Social Question

Disc2021's avatar

Does someone you know(or you yourself) manipulate and tailor their personality around other people?

Asked by Disc2021 (4488points) May 10th, 2010

Okay, so of course the way I talk to my parents is going to be a different than the register I use to talk to my friends – but doesn’t it irritate you when someone you know (a friend or person in close relations) completely changes in front of other people? Maybe I could see acting a little differently in front of certain people or not quite acting yourself until you adequately get to know someone, but I feel like there is a certain set of character, mannerism, morality and ethical sense that should always be consistently identifiable in a person.

It’s happened a few times when people I know completely switch characters and transform into a different person, as if to “show off” or demonstrate what a different person or crowd wants to see. It irritates me! Why can’t people just be themselves?

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10 Answers

nyc_air's avatar

I think i used to do that, I asked my friends about it but they say its normal. But I can’t help but feel two faced sometimes. Sometimes i act like a great human rights activist other times I’m the bitch that can really put someone down. I stopped putting people down and now im just much nicer over all, i think its like a transition state between your changing personality, thats how it was kind of for me. I mean im young and im constantly learning and changing so my personality slowly shifts.

Also i kind act like an Ass when im trying to impress a guy and they don’t like it, but when im with just my friends (mostly girls) everyone loves me.

Its just that your still looking for the right personality to fit you and in a lot of ways fit the people around you, cuz i think that when the people around you are happy, so are you and thats what i think evolves your personality.

MacBean's avatar

I… sort of do this. I’m never really me in “real life.” But I’m pretty much the same “not me” for everyone, so I don’t know if that really counts.

Fyrius's avatar

I wish I were better at this. Sometimes I still end up accidentally alienating people. Particularly the non-academic ones.
I think it would be cool to be able to get along with random people from any subculture. Social mobility. It seems a worthwhile skill. A sort of versatility.

But to a point where you ignore your principles when it suits your integration better, no. That would be bad.

Draconess25's avatar

Well, I have 3 sides of me anyways, but strangers usually get the “whiny reclusive hermit” or the “maniacal cocky ass” side of me. But I don’t try to, it just happens.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Like you say, everyone does this to some extent in the workplace versus being with family and then with friends or romantic partners. For a lot of people, finding yourself is a process of years, getting comfortable in your own skin.

SuperMouse's avatar

Code-switching is perfectly normal and common, we all do it by changing our speech, mannerisms, and vocabulary depending on our audience. It is also an essential aspect of social interaction. To an extent everyone does it, some do it more than others. Some even do it to the extent that they seem to become someone different. I admit it, I am a totally different woman with my boyfriend than I am with my kids, and different still when I am work or in school.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, I think it’s a maturation thing a lot of the time.

I have always been pretty damn authentic, minus a few social mandates…being comfortable and confident in who you are is key to avoid duplicitious behaviors.

WolfFang's avatar

I do this too, but I noticed it started early on, like around elementary school age. I spent alot of time around so many different types of people, I tried to craft myself into something different for each occasion, until I realized…It was too many! I also realized that my original self actually fit in most situations anyway…I hate the way I switch between different “versions” and dialects, but it helps communicate, and I guess, to an extent it is normal. Now I’m spending my time trying to undo my own emotional engineering I’ve done to myself.

perspicacious's avatar

Acting a certain way is not a personality change. Your personality is what makes it possible for you to do that. Some people cannot put forth a false persona at will. If this really interests you, read some Jung.

Disc2021's avatar

@Fyrius + @Coloma , I think you two know exactly what I’m talking about. @SuperMouse That is normal, of course, obviously, you’re going to talk/act differently around your children than you are your boyfriend. There’s things I’d say at work that I wouldn’t say at school and so on. I’m talking about the people that totally become someone different just to please others, or, what I call the “cool crowd” – and completely disregard/ignore their standards, mannerisms, principles, etc. they had 5 minutes earlier.

@perspicacious I guess you can call it what you want, I still call it being fake. Perhaps I’ll look into him.

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