Territoriality is a behavior pattern in animals consisting of the occupation and defense of a territory. As animals we also experience the necessity of defending our territory. This is demonstrated as we feel pressure when some stranger stands close to us. People need their personal space or they will feel awkward and invaded. The territory doesn’t necessarily needs to be physical, there is also metaphorical space, such as internet accounts. For example: Nobody really lends a Facebook account to someone else.

People say that in Panama everyone invades the personal space of other people and they talk to close. I can’t really see it that way. Everything just feels natural to me. Except maybe while driving. Cars do sort of invade my personal space there and I get extremely paranoid sometimes, but that’s most of the time the fault of the streets that are badly designed. There might be some other cases in which I actually feel that my personal space is being invade, but that’s mainly when there is someone awkwardly hugging me when I just expect a handshake, but I mainly receive that from people who aren’t even from Panama. However, I can’t really complain much about people being friendly with me. I don’t really think there is anything wrong about someone being friendly, at most it is just surprising.

In conclusion, territoriality really differs a lot from culture to culture. Crossing someone’s personal space can be considered either something intimidating or friendly. Most of the time people just feel awkward when someone they don’t know crosses their personal space. Maybe eliminating this barrier actually makes people friendly and more open as sometimes demonstrated by another countries.




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