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Comments on Wednesday 11 October 2006:
A week or two ago, someone suggested that I'm agoraphobic, which I'm fairly obviously not, at least not clinically, given that I spent 6 hours or so yesterday at Kew Gardens. However, that did get me pondering what precisely it is that's my motivation in preferring to stay indoors, avoid crowds, and such.

With some thought, I came to a unified theory of various idiosycrasies. It's not that I dislike open spaces, or like enclosed spaces, or dislike crowds - it's that I dislike open spaces behind me. In rooms I have a strong preference for sitting with my back to a corner, or failing that at least a wall. This explanation also links in to my tendency to walk much faster than most people - if I'm moving away from the space behind me then it isn't threatening. Further evidence for the theory is that I am very uncomfortable stopping, and quite uncomfortable if someone passes me from behind.

And then some further pondering brought me to the realisation that this insight, though interesting, is thoroughly useless, except possibly in informing furniture-layout decisions in my new house. [21:25]

Carina
I don't think any realisation about yourself is ever useless - at the very least, your reasliation could help you to make yourself more comfortable in social situations, even by something so simple as standing with your back to an object when in a group of people.

Personally, I struggle to sleep with my back to an open space or a door, though I've no idea why...

mike
Indoors is so much more comfortable than outdoors.

It makes me really uncomfortable if someone stands or passes behind me too closely. It will ofen cause an and enormous and rather noticeable shudder down my spine, which can draw some strange looks if out and about in town.

The reason *I* prefer being indoors, avoiding crowds is that I find it incredibly frustrating having to navigate to where I want to go, while avoiding inconsiderate idiots. e.g.

-groups walking slowly side-by-side blocking anyone from getting past.
-people who stop suddenly and without warning in front of you in the middle of a busy pavement.
-arseholes who walk directly at you, yet look through you as if you're invisible, expecting you to move aside for them.

The only times I have felt fearful in crowds occurred when I have been pinned, not able to move my arms from my sides and/or when being swept along not in control of my own movement.
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