Are You A Chameleon Or A Zebra?

Are you the kind of person who blends in with the crowd, who changes persona to meet the needs of the situation? A social chameleon? Or, are you the type of person who displays a consistent personality regardless of the situation or with whom you are interacting? We’ll call that type of zebra, because the zebra doesn’t change the stripes.

I am talking about is a personality constructed of self monitoring. Self monitoring refers to the desire and ability to monitor one’s own social behavior in order to adapt to a particular situation or person(s) with which you are interacting. High self monitors are like social chameleons. They engage in higher levels of self perception and present different versions of themselves, depending on the situation. They blend in.

Low self monitors, on the other hand, are not focus on, nor a skilled in, self presentation and tend to behave consistently across different situation and groups. Like a Zebra, they don’t change their stripes. They are who they are. Also monitors tend to display their underlying personalities, attitudes, and typical behavior regardless of the situation.

Self-monitoring is a complex personality construct that includes attitudinal and motivational components. A high self monitor wants to fit in and be excepted, as well as a set of social skills like being able to read others emotions and nonverbal like cues; disability can alter or change one’s emotional expressions and behaviors.

A low self monitor, on the other hand, is more motivated to be consistent – just Langfeld attitudes and emotions – And may lack skills and polished self presentation.

Research has shown that high self monitors are more likely to get along with others, are more successful in social situation and are more likely to attain leadership positions, and have broader social networks. On the downside, high self monitors desire to fit in means that they are more likely to blindly follow the crowd, and because of their ever-changing nature, overtime others may feel that they are somewhat “phony” and that they don’t really know the high self monitoring person. With low self monitors what you see is what you get.

Once you understand the construct of self monitoring, it’s usually easy to know whether you are a high or low self monitor. Do you typically alter your behavior in an effort to fit in? And group discussions, you address your opinions to go along with the crowd? Do you often engage in social acting or role-playing? If so, you are as high self monitor? If you find yourself “just being yourself” in social situations, expressing your true feelings and opinions, even if they are inconsistent with your feelings and opinions of others, and you are most likely a low self monitor.

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