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  1. #1
    Luctor et emergo Ezra's Avatar
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    Default Adapting subconsciously to one's environment

    I've noticed that I do this often. Depending on the environment I'm in, different characteristics inherent within me will make an appearance. I've two instances to describe this. One is around one of my best friends. He's an erratic, fun-loving, amusing guy, full of ideas. An ENFP (and an IEE in socionics) 7w6 sx-first. He often almost passes over some of his tense energy to me. He'll ask me to do something, and I'll do it, and then he'll ask me to do something else. He thinks I want to join in his fun and games, so he'll quicken the pace for all those around him. I don't like it, and I feel more pumped when he leaves my presence; I recognise the change within me and begin to calm down once he's left.

    Another is on the16types.info. I find that each of the forums I post on has a unique aura or atmosphere. I enjoy this one, because there's some really mature and intelligent discussion that goes on. I find I can actively participate without feeling like I have to be on guard from individuals. This atmosphere is actually the best in my eyes, even though I've only been posting for a month or two. It's relaxed but encourages open discussion and debate. On t16t, there are quite a few individuals who take delight in attacking others. It's a lot more hostile as an environment, and there's more tension. In this atmosphere, I myself become much more aggressive and on guard. I begin to join in on some of the attacks, and take on an almost sadistic approach to the forum.

    Does anyone else feel this way in their own environments?

    Do you think it's type related?

  2. #2

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    I also adapt to the personalities of people im with. my istp best friend and i go back forever, but we dont engage in the deep philosophical and emotional kinds of interaction that i really desire sometimes. we have more down-to-earth discussions, and he is good at keeping me grounded with my choices. talking things out with him gives me good practical insight into my problems. we have also shared so many expereiences that i sometimes feel we connect at a deeper level even without talking expressing it.

    another old friend, an entp, is very flaky at times, doesnt have any idea how to keep his shit together, but can be a very enjoyable person to spend time with. our conversations are erratic and very stimulating, and can get very deep, completely different from those with my istp friend.

    my third best friend, who havent known as long but still for a few years, i would type as ixfp. hard to tell which. i feel i form the deepest connection with him. we have a lot of fun building creative plans and ideas together, which leads me to think he leans toward N.

    among my two N friends i am less practically inclined and more freely expressive of my ideas, and get caught up in how i would like things to be rather than how they are. while this is most enjoyable for me a lot of the time, it can get in the way when i actualy have to get things done in my life. being with my more practical friend, i automatically take a more reality-based approach to life.

  3. #3
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezra View Post
    I've noticed that I do this often. Depending on the environment I'm in, different characteristics inherent within me will make an appearance. I've two instances to describe this. One is around one of my best friends. He's an erratic, fun-loving, amusing guy, full of ideas. An ENFP (and an IEE in socionics) 7w6 sx-first. He often almost passes over some of his tense energy to me. He'll ask me to do something, and I'll do it, and then he'll ask me to do something else. He thinks I want to join in his fun and games, so he'll quicken the pace for all those around him. I don't like it, and I feel more pumped when he leaves my presence; I recognise the change within me and begin to calm down once he's left.

    Another is on the16types.info. I find that each of the forums I post on has a unique aura or atmosphere. I enjoy this one, because there's some really mature and intelligent discussion that goes on. I find I can actively participate without feeling like I have to be on guard from individuals. This atmosphere is actually the best in my eyes, even though I've only been posting for a month or two. It's relaxed but encourages open discussion and debate. On t16t, there are quite a few individuals who take delight in attacking others. It's a lot more hostile as an environment, and there's more tension. In this atmosphere, I myself become much more aggressive and on guard. I begin to join in on some of the attacks, and take on an almost sadistic approach to the forum.

    Does anyone else feel this way in their own environments?

    Do you think it's type related?
    Yes, I believe it's type related.

    I have read over at the INTJ forum that a lot of INTJ sort of adapt themselves to the people or situation around them. Not sure if I could find the thread again.

    I know I do this also. If someone speaks quietly to me, I will respond to them in the same way. If they're loud and boisterous, I will be loud and boisterous.

  4. #4
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    It sounds like a "mirroring" function. Some types might be more inclined to mirror others than other types. Perhaps that's worth some evaluation.

    For my own personal experience, I became aware at some point that I am very reactive to others.

    To start with, I usually respond to (rather than initiate) the conversation.

    If someone takes a calm considered tone and flexes in conversation, I approach things the same way.

    If someone jokes and flits around, I go into Ne mode and respond the same way.

    If someone comes out very aggressive and pushes hard on people, if I bother to respond at all, I come out just as hard and push back just as hard.

    If someone is very serious and somber, I usually reflect that back to them.

    Part of it is uncertainty over how to relate with me as the initiator (because if I initiate or change the tone, I don't know how it will be perceived);

    part of it a desire to accommodate others and communicate in the most effective way with them;

    and part of it is an inherent need for balance -- I present an opposing force equal to what they have presented, to return the conversation to some sort of equilibrium.

    I'm not sure if it's totally type related (maybe the "balance" thing is), but it's definitely one of the standardized "relational" patterns for human beings. People who mirror generally don't like conflict or are afraid of being the initiator and disrupting others / losing their support and interaction, so they trying to "sync up" with whomever they are around, to keep the connection.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  5. #5
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Mirroring and self monitoring tendencies?

    People who want to get along with others tends to do that more often. I'm not sure whether that's type dependent, I suspect there's no direct relationship between the two.

    I'm a chameleon of sorts myself. Adapting is pretty much how I fit into different environments. Something like different preset modes for general stuff in which I modify to fit that particular situation. Besides mirroring though, sometimes I change my demeanor to modulate the tone of the interaction. Keeping things under control I suppose... harmony.

  6. #6
    Luctor et emergo Ezra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    People who want to get along with others tends to do that more often.
    In my case, this is not how it is. I automatically do it on a subconscious level. I would never attempt to get along with others unless there was a good reason for it (i.e. one better than 'I want more friends' or the like).

  7. #7
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezra View Post
    In my case, this is not how it is. I automatically do it on a subconscious level. I would never attempt to get along with others unless there was a good reason for it (i.e. one better than 'I want more friends' or the like).
    If we include the concept of communication or "speaking in the other person's professed language" as part of "getting along," would your stance change?

    Mirroring primarily is a way to relieve anxiety when one is unsure of how to communicate. Basically: Look around/observe, and instantaneously adjust behavior to not cause friction or at least to better sync with the behavior/communication around you.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  8. #8
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Default It wasn't too hard to find after all

    Here's that thread I told you about where INTJs were talking about how they "adapt" themselves to their surroundings. I know you're not an INTJ, but I thought you might gain some insight from it all the same.

    Are INTJs chameleons? - INTJ Forum

  9. #9
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Doesn't everyone adapt to their environment, at least to a degree? That's part of social skills, isn't it? I guess some types might be better at it/more severely adapting though.

    I do it a lot, anyway. Observe first, then act.

  10. #10
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    I suspect adaptation might mean realization of susceptibility - when one understands potential obstacles and consciously works to bridge them with a learned behavior, it could be argued that one is "adapting" as to prevent failure of some sort.

    This ideal probably is not exclusive to type and could instead be a shared instinctual feature we all possess. Heritage is likely owed to the necessity of communal cooperation as a bygone tactic to increase probability of survival in our ancestors.

    As our brains matured and civilization settled, it seems probable to assume this inherent impulse naturally morphed into different strategies appropriate to cultural context.

    I'd offer our current cache of emotions as evidence of a "universal" system of sophisticated adaptation techniques used as to bulwark ourselves from environmental hazards.

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