Forced social intimacy

Other Names:
Obligatory social kissing
Imposition of intimate forms of address
Unauthentic intimacy
Unwanted social embracing

In some social or working contexts a degree of forced intimacy is imposed upon people. This may take the form of use of familiar forms of address, use of given names, or the use of familiar forms of speech (in languages which make such distinctions). It may also take the form of excessive proximity, physical contact or social kissing. When such intimacy is not readily accepted, it constitutes an invasion of personal space and privacy and for people of some cultures, or of particular social situations, may be considered deeply offensive. Situations in which such heightened intimacy is tolerated may be abused to a degree which amounts to sexual harassment.


Certain cultures, notably the Anglo-American, impose use of first names in many situations. In cultures where the language has a familiar form of speech, this is usually required in both work situations and their wider institutional context, whether this be a government administration, a corporate environment, an armed force or a student body. Social kissing may be required as an appropriate form of greeting in certain work situations.

Narrower Problems:
Aggressive display of affection
Related Problems:
Fear of intimacy
Problem Type:
D: Detailed problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST