Is it OK to sit beside a stranger when many other seats are available?
August 5, 2014 3:09 AM Subscribe
I have a question about different cultural norms regarding personal space. Specifically, taking the seat right next to somebody in an empty waiting room, bus, train, study hall, etc.
posted by dontjumplarry to Society & Culture (30 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Obviously, if there are a few people already in a shared space, it's fine to take the seat next to somebody. But what if a large shared space is totally empty, and there are dozens other seats available?
Twice in the past few days, someone has sat right next to me in a very large space with ~50 other places to sit. It was not creepy, they were pleasant and non-intrusive. But it registered with me as breaking an unwritten norm.
Are there cultures where this is acceptable or encouraged (perhaps it's a sign of friendly camaraderie)?