On many occasions I have observed that my loved ones, my father (when he was alive)-husband-children-siblings etc. will sit in the family room in the seat that is directly in front of the fireplace (with the TV on top) and that seat is its own zone. We call it 12B.

Social interaction rules, auditory and visual senses are all compromised. They can’t hear or speak or participate in a conversation or whatever is going on around them when they are in that seat.  It works the same way the rules change in the “zone” in front of the soccer net.  Or the zone in front of the Basketball hoop.  In the zone, you can behave differently.

Here is how it came about in my house.  On one occasion, the house was full of post dinner chatter and dishes being cleared and we were all talking about Larry, whom we hadn’t heard from in a long time. AFTER we finished the conversation my dad said, “We should call Larry.”

We all looked at each other and I said “He’s in 12B, he wasn’t here for our conversation”.

They looked at me for clarification and I explained it like this: When you are on a plane in 12B you sit in the middle of an isle in the middle of the plane and there is a lot going on around you and VERY close to you. However you don’t interact in the way you would if you were that close to someone in almost any other setting. You go into your zone and you ignore conversations, spills, laptops, movies, snoring, stewards unless they are talking to you etc…You become anti social and even perhaps sleep next to a stranger without any discussion. We all know someone who slept ON a stranger and perhaps drooled on that stranger.  This is appropriate when you are in 12B but becomes another thing when you are home in your 12B.

Our 12B is also a recliner. After Thanksgiving when it’s time to help with the dishes, my eldest son used to go in 12B and announce that he was overcome by tryptophan and couldn’t possibly function to help with the dishes. Then the power of 12B kicked in and he was gone.

For me, 12B is an eating zone. I can be great with food all day and then at night or even on a snowy afternoon, I can sit in 12B and calories don’t count there. I crave food and drinks that I wouldn’t eat if I were not in 12B. Then when I’m done it’s like coming out of another person’s body and I am shocked at how the power of 12B took me away again. Into the 12B zone.

Video game seats have become a 12B for many millennials and are the biggest 12B issue in therapy sessions with parents of failure to launch young adults.

I once had my driveway sealed and took the caution tape and put it on the seat to try to block me when I wanted to eat in a healthier way. We laughed but everyone acknowledged it is a real phenomenon.

I am a therapist and a business person and I have two seats in my office too. I have one seat that I do administrative tasks and phone calls and another where I am a therapist. My personality, blood pressure and mindset change in the different seats. I share this with patients and friends and colleagues and everyone can relate.

What is your 12B?


Where Do You Go To Zone Out? was last modified: by

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