Monday, November 09, 2009

Thermostat or Thermometer

Standing at the pharmacy counter today, I pondered my social interaction in groups. I wondered, "Am I a thermostat or a thermometer?"

A thermometer: a person who reads the temperature of the group and observes. This could be a listener, an observer, a person who is simply a static part of the group.

A thermostat: a person who reads the temperature of the group and then acts as a catalyst to change the temperature. This is a person who either in a positive or negative way, influences the group to change. Is this the complainer who grumbles and makes everyone else uncomfortable? Perhaps the thermostat is a peacemaker who brings calm to the group. The person could be the "happy pill" for the group and brings the fun.

I think I am typically a thermometer. If I am ever a thermostat, it would be in a small eddy off to the side of the main group. I am attracted to groups of 2 where conversation can go to meaningful depths. I like to leave a social gathering knowing that I have had an interaction that is a blessing. I like to leave a person better than I found them. If I cannot have a meaningful conversation, then I tend to lurk in the background and watch ... observe.

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