Interpersonal distance is an important part of ethics in interpersonal communications. You can read more about it in Communications Ethics Literacy: Dialogue and Difference by Arnett, Fritz and Bell, 2009.
In the vlog linked below I wish to illustrate the importance of distance in interpersonal relationships by using a clip from the film Pride and Prejudice. It is one of my favorite scenes in my favorite movie (and book), where the heroine, Elizabeth Bennet, is confronted by money power in the form of Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Lizzie stands up to Lady Catherine, refusing to sell out, refusing to sacrifice her happiness for anything less than her deepest authentic desires.
Lizzie completely rocks and I know there are many fans out there who agree! In her time, it would have been very difficult socially to stand up to money power and Lizzie is visibly shaken by the encounter, yet she endures. Lady Catherine, throughout her relationship with Elizabeth, fails to observe appropriate distance, imposing herself on Elizabeth, forcing herself on her in the hopes of directing Lizzie’s actions.
References for the vlog can be found on the last slide of the presentation.
A link to download or view the presentation in Dropbox can be found here: