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!!!