I was thinking recently about the deliberate strategy of using distance to punish. I thought initially of the everyday occurrence when driving and somebody cuts you off. Some people then hang back from the offending car, placing a bit of distance between them as if to say to the world, stay away, this guy’s a bad driver! Of course, I’ve never done that or had it done to me! But you’re using distancing to punish and even shame someone.
Then yesterday I was out on the sidewalk in front of my house retrieving my wheely-bin (or Herbies as they’re called here). A guy was coming down the street who looked like he might be homeless (though I don’t know). Anyway he deliberately stopped walking toward me quite some way away and looked up into the air. I smiled at him but he wouldn’t meet my eye. After I wheeled the bin up the driveway he gradually resumed and continued walking along the sidewalk in front of my house. Could be liberal guilt of course but I was wondering if it wasn’t also a strategy of deliberate distancing to highlight…well I’m not quite sure. Neither of us knew each other so whatever it was it wasn’t personal.
There are probably lots of other examples of this this that might occur to you.