Most reptiles give me the willies. Other than some lizards here and there and some amphibious things, Indiana Jones has never been more relatable.
Turns out there’s a type of people that gives me that same feeling. It’s the type of person that tries to blend in, so I’ve appropriately called what they do the chameleon effect. Someone probably warned me about people like this when I was younger, but of course it’s only now where I’ve truly acknowledged their existence.
People who do this aren’t inherently bad people, let’s make that clear. But they aren’t healthy. No person should feel like they need to change anything about themselves just to fit or blend in better. Some do it unknowingly though, which is even more harmful to those around them directly.
It’s only natural for the people we hang out with the most to rub off on us a little bit. Whether it’s a phrase, pose, or sound effect it’s bound to happen. But if we’re constantly mimicking or evolving into those people, it’s time to step on the brakes for some re-evaluation. Because this is what kids do when they see an adult they idolize.
We all have done it as a child or teenager. There’s that one celebrity or authority figure that we put on a pedestal and strived to be like. It’s when we’re adults that the chameleon effect starts to damage not only the people that care about us, but also ourselves. We start to lose sight of who we are, and in that we lose some value of ourselves.
The only identity you should ever have is your own. Because you are worth so much. You owe yourself to look inside and see that, as difficult as it may be some days.
With that said, a question can be raised. Are people who are guilty of that chameleon effect worth keeping around? I only say it that way for a lack of better wording.
There’s no harm in confronting someone and giving them a chance if you notice them acting like someone else, especially if it’s causing harm to you or those near to them. But if there’s no change and they’re continually not ever their genuine self, some people you can live without. As hard as that is to accept.
All in all you need to surround yourself with genuine, honest people. Those are the people that truly have your back and care about you. Those are the people who don’t give a crap what others think about themselves, and show the world what it’s like to be a half decent human.