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Thread: Is it possible to lose your personality? I dont know myself because Ive always mimicked others.

  1. #1 Is it possible to lose your personality? I dont know myself because Ive always mimicked others. 
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
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    Since I was little I have always adapted my personality based on what I thought people wanted to hear, and to reach things I wanted. We all do this to some degree, and act different in different social scenarios. However, I took this personality chameleonism all the way. I was never myself if I could roleplay being someone else.

    Lets say I knew 3 people. I would mimic their traits and parts of their personality to make myself stronger and get what I wanted. I did this more and more, not being myself - but roleplaying other real people.
    Ive recently come to realize that I dont truly know what *I* want, or what I really mean anymore. I can say something completly unaware of if this was what I wanted or some part of another person that I made a part of me.

    It has made me extremely efficent at manipulating people and getting what I want, and getting friends and establishing new contacts is as easy as breathing. The problem however is that I no longer have a clue if the things I want in all areas of life - is my own wants and needs. Im scared that by never being myself, taking other people's wishes and goals as my own and what I considered the strongest attributes of other people into myself - that I have permanently lost my own personality.

    As an example. Lets say that I ask myself what my favorite color is. I will see the positive and negative in all the colors, and the answer will be none and all. Same for food, music and so on. It may be that the root of the tree still is me, but all the branches stretching out - is a patchwerk frankenstein monster made out of a great multitude of other people's opinions and viewpoints.

    Is it possible that I have lost my own identity by always lying to myself, mimicking others, adapted myself based on others through being a chameleon? Im just asking if it is possible, if I have a mental disability... if this can really happen. The truth is (I think) that I cant answer this question myself, because what I think - very well may be a combination of assimilated opinions.


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    A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it. - David Stevens
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    has lost interest seagypsy's Avatar
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    The fact you have become aware of it is something to be appreciated. I think I went through that phase as a teen. Probably we all do. But if you never grow out of it, I can see where that could lead to serious issues. I often wonder if some of the best actors in Hollywood have this problem. Some of the really good actors tend to go into serious drug abuse when they are not working on a film. I have often wondered if it was because they were so caught up in developing characters that they never developed their own personality. And without a script they simply don't know who to be.

    I don't know if there is a psychology term that addresses this and I doubt you are the only one to experience it. As I said, I have been there myself at different times in my life. Especially during my early teen years. It sounds somewhat dissociative personality disorder but if you are using it to manipulate people it seems there is a potential for psychopathy, but that would take more investigation to determine. If you feel any remorse for manipulating people then psychopathy would not fit you.

    It may do you well to see a therapist and see what they may suggest. It could also be that you are a bit of every role you have ever played.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
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    Sorry posted this in the wrong section. Was meant for behaviour and psychology.
    A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it. - David Stevens
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  5. #4  
    has lost interest seagypsy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post
    Sorry posted this in the wrong section. Was meant for behaviour and psychology.
    You can PM one of the mods and they will likely move it for you.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Your personality can and will change over time but you'll never be without it.
    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
    Jimi Hendrix
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    Forum Freshman Eldritch's Avatar
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    Though I am no psychologist, I will offer my opinion nevertheless.
    Unless you cease to exist, you can never lose your personality. Your personality is the collective sum of all your thoughts, feelings, emotions, ideas, concepts, values, and memories. No one else has anything exactly like yours. You are wholly unique. However, neither are you static. Your personality is always changing and changing shape. You have not lost your personality, rather made it much more malleable than is usual.
    On the whole, now that you know about this, you can—probably—choose when to stop. Though all the past interpretations of other's personalities will always have their imprints on you, you may, at any point, choose to stop gathering imprints and begin making a new personality based on what you have now. Stop copying others, start acting solely off of what you, as you are now, think. The net result, regardless of its causes or influences, will be that you decided.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    I'd say your personality is mimicry. For some reason you are not seeing this as a positive trait at the moment.

