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Reasons Why Our Behavior Changes Around People

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I'm a big psychology geek (I minored in it) and enjoy observing human behavior. Lately I've noticed that many of my friends tend to act a certain way when I'm having one-to-one conversations with them, but behave differently when they're in the presence of other people. This phenomenon is discussed in more detail here: Reasons Why Our Behavior Changes Based On Who We’re With

I've especially noticed this in the workplace. Some people are nice and polite when having one-to-one conversations, but become jerks when they're around others who act like jerks themselves. I feel it's because people have an innate drive to fit in, and in the end, they're looking out for themselves.

The mindset is something along these lines: "If the jerk in accounting can help me get a promotion, I'll try to mirror his personality as much as possible -- whether by telling similar jokes, acting as silly as he does, etc. That way, he'll like me more and thus do his part to get me the promotion."

It's amazing how people take on different personas when it's most convenient for them.

Have you guys noticed this in anyone you know?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    :::bump::: Any thoughts?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yes, I have noticed that. I think it is fairly common. It's also people starting to speak in weird dialects they don't usually speak, when talking to people from regions that talk this dialect. It certainly is mildly interesting, but not enough so to hold an in-depth discussion about it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I change my personality multiple times each day. The job I do means I have to put up a shield. I can't have the general public knowing too much about the real me.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    depends. it's often to fit in, mirror other people, seem more acceptable, etc.

    probably your friends feel more comfortable in one on one situations.
  • Danny!Danny! mod Posts: 560 The answer to life, the universe, and everything
    Might another way to understand some situations be that we all have a lot of different (sometimes contradictory) sides, some of which come out more in different contexts?

    So even though I act differently with my granddad, in the office, with friends, with parents, with girlfriend, they could all in some way be the real me?

    And if some of you friends can be nice with you and a jerk with someone else, maybe that's just reflecting different sides of their character?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd add further that i don't see how it can not be normal.

    If you have a niece or nephew who is 5 years, you don't treat him or her the same as your girlfriend, or mother, right? It's not being insecure, but recognising that people are different and you have to treat them accordingly.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Doesn't it suck to have to change your personality for a job? I've been there before, and needless to say, I wound up quitting the job. If a job forces you to "stretch" yourself a little to far, you won't last long.
    Whowhere wrote: »
    I change my personality multiple times each day. The job I do means I have to put up a shield. I can't have the general public knowing too much about the real me.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Changing your personality is not the same as tailoring your behaviour depending on the situation.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    doublejm1 wrote: »
    If a job forces you to "stretch" yourself a little to far, you won't last long.

    Or perhaps it could be sign of being inflexible.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    doublejm1 wrote: »
    Doesn't it suck to have to change your personality for a job? I've been there before, and needless to say, I wound up quitting the job. If a job forces you to "stretch" yourself a little to far, you won't last long.

    Maybe I should have phrased it better, G-Raffe hit the nail on the head. I'm always me, but as I said I'm always careful about what I say, in what situation and who to.
    I work with kids who are at risk of/caught offending so I will act totally different around them than I will with teachers or other police officers.
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