Recently my Husband was out with a friend of his. They were talking about a party that we all were invited to. His friend asked if I would be attending the party and my Husband responded “No”. Husband went on to explain that I really don’t like social gatherings of more than six or eight people and would rather bang my head against a wall instead of going to a party.

His friend was surprised. His friend exclaimed- “But- when we were at that wedding, LA was the life of the party. She was dancing all night, and she commanded our table with stories and jokes. She was the life of the party!”

Now- life of the party is something that is never going to make it to my About page. I am the antithesis of life of the party- for the most part…

Extraverted introvert is what some call it. Also known as ambivert. I am mainly happy sitting on the sidelines during a social event. Actually, I am mainly absent during a social event. But on the rare occasions that I need to attend something large, I do have the ability to be “on”.

You’ll see me putting my right foot in and my left one out. You’ll see me wearing silly glasses at the photo booth. You’ll see me telling bawdy stories at my assigned table. That is me. Sort of…

If one were to meet me at an event, you would think (like my Husband’s friend) that I love the nightlife and love to boogie…

Am I a bait and switcher?

Some of my blog friends stated that they can be on the spectrum for any number of things. While maybe they don’t dress up and wear make up every day, they might love to do it on the weekends. Or they will occasionally think that a bowling outing is fun, but that doesn’t mean they want to join a league. They can be different people at different times, but all are authentically them.

We’re allowed to be different things on different days. I can choose to be “on” at an event even though that is not my “normal” personality. We are allowed to explore all aspects of our personalities and that is fine. As long as we show all these sides to our potential mates, it is OK.

The problem is when you deliberately go out of your way to be something that you are not.

My Husband knew at the beginning of our friendship (because we were friends for years) that I need a lot of quiet reflective time (he may not always give me that time, but that’s a whole other blog). He knows that it takes a lot for me to me “ON”, which is our word for when I am 100% personality and 0% reflective. He also knows that the moments when I am ON are few and far between…that’s why we term it ON, because it’s like I flip a little switch inside my brain and I am my alternate self…

Am I a chameleon? Am I changing my colors to fit in at a certain thing?

Maybe. Survival instinct tells us that we must blend in in order to survive. You could say that I am blending into an environment that is supposed to be fun and boisterous. I am doing what I can to survive the party…

Do we make the best of situations that we may not like?

Yup- most of us do at some point or another. We squeeze the lemons to the best of our abilities.

But is trying to fit in at a certain event a bait and switch?

I think it comes down to intention and expectation. If your intention is to try to fool someone into thinking that you are a different sort of person, then it is bad. If your intention is just to make the most our of a given situation, then I think it’s OK.

And with the make up and bowling examples- it’s OK to enjoy something 50% or 25% of the time. That doesn’t make you bad, or indecisive, or a bait and switcher or a chameleon. It just makes you interesting (assuming you partner or potential partner sees all sides)

As with everything, examine your intention, and ask yourself what the expectation is. Then be yourself…

 

 

49 thoughts on “Chameleon

  1. I get it. I can be outgoing or very shy at parties, but a lot of it is the people who are there too. Some people can make you feel very comfortable, while others are off-putting. Great that you know yourself so well! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I agree that intent is key. Many of us are adaptable creatures that can function fairly easily in social situations and roles even though our preferences may say other wise. Purposeful deceit is a different story…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. We are made up of a myriad of spectacular selves that chameleon in fluidly. It isn’t a bait and switch except when it’s fake. But authentically being the life of a party one night and then not wanting to go another night is personal choice and how you’re feeling. As long as hubs knows who you are and the effort you make to fit in, enjoy yourself and be you, then it’s fine. Great post LA!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I guess it depends on the people at the party. I can remember a party I was invited to with many Saudi’s and my husband came and found some of the people interesting, very interesting. I went to a party with some of his work friends and found their sense of humor different but I got it. Sometimes parties take you out of your comfort zone which can be good.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. OMG! I laughed so hard I almost spilled my coffee when I read about how you would rather bang your head on the wall!! I so get this article. I do not like a lot of people at once. That’s why we usually vacation in off seasons. Yet people see me as out going and think I’m all into that. Maybe having a great time and being outgoing is a coping method for me in regards to over peoply places I truly think that you are not doing a bait and switch. I think there are many versions of our authentic self and that is ok. Although I don’t like going to large gatherings, I tend to have a great time when I get there. I think I don’t like the idea of going. Kind of like the gym. I don’t want to go but I am usually glad I did. Although if the parking lot is full, I go home and try later!!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. This story could be me also. When I choose I can be “on” but I choose when and it’s not always. In my career I had to interact and represent strongly the Federal Government in interviews and court, and indecision, reticence would not be beneficial. I like both sides of me, the quiet side that likes the silence of bike rides and Nat King Cole alone, and the bubbly persona when feeling the joy of life. But there is a part of me that likes sinking into a chair, reading a book and watching curling. Aren’t we all a puzzle of different pieces?

