that distance at a subconscious level. It is exceedingly difficult to change your comfort zone once it is set. Therefore, never expect Brazilians to change for you; you should adapt to their sense of appropriate physical space.


  

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