Every so often, I encounter an individual who is obviously not his or herself.
As children, we learned to communicate by parroting the words and speech patterns of our parents, our friends, the people we saw in tv and movies, and anyone else we encountered. Whenever we spoke, you could hear the influences. He got that from his dad, this from his mom, where did he hear that word?, etc.
As we grew closer to adulthood, most of us developed our own voice, in an effort to distinguish ourselves from our parents. The influences are still there if you listen, but they’re muted, sublimated by an individual’s personality.
However, occasionally, I encounter someone who is obviously still parroting, still using the words and speech patterns of those around them, without a hint of individuality.
Why are they still parroting? Do they not know who they are? Are they afraid to show who they are? Are they still looking for a defining aspect of their personalities in the patterns of those around them? Before a person can BE that person, must they find themselves in others? Or is it something we find inside ourselves?
Or am I mistaken; do I merely notice the patterns I use myself, echoed by those around me?