The most fascinating thing about people is the second you think you’ve got them figured out, they go and surprise you. I’ve always been the journaling type, so for years, I’ve analyzed interactions — with friends, coworkers, family, even acquaintances on the street — trying to understand how I am the way I am, and well, why others are the way they are.
With time, I’ve learned one (highly unscientific and entirely anecdotal) truth: Every person seems to be either an amplifier or a soother. Amplifiers are high energy; they command the room the second they enter it, the air practically crackles with their presence. They’re natural extroverts, and they tend to boost the energy in the room (and, often, the drama, as every aspect of their lives exists in the extreme — the highs are smash-the-ceiling high, and the lows are rock-bottom low).
Soothers, meanwhile, are a calming presence. They make you feel like everything’s going to be all right, even when things are absolutely chaotic. They have a quiet grace; when they walk in, you feel at ease, like things are right in the world. (And, on the flip side, they can be a little low-energy; you tell them big news and they sleepily smile and tell you they’re happy for you, and you know they mean it, but you can’t help but wish there was more oomph to their reactions to life.)
“Every person seems to be an amplifier or a soother.”
It’s very similar to the concept of introverts and extroverts, but to me, amplifiers and soothers are more about how they make other people feel when you interact with them. An amplifier tends to have 1-2 very close friends who are soothers, and often, a soother’s inner circle will be largely amplifiers. It’s like finding the yin to your yang; the tribe that balances you out.
Have you ever noticed that you have different friends you share different types of news with? It’s not that one group will approve of your news while the other won’t, or anything like that; it’s just that in certain situations, you crave different types of interactions. Maybe you want an amplifier, who can be your cheerleader or the person going to bat for you. Maybe you want a soother to be more introspective and help you see the larger picture and live beyond what’s happening in the moment. Different situations, different approaches.
I don’t think every person is 100 percent either an amplifier or a soother; I just think we lean largely in one direction.
So which are you? And who are the main people in your life?
Photo: Ethan Robertson/Unsplash