Friday, April 6, 2007

armrest psychology

So I was thinking last Sunday about the psychology around people and arm rests (the place on the sides of a chair, where you put your arms/elbows.) Most importantly, in a public setting where seats are close to each other and that is the only thing that you have defining your personal space. Well, I know we have all encountered the awkward who puts their arm on the rest situation, which usually happens on a first date or hanging out with someone you may not know that well. You want to sit comfortably with your elbows resting but you don't want to be an armchair hog, or maybe you do want to brush skin. Usually someone ends up sitting not as comfortably with their arms nicely in their lap or maybe perched upon a crossed knee, but not as comfortably as you could be with your elbows out wide on the armrest.

All that to say, last week at church I decided their arm a few types of people and labels/traits can be given depending on how you utilize your arm rest.

First, there are people who are head strong and more dominate will put their arms on the rest without even thinking that they share it with another human being. The only way they notice is if the other person accidentally bumps into their arm.

Second, you have the person who will think and contemplate about how they wish they could put their arm on the rest but since someone is already there, they don't bother and sit with their hands in their lap. These are our more passive approach people.

Thirdly, and if/when I notice I am hogging the armrest I will politely move my elbow
either to the front or the back of the armrest so that their is enough space for both people to sit comfortably. Share and share alike. If only we would all share the armrest.

1 comment:

joshua* said...

okay, so here's what i do:

if it's someone i know and am comfortable being around, i try to share the armrest by moving my elbow to the back-inside.

another option is to use one armrest and give up the other. i usually try to sit on the end, because this obviously works better. i can lean on the one arm using the full and put the other in the lap, or hold onto my crossed ankle. or what. have. you.

option number three, for the intimate friends only, is the arm around the shoulder/arm on your neighbor's backrest move. this must be used with caution, for obvious reasons.