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Adopting the characteristics of others...


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I have noticed in myself (and in others) that we tend to adopt characteristics from those who have emotionally impacted us, in some way. For better, or worse... we absorb those traits.


Have I stumbled on something, or is it just me? Is it like a "if you can't beat em, join 'em" type things?

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I inherited the procrastination gene from my mother, it seems.


Yet, despite health problems being a major issue on her side of the family, I have (with some help along the way) managed to pull myself out of the potentially life-threatening lifestyle that I was so careless about years ago.

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I have certainly noticed myself doing this...and not even just from people who have really impacted me greatly. Picking up mannerisms, figures of speech they tend to use. Sometimes even in conversation with a random person or group of people, I will unconsciously reflect their manner of speech or posturing, and catch myself at it. I am not sure if this happens to a lot of other people, and I am not sure why I do this. An empathetic reaction, a way of making a connection perhaps?

People - I can thing of one significant person in particular - with whom I have had a great emotional connection though, I do find there being a coalescence, we begin to be like one another in small ways. Having the same reactions, the same moods almost.

This has always been of trivial interest to me, though I took it as part of the emotional ties between us.

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I think I meant more in terms of relationships... the better or worse relationships, those that impact us the most tend to reflect in our character and the actual things we say and do.


We may pick up new traits. New hobbies. I never bothered to try sushi until I broke up with my ex. While we were together, I would never have bothered to try. Is it some unconscious attempt to emotionally reconnect? Some people that are treated poorly in several relationships tend to become adjusted to that, expect that, and may eventually treat others poorly.

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I'm easily influenced whether I want to be or not. I end up liking music I never liked, using words I've never used, making jokes that I never cared enough about before.


As far as adapted from my family or something, I'm very like my mother--always starting drama, co-dependent, doesnt' stay at a job long enough/can't find her place in life, all those bad things I wish I could get rid of and am trying to!

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I think I meant more in terms of relationships... the better or worse relationships, those that impact us the most tend to reflect in our character and the actual things we say and do.


That's what I meant with the last bit actually. Having somebody's life philosophies creep upon your own, their trademark phrases coming into your use. That kind of thing, yes, I have experienced to some degree. Those individual mannerisms, like posturing one's hands a certain way for example, I have found those transferring somehow. And even tastes in music etc; perhaps the fact that somebody you are emotionally invested in and trust finds something enjoyable leads you to give it a chance? If they like it, it must not be so bad - that sort of thought.

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Of course it's important to maintain the sense of individuality and not become a clone of somebody you become emotionally attached to. But it's all a very blurry line - of course we're going to learn from the ways of other people and adapt our own habits to what seems to work better, or be more familiar.

It's been said that we love people because of the aspects of ourselves, or qualities of how we want to be, we see within them. This seems to be at least partially true. It also seems to be a natural part of being close to somebody. So heck, I try to embrace it and not try to theorize the heck out of it like I'm doing now. You bond with somebody, you interact, you adapt - it's not a hard science, it all depends on the circumstance and the emotions, and if you're comfortable with it...why not let it be? As far as I'm concerned.

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you see it as a fault then? i see it as an incredible strength that sets you apart and will take you to deep places...


Yay for derailing the topic! hehe. But no, I don't see it as a flaw; it can be inconvenient but mostly it has helped me. I could be judging myself by too high a standard - I couldn't say, biased as I am - but I don't see that I have enough experience or grasp on life to call myself wise, even in my age group.

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It's like because you shared an intimate bond with that person on some level that somehow you adopt some of their mannerisms or habits or expressions as if a part of them is now a part of you.


I guess our concept of "self" is basically an amalgamation of all the things we've learnt from others, and the model of how to be within our society and within our social environment. So it kind of does become part of who you are, in a sense, as all our experiences mould us in some way.

I'd be more articulate but I gotta go to bed here

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Oh my gosh, there is this reallllly great Linkin Park song that talks about that.


It's like, "I took what I hated and made it apart of me".


It's really good. It's about how, for example you don't like someone. And then you talk about it (not liking them), and focus on it, and before you know it you've made that person apart of your life.


It's really good.


But me personally, I've always called myself a chameloen (sp?). If I'm around anyone for a certain length of time I pick up some of their mannerisms/characteristics.


So I carry a lot of people with me, LOL, parts of them anyway. I've always been that way.


So ya, I think you're right, naturally you just pick things up from other peolple.

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You definitely pick up a lot of stuff, good and bad, from who you hang with. I think it's one of the greatest things in being in a new relationship - well maybe the bad stuff isn't so great, but it expands the person you are.


When an ex and I started dating (I was 17) his parents invited me over for a cook out. Nothing extravagent, just burgers on the grill. I will always remember this because it was the first time I had a grilled burger that didn't look (and taste) like a hockey puck - the way my dad grills! One can actually eat beef without it being super well done! And I really like it that way!


Now that's kind of a silly example, but it's true of how something so simple makes a difference.

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