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Girl!
    You hit the nail on the head with expectation and intention.
    Being ON is exhausting, but occasionally necessary. And if being ON is just another aspect of your true personality, then I don’t think you’re selling what you ain’t got. 😉
    I’m loving this thought process you’re in. Thanks for sharing! ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  8. If I’m forced into a larger social gathering, you most often find me sitting quietly off to the side enduring. If I know someone there that I’m comfortable with I’ll talk with them, but I’m still extremely reserved if it is a bigger group, especially a group I’m not overly familiar with. About the only time I’d consider myself “on” or allowing most of my true personality and goofiness to come out is when I’m in a much smaller group of people that I’m really comfortable with.

    The most classic example of this is that I LOVE to dance. But… I cannot stand to do so in a big group. Even though when I was younger, I loved going to clubs, it took me almost an hour to warm up and get comfortable enough to actually get on the dance floor. Drove my friends nuts. Once I was out there, I was fine, but I have to really work myself up to it. I’m better now (though so rarely get that opportunity), but it is still a major challenge. I’d much prefer an impromptu dance party at home with Hubby and the kids.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am totally with you on this! People think I’m an extrovert, but I do relish my alone time. I can navigate big parties fine, but really prefer small gatherings. I think it’s not “bait & switch” but instead “2 sides of the same coin”. Love the post.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. okay, so I’m in a dilemma but don’t want to write about it because I’m fearful it will be seen by the wrong people. I am constantly getting invited to parties and I HATE IT!!! The older I get the more I like to chill in my house and watch movies.
    This weekend I’m invited to two and I’m determined to get out of at least one of them!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I prefer the term, multi-faceted. 🙂 I am perfectly capable of being extroverted at social gatherings (although, I’ve never been described as the “life of the party”!), yet I’m very content to be home, on my couch, with a glass of wine and a good book or movie…with my dog. I believe everyone has different facets of their personality that come out under different circumstances. You are spot on that a person needs to see all facets of someone’s personality before they commit to a life with them….just so they know exactly what they’re getting into with the relationship. I’m sure it’s comforting your hubby knows you so well in this area. I agree the secret is being authentic and genuine in whatever we do. “Ambivert”….I like that term! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I am an extreme extrovert. While I understand the struggle of an introvert being forced into uncomfortable situations, I thrive in a big group even if I go in knowing no one. I love small talk and I find meeting new people a fun challenge to see how we overlap in activities or ideas.
    I was sent to leadership school by an organization where I worked about 15 years ago. We did the Meyers Briggs inventory and the people who were leading our program said my extrovert score was the highest they’d ever seen. Just as you ‘manage’ how to function in social situations, I have to make sure I have enough social interaction in my schedule or it’s stressful. Recently, I’ve had a day or two where I stay home (weather plus the need to be productive) and two days in a row is too much.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m a pale chameleon. If there’s a life-of-the-party, I’m the one responding. It isn’t bait and/or switch though. I’m being sociable. As an introvert, it’s an effort. Sometimes it’s a strain. Other times it isn’t. Nevertheless, it’s part of my existence as a human being.

    Liked by 1 person

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