That’s my super power. No. I don’t actually change my skin color to match my surroundings, but, I do change my personality and thoughts in order to blend in with whoever I’m with. That’s not an admirable quality for the most part, but I have to admit the truth.
It started as a kid in an often tumultuous home. With a dad with a temper problem, I was the one who was always trying to read the atmosphere and situation in every situation in hopes of somehow either deflecting and softening bad moods and making myself safe. That became a natural part of who I am – the girl who doesn’t really know who she is.
My dad wanted a boy – so I became his boy, a tomboy, climbing trees and playing cowboy. He wanted me to like spinach, I liked spinach. I did whatever I could to accommodate him.
As I grew up, and after having some psychological counseling I realized that this has become my mode of operation and still is. It’s not so bad being able to get along with just about anyone. But, the worst part about it is the anxiety I feel in every social situation, trying to read emotion, trying to be careful not to tick anyone off, trying to yield to the desires of the strongest willed person that I’m with.
There is another problem that comes with being a chameleon, and that is not knowing what I really want, or who I am. People ask me my opinions all of the time and I really don’t know. “What do you want to eat?” I don’t know, whatever you do. “Where do you want to go?” Doesn’t matter.
It has been a slow process but I am beginning to learn a little about what I prefer, but, when I’m with someone stronger willed than I, I always yield to their wants.
That’s why I have a hard time being around people who are very strong-willed and who sort of steamroll over me. It’s painful. The hardest thing in the world for me to do is say no. Whenever I stand up to someone else and try to establish boundaries, I inevitably feel guilty about it and stress over it for awhile after.
Yes, I am a mess, it would seem. But, I do think we all have our quirks. There is a plus side to this super power. Even though I am sort of out of touch with myself, I am very attuned to other peoples’ feelings and that makes me pretty sensitive to the needs of others. That’s a good thing in many ways.
I am also pretty easy to get along with. I can usually be counted on to put others’ interest above my own, and that is a biblical principle.
What I need to do, and what I’m working on, is to learn to care about who God made me and to grow up into a person that was uniquely made, someone with my own place in the world. It’s been a long journey, and looking up ahead in the road, I think it will be long for me in the future with a lot of bends and twists. If you happen to pass me on the road, I’ll greet you. If you like hugs, I love them. If not, I’m cool with that too. My only hope is that when you see me on the road, that I haven’t blended in so much with the scenery that you don’t notice me at all.