Where you sit at the table or Hide the vegatables under the mash potatoes

Hide the vegtables under the mash potatoes
I was the baby of the family, significantly younger than my siblings. In fact my sister Robin, who is twelve years older than I am, went off to college the same week I started first grade. This age differance obviously effected our family dinners. I was down at the end of table playing with my food, trying to hide the broccoli under the mash potatoes, because no self respecting six year old eats anything green, while the rest of my family was focused on adult interaction.

Every family has its dinner ritual. And your childhood rituals effect your adult interactions. One of the most important nonverbal patterns that tend to develop at the family dinner table is where you sat and who you talked to. Nonverbal Communication research shows this pattern effects your future conversational behavior dinners and meeting behavior as an adult.
As a child I didn’t exactly fit in. Oh! I tried. After all I loved begging the center of attention. I would interrupt the conversational flow with exploits of the number of minnows in my latest catch and how high I swung on the swing that day. I always had to fight my way into the conversation. , using an extra loud voice. I had more energy and enthusiasm than a high school cheerleader and facial expressions and chair dancing to rival Steve Martin. I would even sit on my feet so I would sit higher at the table thinking it was just a few inches of height that separated me from the fun.
My antics would work in the short term. I could always get the first part of the story out. But if I went a second to long, the adults would shush me and continue on and I would be the small silent food magician pushing potatoes around again.
Occasionally my enthusiasm would disturb them far too much and I would be “allowed” to eat in the basement family room in front of the TV. I would hear the family laughing upstairs over the sounds of The Virginian or Flintstone Cartoon and would take the opportunity given in my absence from the table to flush any food I didn’t like down the toilet. My mother always said, “You eat so much better when you’re not distracted by us talking” It was lonely downstairs. I felt left out. But I felt left out at the table as well.
Now here is the kicker. Years later I began to go to grad student meeting then faculty meeting and then corporate meeting. Sitting around any board room table I felt like the little kid at the end being ignored. I even sat on my feet! But I was silent most of the time. It took several years of speaking in front of audiences at the corporate level to get my confidence up enough to speak in a board room. The patterns created at the family dinner table are very strong.
Yesterday I went to a business meeting at a restaurant. The booth seat was low, I asked for a telephone book to sit on. I guess I am too old to sit on my feet.
Where do you sit at the table?