I recently hung out with a friend for coffee. She made an interesting comment:
“I don’t treat people the same. I treat them based on their personalities.”
I can completely relate to her perspective. Just like her, I tend to act in a similar manner when I’m around different people, and my behavior naturally adjusts depending on the situation I find myself in—I’m quite adaptable and capable of adjusting my behavior to fit different environments. In other words, I can say that each person I’ve crossed paths with throughout my life has seen different sides of me and has their own unique perception of my personality. This is because the way I treat them is influenced by their personalities, the depth of our connection, as well as the situations we find ourselves in together.
If you’re one of my good old friends or have been part of my life since those crazy high school days and even national service training together, you’d easily remember the lively, spontaneous, and outgoing version of me—the one who always had a joke ready to crack and could brighten up any room with laughter. Guess what? That spark still burns brightly within me whenever I reunite with them! 😂
On the other hand, those who have come to know me in later chapters of my life see me as a more introverted person—a bit shy and more reserved—someone who doesn’t feel the need to constantly fill the air with words, which can sometimes be hard for my old friends to believe.
Oh, and let’s not forget about that “naive” label from some people, as if I’m in desperate need of constant protection when the truth is, it’s not about naivety at all. It’s simply a matter of choosing to keep some layers of myself hidden, not fully trusting them enough to reveal my inner depths. I let them think what they wanted about me. It’s for the best.
Interestingly enough, my work environment has a transformative effect on me. At work, people witness more of my outspoken nature and fearlessness in speaking the truth—unafraid to speak my mind and stand up for what I believe in. They even catch a glimpse of my occasional anger and rebellious streak. While my work personality may not be well-liked by everyone, it doesn’t bother me at all.
Plus, I always perceive myself as less attractive when I’m at work since I don’t make an effort to dress up or wear makeup, unlike when I’m out socializing with friends. This makes me the ultimate champion of low maintenance in terms of how I present myself at work. 😂
Then, there are those who know me as the clown—always cracking jokes, engaging in banter, and effortlessly lightening the mood. This is because their personalities are the same, and I can naturally be like that around them. This dynamic exists because their personalities align with mine, allowing me to naturally express that lighthearted side of myself in their presence. However, it’s important to note that not everyone can see this side of me, as not everyone shares the same humor and connection. Some individuals may only witness the more serious side of my personality, simply because I don’t find them amusing or compatible with my comedic nature.
Among those who know me, some have the privilege of knowing a deeper, more nuanced side of me that I don’t reveal to everyone. On the other hand, some may catch a glimpse of my elegant and refined demeanor, where I prioritize following proper etiquette. This side of me presents a stark contrast to those who know me for my laid-back and easygoing nature.
If you’ve been able to observe all these different sides of me at the same time, then congratulations! That means you’ve known me on a deeper and longer-lasting level because, well, that’s basically the essence of who I am. It’s not often that people have the opportunity to observe every side of me all at once, as it requires a considerable amount of quality time spent together.
When it comes to dealing with different personalities, we must remember that everyone is unique. Take sensitivity, for instance, it’s important to be mindful of not being too tough or harsh with people who are more sensitive, as it can have counterproductive effects. We can’t change who they are, so it’s up to us to adapt our approach.
As I’ve gotten older, this has become clearer to me. I’ve learned that we need to find a way to interact with people that respects their unique nature. It’s not fair or considerate of us to expect people to simply accept us with a “this is the way I am” mindset. It’s immature to expect people to accept us without considering their personalities and unique needs.
Imagine you come face-to-face with royalty—would you treat them like an average Joe? No, right? We inherently understand the need to adapt our behavior and show respect based on the individual’s position. Similarly, when it comes to dealing with different personalities, we all possess the capacity to adapt, but it’s a choice that many of us overlook or ignore.
It’s truly fascinating how different individuals perceive different aspects of my personality, resulting in a diverse image of who I am as a person, given my adaptability. If I put all of these people that know me in the same room and let them discuss me among themselves, I can guarantee that some of them might be so confused:
“Are we talking about the same person?”
However, one aspect that everyone would agree on is my firmness and strict personality, complemented by strong moral values, and loving and caring nature. It’s something that most people in my life are aware of.
In conclusion, treating people based on their personalities is a natural and adaptive approach to building genuine connections. Just as the author shared their own experiences of showcasing different sides of their personality in various situations, we all possess the capacity to adapt and adjust our behavior to accommodate the unique needs of others.
Remember, adapting your behavior to different personalities doesn’t mean being fake or compromising your values. It’s about showing respect, building connections, and fostering a harmonious environment.
X, Hani. ❤