    The problem however is that I no longer have a clue if the things I want in all areas of life - is my own wants and needs.
    There are certain wants and needs that every person desires but are not attainable. For you it's a different personality, and that is not going to happen. So I'll go back to my first statement, you don't like yourself all of a sudden. I sense the onset or at least a symptom of depression. Introspection, we all do it, and in the end we're either happy or unhappy. I think there's pressure on individuals to behave to certain societal standards and perhaps there have been moments lately when you've been taken to task for the mimicking. Your perception of mimicry has been altered, perhaps you see yourself as immature for your age. Try mimicking someone who you believe to be mature and maybe you can turn it around.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    My first wife was a chalemeon, she was brilliant, but changed to suit her current views----One helluva ride, but ...defenitely "high maintenance"
    (sigh)
    Long after our divorce, she would call me when she was feeling blue and confused.

    I told her that with her talent for being whatever was apropos of the moment, that that was indeed her personality strength. And, at times, that was a definite advantage over folks like me who tend to be a bit ponderous.

    None of us really know what we want. So don't feel alone in that confusion.
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    Forum Freshman Laurieag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seagypsy View Post
    I don't know if there is a psychology term that addresses this and I doubt you are the only one to experience it.
    There were 2 classifications that were removed from the DiSC PPS in the mid 90's that identified this type of tendency. I think they were called Overperform and Underperform and they appeared to identify when when the person taking the test had selected all of the good choices and all of the bad choices (most/least) or all the bad choices and all of the good choices.

    While these classifications were removed from DiSC after the polygraph was discontinued (the creator of DiSC, William Marston, also invented the first polygraph machine) they were a good voluntary indicator of this type of surface trait (MBTI is based on core traits) where somebody was trying to please/displease to excess. There are probably unidentified MBTI equivalents.
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  11. #10  
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
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    Thanks for your replies. They helped
    A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it. - David Stevens
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    Forum Masters Degree LuciDreaming's Avatar
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    As far as I can work out we are all chameleons, we learn how to behave through social interaction and we adopt those attitudes and behaviours of others that we like for our own purposes. That's how sayings and crazes catch on, people hear or see things they like and they make them their own....... What you do with the things you adopt are entirely your own and if you like all colours at the same time, that's surely you expressing that thought. I don't think you can express a like of one colour over all others I know personally that my favourite colour depends on the context/situation. Its good to self monitor and be aware of our actions but don't get lost in it......look outward and concentrate on the external and then you wont get stuck in some self-analysing loop that spirals tighter and tighter.
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  13. #12  
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    There's a valid distinction to be made between a personality being stable and being static.

    We are all fairly stable in our likes, preferences and dislikes at any given time, but we are not static. Many things that might have attracted, repelled or interested me 40 or even 10 years ago - or maybe prompted me to adopt speech habits or other changes in myself - I would now probably not even notice. Or I might feel exactly the opposite about them if I came across them.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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  14. #13  
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    Hi! Im coming from the other extreme in that I never care what other people think as long as they are not enemies or opponents on an issue of mine. But I share your bewilderment! Theres no proof that its really me who decides on "my" long term goals...of course I can do the opposite of what "I" wish to do in any moment...thats my only weapon in life! But what made me accept happiness as important? Why bother how I feel? Why do I care about me?
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  15. #14  
    Malignant Pimple shlunka's Avatar
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    I pursued the same mimicry as a form of social integration. Considering my actual personality isn't one that functions terribly well in a high school setting. You must realize that the majority of the friends you make will be a travesty of the friends you should have. While mimicry is societally and socially beneficial by broadening your horizons on social integration and acceptance, it is also easy to form unwanted attachments to those dissimilar to yourself. I suppose what it comes down to, is who you love more. Yourself, or the acquaintances and pseudo friends you'll achieve by being someone else.
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  16. #15  
    墨子 DaBOB's Avatar
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    There are two great things about trying on different personalities. One, you learn to think in many different ways. Two, the more you try the more you discover what parts of you are flexible and what parts aren't. This may lead you to a certain core of who you are. But you have to be perceptive to it, or else you'll just wander around as a bunch of different people, which is fine.

    Flipping between extremes is interesting too. For example, playing with personalities of "psychotic" people, as well as "clear minded" people. Which one drives you more in-sane?

    Also, you don't have to be fixed in like or dislikes, in fact, you might not even have any if you look closely at it. I imagine a lot of people on this forum live lives where, if altering who they are is important to their survival it's probably not very dramatic. Imagine being a spy in the middle ages. Any magicians here? Actors, have to act to survive, but they don't have to be convincing.
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