I had heard about them. I had even seen them from a distance. I had never personally encountered a close talker until recently. I just happen to work with one for a day.
In case you don‚Äôt know what I am talking about, a close talker is a person who gets uncomfortably close to you when they talk to you. Their face is extremely close to yours and they don‚Äôt give you any personal or privacy space. They do not honor the comfortable 3 feet rule.
SO let me give you some helpful tips to employ which may help you feel less uncomfortable and better able to communicate.
Your first inclination may be to back up. While this may work some of the time, it really is a rookie mistake. The close talker is trying to engage you and will just move closer and before you know it you will end up against a wall or railing with nowhere to go.
Next, you may try to hold your arms out a bit to try and give you some space. Maybe you can act like you are checking your phone while holding it out in front of you. This technique doesn‚Äôt always provide the best results.
The best technique I have found is the leg out in front technique. Before the close talker can get to you, stand with one leg out in front of you and lean back on the other. That way, your front foot will act as a barrier for the close talker. Combined with continual side switching and turning your body you can really work some extra space for yourself. The close talker may find you a bit fidgety but this can be easily passed off as preoccupation while you are talking to them.
So watch out for those close talkers. Remember the 3 feet rule, work the techniques, and you will come out ok.