In the past year, my sessions with my therapist brought to light a key personality trait that’s defined my social behavior and thinking: the social chameleon.
The key characteristic of the social chameleon, just like their reptilian color-changing counterpart, is an ability to blend seamlessly into any social environment […] According to Dr. Mark Snyder - a social psychologist at the University of Minnesota - a social chameleon attempts “to be the right person in the right place at the right time”.
On the surface, it seems like this would be desired behavior. Humans are social creatures and, as such, crave strong social bonds with one another. Social chameleons mimic the behavior of others in order to be liked or welcomed into a social group.
The problem? This type of behavior can mask one’s own sense of self. Who are you really when you’re not imitating other people’s mannerisms or way of thinking?
I’ve been a social chameleon all of my life. While it’s served me in some ways, it’s done me a lot of harm when it comes to showing others who I really am. It’s a behavior that I’m more aware of and hope to improve over time. It won’t be easy, but I’m convinced that in the long run, being myself will make me happier.
Below I’ve shared a link to an article and two films that touch on the importance of staying true to your own identity.