People are this way for a reason.

Have you ever wondered why people need their personal space? Why people are rude? Why they avoid confrontation? These questions and more will be answered by Wilma Starr, psychology professor who has been teaching at Bucks County Community College for 19 years.

               “[People need their space because] It makes them comfortable. Americans need eight to nine inches, Italians zero, and Asians need two feet. They have actually done studies to see what is comfortable,” said Wilma.

                Me: Why do some people seek reassurance from others? Wilma: Some of them are perfectionists. They lack in self-esteem and self-confidence. It’s about conformation. It’s always good to get positive feedback.

                Why are people so rude? “I personally think it [stems] from casual Fridays. I think people became more relaxed. Parents aren’t teaching children right. I think when people smile; some are taking a back by that. It’s kind of a shame. We don’t have very nice role models. I think if no one told you, then you don’t know if it’s rude.”

                Wilma said she thinks in life you have to go through hurdles.

                “If you never fall, you won’t know how to get back up. A little disappointment is good,” said Wilma.

                Next I wondered why people avoid confrontation. “People think it’s negative. It can be positive sometimes. Sometimes people don’t know what you’re mad at. It’s fear of the unknown.”

                Why can’t people just get along? “I think everyone is different. If we were all same, everything would be boring. It would be plain if there was just vanilla.”

                I agree with that statement. But at the same time, I would like no fighting in this world. Isn’t that what you want?

                Why do people feel crappy on rainy days? “The weather has an effect on your mood. On sunny days we’re happier. The sunlight regulates your mood.”

                She mentioned Seasonal affective disorder [SAD] and I looked it up. According to, SAD is a type of depression that occurs at the same time every year. If you’re like most people with seasonal affective disorder, your symptoms start in the fall and may continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.

                Why do people look the other way when you look at them? “It’s threatening when you look them in the eyes. In other cultures it’s a sign of respect. It could be a cultural thing.”

                She referred to a script while talking about conversations.

                “You take turns talking,” said Wilma.

                Think about it. When you talk to someone, both of you will state something to keep things going. Unless you are someone who doesn’t let the other person add to what you’re conversing about. In this case, change it now or else you may come across a day where people don’t want to interact with you.

                Then I pondered why men don’t show their emotions? “Boys aren’t allowed to. They learn early on that crying is bad. It’s a sign of weakness.”

                She said that girls always listen with their eyes while conversing with someone.

                She also said that girls learn the power of tears.

                “When a girl breaks up with her boyfriend, she goes to her friend’s house with a group of girls and cries. While guys [on the other hand], don’t do that,” said Wilma.

                Wilma has two kids. And she loves teaching. If you have any questions for her, you can e-mail her at

                Her final thought was: “Life is what you make it. You have to be prepared for opportunities and accept responsibilities.”

                Any questions? E-mail me at


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