I (Am) Like You, Kinda

If I know you and spend any significant time in your company, chances are I will adopt one or more of your apparently unique mannerisms without consciously thinking of it.

I call it Personality Mapping. Other people probably call it this as well, people much smarter than me. Or I. If I were smarter I’d know how to write that. Oh well.

I haven ‘t bothered to Google Personality Mapping, nor have I Wikipediaed it, so I’m not sure if the term exists in the big wide world as yet. But it should.

I’ll give you an example. I’ve recently started a new job, and the office we are in is small. There are only three of us, and for three of the five days we balloon out to four staff. Two of my workmates have unique quirks that I have started subconsciously adding to my daily routine. One clears his throat before every sentence, and the other swallows and smacks his lips before he talks. I’ve incorporated these tics into my day.

When I am not in their company, I don’t clear my throat or smack my lips. I do it only around them. I think it is my way of making a connection with them as I adapt to my new environment. Or maybe I’m just a weird human.

I even Personality Map online. A friend and I email semi-regularly, the topics generally revolving around sports and not much else. This friend emails in very short sentences, for example:

Team X played well on weekend. Player Y coming along. Room for improvement though. How’s work?

I think my friend is big on efficiency. We have been friends for 31 of the 36 years that we have been alive. I’m proud of this. But I find that when I email him back I too use the short form in replies. Again, I think it’s my way of connecting. Maybe I am not confident enough in myself to display my own uniqueness and so I borrow others to compensate.