Monday, June 25, 2007

There's someone in my head - but it's not me... not always

Have you noticed that with different people we behave differently???

With some it's so easy to express ourselves and around others we feel nervous or inadequate or just unable to connect. Around some people we are sparkling and talkative whereas in the presence of some we are quiet, unassuming and boring!!!

Sometimes we act so strange that we don't even recognize ourselves.

With certain people we are suddenly on the defensive imagining slights that may or may not have been intended... with some we feel gauche or clumsy when we compare their elegance to ours. With those we perceive to be 'superior' to us we feel overshadowed. Sometimes even with the same person we are different...

Does this mean that we have no set behavior pattern or character? Or does it mean that we have a dozen people living in our head and they take turns to appear?

Is it something to do with the other person's emotional status and mood that we absorb and then tailor our behavior accordingly or is it something to do with how we are feeling about ourselves? Or is it a combination of both?

Do we intuitively believe that what we are feeling, what are perceptions and conclusions are MUST be what the other person is thinking of us and so we go on to defense mode whether that person is indeed feeling that or not...

I think when we meet someone that we perceive is better than us in anyway we immediately reach the conclusion that person too will be feeling superior to us, which in turn drives our behavior.

I know I can't make a sweeping generalization and include everyone...not all people are like that, my husband certainly isn't but I know hundreds who are... me included!!!

44 comments:

paisley said...

i am like that too.. i will go on auto pilot and use the me that i know is socially acceptable until i find out what the makeup is of this person.. what they can "take" or "accept" about me,, and then i will implement those things in to he conversation or relationship,,,

it is all about data collection and feeling things out for me... i stay "hidden" till i know who i can be in their presence... and then become that facet of me...

i think it can be a good thing tho, as it allows us to interact with any one in any given situation....

Random Magus said...

I am like that as well...sometimes it's frustrating, when I can't be me or feel unnecessarily inadequate when the rational part of my brain knows that there is no reason....

Loz said...

Who is the real Amber? The answer is all of the above. Nothing wrong with having many facets to our personalities.

Random Magus said...

Loz: I know that but sometimes when you act stupid you know deep down why you are doing it and it stems from what you think the other person's view about you is. I would love it if I didn't care!!!

Blur Ting said...

Such keen observation but so true. I believe how we interact with others depends on chemistry and perhaps some mirroring. I used to feel that way when I was younger but now that I am older, I tend to feel more confident,less uneasy or inadequate. Or perhaps I try to remove myself from situations whereby I know will not make me feel at ease.

Epimenides said...

Being one that doesn't open up easily to others, with me it's more like kind of getting a feel of the surroundings and then dropping the defence.

Random Magus said...

Blur Ting: You are so right... chemistry plays a very important role...


Epimenides: I don't open up easily either... and sometimes making small talk is easy but at other times its such an effort that I prefer to be alone but since hubby is very social I have to make an effort

Michelle said...

The first time I ever realised I did this was as a teen. I had a friend in school and a friend from my neighbourhood. Two very different people in personality and tastes. I invited them both out to a movie. Suddenly found myself stuck between two people who usually got to see two different versions of "me". I felt like my head was going to explode!

I remember reading an article by a psychologist once on how mimicking another person's body language, or way of talking etc, makes them feel more comfortable and relaxed.

Random Magus said...

Michelle: I've been through some of those situations myself I either become hyper or silent...
I envy people who are just themselves every time...
although I make myself happy by thinking that makes them boring ;)

The Real Mother Hen said...

You're brave to discuss this out loud Amber :) I find myself doing that, like I can be very quiet among American friends but loud when I'm with Ting or other Southeast Asian friends :)

Random Magus said...

The Real Mother Hen: It's so good to have you back!!!!
... sometimes I am a shameless exhibitionist and play the role of the 'life of the party' to perfection ... and other times I'm downright dull

David said...

When I meet someone I know right away if the energy feels right. I'm not going to let that influence whether I trust them or not, but there's rapport and I feel comfortable. Sometimes there's a blockage and that energy isn't flowing, it's like there's a wall between me and the other person, that's when silences become uncomfortable and weird vibes and signals go out. I don't think that's anything more than the random function of the energy that flows around us.

You ever had one of those phone calls, like with a best friend, where you stay on the phone for hours but you hardly talk? It still feels comfortable though, cause you're just hanging out together. You're on the same wavelength or something. That's magic.

Random Magus said...

David: I know what you mean...
People you can be comfortable being silent with are the ones to keep and cherish

Gautam said...

I can help answer your question. I have taken a psychology course at Uni and we have talked about this.

In every situation there is an 'IDEAL SELF', which means how would one react to things ideally. When you are around strangers or people that you are not really comfortable with...your 'SELF' tries to be the 'IDEAL SELF'.

