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Some people are natural “amplifiers” and others are natural “balancers”.
The amplifiers tend to agree, nod encouragingly, and add to your thoughts with material that proves or corroborates your assertions, or opinions. Balancers listen with a different attitude. You’re making one case, so they’re helping by voicing the opposite case, or an alternative narrative. Amplifiers are most comfortable in a conversation with depth of agreement, and balancers in one with breadth of perspective.
It’s good to understand this dynamic, and to be aware of your own conversational bent. Without that awareness, you may fall into thee traps these personal styles present.
The amplifier may feel offended by what seems to be the contrariness of the balancer. The balancer may feel threatened by the pressure toward group-think in a conversation dominated by amplifiers. Both styles, pushed out of balance, move toward the silencing of other persons.
An amplifier can be just a ‘yes man,’ or drown out the wisdom and contributions of others. The balancer may think he’s being helpful, while his constant contradiction flattens and quashes the enthusiasm of others. In unity, respect, integration and love, though, these two can turn a conversation into an enjoyable and edifying event.