I’m a big psychology geek (I minored in it) and enjoy observing human behavior. Lately I’ve noticed that many of my friends tend to act a certain way when I’m having one-to-one conversations with them, but behave differently when they’re in the presence of other people. This phenomenon is discussed in more detail here: http://healthmad.com/mental-health/reasons-why-our-behavior-changes-based-on-who-were-with/
I’ve especially noticed this in the workplace. Some people are nice and polite when having one-to-one conversations, but become jerks when they’re around others who act like jerks themselves. I feel it’s because people have an innate drive to fit in, and in the end, they’re looking out for themselves.
The mindset is something along these lines: “If the jerk in accounting can help me get a promotion, I’ll try to mirror his personality as much as possible – whether by telling similar jokes, acting as silly as he does, etc. That way, he’ll like me more and thus do his part to get me the promotion.”
It’s amazing how people take on different personas when it’s most convenient for them.
Have you guys noticed this in anyone you know?