But when you are around with people that you know or relate to, your 'SELF' is closer to being the 'REAL SELF' which means that how you would describe yourself.

It is perfectly normal for people to behave differently to the same incident/object in different settings.

In fact, it would be abnormal if you didn't. For example, If your husband or mother kisses you on your cheek for no reason...that is considered as an affectionate feeling and you would react to it depending on your 'REAL SELF', which would be either surprised or respond back affectionately .

Now, think about this; if your boss or coworker kisses you on your cheek, you would respond how you ought to ideally, either angry or blushing ( If you were single :P).

Don't worry...everything that you are going through is because you are a normal being :D

Wonder said...

Erm, I won't add much to the conversation, I just wanted to say I agree with Paisley XD. I feel the same way, try to get the person first, see what they're like and what we can talk about or share, and afterwards open up a little more and more, and so on. That's why only true friends or lovers get to know you more than anyone.
I wonder which one of these facets we use for blogging ;) I think it's the same thing, though sometimes as we've discussed before, it's easier to share some things and open up because we're not face to face, it's just our words on the screen.
W.

HollyGL said...

I think its a convergence of many things: projection, mirroring, our mood, their mood, etc... I often talk about the "essence" of someone. That - I think - is what we pick up on when we feel either really comfortable, or just the opposite, immediately.

I also think we create various personas at a very early age as a survival tactic. Paisley is right. It allows us to engage pretty much anyone in any situation.

I am just like you in that I have so many different ways of interacting with different people. ...but there are people - thank God - with whom I can just basically exist, with masks dropped, who love me just as I am. :)

TerryMundo said...

I learned a long time ago to be adaptable and I am able to hangout and be friends with many different types of people. I've had to be careful not to mix some friends, its like smoking while pumping gas.
But I do feel that people influence the way I am, my jokes, my smiles, my ideas and in general I react off some people better then others.
In all I like being that way!!!

Random Magus said...

Hollygl: I think you've hit the nail on the head. I think sub-consciously we recognize each other and classify people into ones like us and ones opposite to us. I used to think that before we were born we existed as thoughts in God's head and similar thoughts occupied the same place whereas divergent one were far away.

Random Magus said...

TerryMundo:I just wish that I wouldn't let people and their vibes affect me as much as they do... perhaps people who do react more to others are just more sensitive to unspoken vibes???
I don't know...

Random Magus said...

Gautam: I totally get what you are saying [I love psychology - did my bachelors in psychology} but there still are people who stay the same I mean there behaviour doesn't change.. they are so at ease with themselves that they don't care

Wonder: I am more myself while blogging because there are no other vibes interfering with my system.... so in the absence of that it feels easier to reveal....

Jeff said...

It is amazing how moods change the person inside. Some magnify some just give us hallucinations.

QUASAR9 said...

Yep we react to our envinoment
We react to those we interact with
We react to our moods
We react to light & colours
We react to chemical stimuli ...

....
and different people react different ways to how we act.
All the World is a Stage
Sometimes we get plum roles
others we get dumb roles.

I guess the difference will always be between who we are orwant to be

and who others think weare or would like us to be, sometimes hard to believe we are living in the same world at all

meleah rebeccah said...

I am very much like that. I am one way when I am comfortable and get to know you and feel like I CAN be myself.

Some people just bring out the defensive in me and I don't know why.

I agree wholeheartedly with Paisley & Holly

Mark said...

There is not doubt that our perception of someone else often drives our behaviour. This is why it is very important to check our perceptions and reflect how that perception effects our thoughts, words and actions.
Good thoughts!

Peter Haslam said...

We are most comfortable with people we can predict. When we can't then we are having to guess and will keep changing our mind until we get a fix on them or avoid prople we can't

Random Magus said...

Jeff: For me that's so true... it's not even funny

QUASAR9:
"Sometimes we get plum roles
others we get dumb roles".
I love that... how do you think of these things to say... they are always so perfect :)

meleah rebeccah: And the worse is when they are in your extended social circle and they are women and they are catty...

Mark: This happened to me recently... once my perceptions changed so did my judgment of that person's behaviour towards me... we got to be so much more comfortable with each other

Peter Haslam: You are so right, I had not thought of this point... an anomaly would put things out of kilter

confessing7girl said...

oh girl u just touched the right spot there!!! i really cant explain!! i feel exactly how u described it!!! im soo amazed on how human beings can be so much alike in this social feelings?!!
If u hv the answer as to how its possible to feel and behave so differently on certain occasions and with different people please share!! i wanna know the secret!!
I feel so awkward sometimes i wish i could dig a hole to hide!! :D

Random Magus said...

confessing7:
I am still trying to figure it out - I just keep telling myself that they might be feeling the same... since they can't see it on my face I might not be able to see it on theirs... but inside they could be as awkward and ill at ease...

And at other times especially when I am not feeling my best I just try to avoid meeting those particular people

Josie Two Shoes said...

