Much like the chameleon, we have our own ways of blending in. Typically it happens when we face social situations which are unfamiliar to us. In the effort to find acceptance into this unfamiliar social group, we assess what we need to change about ourselves to "blend in". Once the assessment is complete, we then take a few steps out into these situations, making adjustments until we are perfectly blended in. In doing this, we have ensured that these people will not have the opportunity to experience our true selves. We are all unique and have something to offer to any given situation and now we have completely shut it down.
Similarly to chameleons, we do this for protection. We blend in to be accepted, thus not experiencing rejection. Even if the facade is rejected, we can tell ourselves it is not me being rejected but the mask I put on to fit in. In fact, many times when the mask is rejected, we adjust the mask and go back in. This works well for one social event, however, what if you see these people again? Do you carry on the mask or let them see who you truly are? This is a great dilemma. You will have a hard time keeping the mask perfect if this becomes a long-term friendship because inevitably pieces of your true self peak out from time to time. When the true self peaks out and is not accepted, then it is back to the mask. To the person on the receiving end it appears as though you are not being authentic or "real" and this can be a deterrent. Others will withdraw not knowing what to make of you since you react one way sometimes and another way at other times.
Living as a chameleon is exhausting, constantly wondering what everyone around you is thinking. Trying to live up to an expectation you created based on your observations of the social situation. If you live as the chameleon for too long you may even forget who you really are and lose yourself to this person you created yourself to be. This can become a very lonely place because no one knows you, so how can they love you? When we place walls up to protect ourselves from rejection, these same walls keep people from truly loving us for who we are.
If you are a chameleon, or sometimes have chameleon tendencies, come join us on January 5, 2023 at 7:00pm. We will be looking at what triggers this reaction in us, and how we can navigate the triggers. We will also be looking at how to discover your true self again and gain the confidence to walk into any situation and be yourself. Register for this event by clicking the button below.