Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Take a seat.

This post was inspired by a conversation I had with my Pops at the dinner table last night. We were analyzing how something as mundane as sitting could actually be replete with meaning. Where you choose to seat actually says a lot about who you are. Like a dog searching for the perfect spot to sit, we're all looking for our place in this world. Sometimes that place may exist in the most ordinary formats, like a seat at the dinner table, on the bus, plane, restaurant or in a classroom.

Cases in point: mobsters often sit at the back of restaurants so they can survey the joint, be close to an exit, and make sure no one is behind them. My Dad is an aisle man when he flies because he likes to feel free to move and not be obstructed by people (though position is fraught with its own problems - people grab your headrest and knock your knees as they walk down the aisles).

Some people like to sit close to a window, so they can daydream and look outside. Maybe others like to sit in the middle of a crowd so they can blend in because they're shy. I know a lot of people that don't like to sit with their backs to the door, in case trouble comes barging in. Yet other transient commitment phobes may like to sit close to exits.

The politics of seating arrangements is pretty serious business. Weddings, especially Jewish ones, necessitate the art of seating diplomacy, so Aunt Ethel is not next to cousin George, who she hasn't spoken to in years, ever since he insulted her new Gefilte fish (or something as ridiculous).

Where you sit can also be an indication of power and personality in the workplace. According to clinical psychologist Sharon Livingston, people fit into one of seven personality types based on where they sit, which she explains using the nomenclature borrowed from Snow White's seven dwarves. Those sitting opposite the person leading the meeting tend to be Grumpy or Doc, or a combination of the two, says Livingston. Grumpy is openly argumentative and may be hard to control. Doc is the person who faces off against the leader to show off his or her intelligence. The person who sits on the leader's right is Happy--a yes-man.

I just like how thinking about where you're sitting at a dining room table can lead to an investigation into personality, character and place. There is something to be said about the odd adage: where you stand depends on where you sit.

1 comment:

  1. Nice Blog !! Spacify has wide range of Seating and more, to decorate your home and office in Contemporary style.