Hi Random, thanks for dropping by my blog! WOW... I could have written the same "About Me" as you have in your profile - exactly!! You are also the only other person
I've ever heard mention "Mr.God,This is Anna"! I read it years ago, and still remember it! I'll be dropping by often to read what you write!

Josie Two Shoes said...

This is a "deep thoughts" post, Random, and so very true for me too. It's that ol' "insecurity and fear of rejection" thing that haunts so many people I know. Great writing!

Blur Ting said...

I have often thought about this...
If I were to meet the CEO of a huge corporation in a business environment, I'd probably feel intimidated.

But if I happen to meet and speak to the same guy at a restaurant or in the public and have no inkling of who he is, there is no barrier.

So I always tell myself, whoever you're meeting, he's just another person like anyone one of us. That has helped me alot in removing any unnecessary pressure.

Bush Mackel said...

@ Gautam - The stuff you said was fascinating!

Personally, I try to just be the same with everyone, and that takes a lot of honesty. I know that I'm not though but I think I've made great strides.

For some reason though, when my friends act 100% different w/ us and girls though, it grates on my last nerve. Don't know why!

Random Magus said...

Josie Two Shoes:
It's just good to know that there are other people in the same boat. 'Mister God, this is Anna' is one of my absolute favorites.

Blur Ting: If we could only stop letting our brains mind/brain/whatever mess around with us we would be so much happier

Bush Mackel: I always wonder about that, how other friends feel when they see their guy friends act all sweet around girls

Amel's Realm said...

I've actually been struggling to answer the question myself: Are other people's motives that I perceive true?

And I'm also different among different people, but I think most people are like that. I mean, even my outgoing friends are like that, too. They say that the only place they can TOTALLY be themselves is among our group of close friends. That's why they say that our group of close friends is their home where they can go back to whenever they're weary with the world.

I think it's good to know that we react differently towards other people. It helps us "filter" potential partners and friends. It helps us find out which people push our buttons too much and which don't. :-))))

Random Magus said...

Amel's realm: I have some friends who are always so composed and pretty much confident no matter who they are with... I oscillate [one extreme to another - very seldom do I find a middle ground:( ]

THEQUEENOFPERSIA™ said...

I really enjoy your writing.
All I can add here is that I have always felt like a chameleon...
adjusting and adapting to those aorund me...
Some people can do this some prople cant.
I just know its easier for me.

I AM WITH PAISLEY ON THIS ONE..."i think it can be a good thing, as it allows us to interact with any one in any given situation...."

Mike French said...

What is scary is how fast you can change.

I can be in my car listening to my music and be feeling like I could take on the world. The next moment I'm meeting someone I look up to and I'm one years old again and dropping my rattle out of the window.

I think it's to do with confidence.

What is interesting is knowing you change ...
Who do you seek out to spend time with?

I find there are three types. The ones where I feel about the same as before, ones who make me feel like a child and ones who make me feel more confident.

Scares me the last one. Am I feeding of someone else's insecurity?

I guess the best thing to do is to get a balance of all three.

Bowrag said...

After reading this post I have realized that yes, I am crazy.

Random Magus said...

THEQUEENOFPERSIA: I agree a little with everyone. I think in different situations different things are true. I can be a chameleon too but there are some people who just make me very uneasy.
BTW thanks for stopping by

Mike French: Sounds terrible but I'd take the third choice any day. The second one is the one that scares me coz then I'm vulnerable


Bowrag: We're all crazy just the degrees vary ;)

insanity-suits-me said...

I agree with your last statement. I make my decision according to the "vibe" I'm getting from the other person. What I don't know is if I can always trust that initial first impression because I have been wrong on occasion!

Random Magus said...

insanity-suits-me: I conducted an experiment on myself today wherein I told myself before the evening started that I would sparkle and not feel shy or anything like that and somehow my mind processed that info and acted on it... it was quite surprising...

Bobby Revell said...

This is something that has fascinated me for years. However, for me, letting go of all the anger inside me as I've become older - I pretty much act the same all the time. I can take someone who wants to shoot me, within a few minutes, to the point where we're getting along. All the while feeling indifferent to their anger. I don't know how that is, but I just can't get mad (unless it were truly necessary).Great post Amber:) I officially ordain you:
"Master Commenter"

Random Magus said...

Bobby: Yay!!! me....
But seriously do you make an conscious effort not to get angry or does it just happen? Thats a great ability to have

Anonymous said...

I have this but mine is Evil it is not the same mine but similar. he is in my head and comes out when i am feeling, i dunno really. But when he come out i am in hy head. But he has name when he out my friends call him Max. But he hasnt been with me for a while, i think he is coming back though because i saw a bag today with a make called MAX, and cmon i never seen a make called Max. I am not leaving any names or anything so.

Anoymnous.