We're all influenced by those around us to some large or small extent. You spend enough time around people you like and eventually you'll start repeating some of their opinions. Or pick up their mannerisms. Or something.
To what degree this happens just depends on your personality, I think.
At the most extreme, you'll see someone start dating a new person or hanging out with a new best friend, and suddenly adopt all of that new person's preferences, thoughts, etc. And if you see this happen more than once, it gives you the idea that maybe they didn't have such a strong sense of self to begin with.
Me, I'm fine with my opinions, my likes and dislikes, my random sense of humor. Of course my friends rub off on me, but I choose people whose brains and character I like in the first place.
The thing I have no control over, and this drives me crazy, is my body.
It turns out that my body is remarkably susceptible to the influence of others. If you are a woman who has ever lived with a group of women, I'm going to guess that you will know what I'm talking about.
So while this maybe TMI to some, it's no secret in the wide world that women menstruate. And you have your own rather regular cycle, which varies by the woman, typically somewhere between 21 and 28 days. It's something over which, if you're not on the pill, you have no control. Your body does what it needs to do on its own time.
And so my body and I were living along, doing our thing, when I started working at my current office a couple years ago. And all of a sudden, out of the blue and at completely inappropriate times, I started having crazy PMS. I didn't think it was, because it was a week or so early. And then the next month it was two weeks early.
Weird things started happening. For example, for half of each month - and this lasted a good six months - I had cleavage. Don't think I didn't take advantage of this when I went out.
Within several months my body had completely reset itself. To the hormonal clocks of two of my colleagues. They thought it was hilarious.
Time went by and that stopped happening, and I think slowly slowly my body got back on my own schedule. Relief. I felt like the master of my own ovarian destiny again.
And then we moved offices. And the craziness started over.
But this time I knew where to look. I realized you have to start with your neighbors. So I stomped into Jenny's cube. And sure enough, I'd found the culprit.
I was all kinds of incensed. I was all "What, are you sprinkling estrogen over the wall?" And obviously, there's nothing I can do about it.
I was talking about it with Tej and Jenny - two of the people whose hormones clearly overpower mine. They think it's funny. But they have the luxury of thinking that; it's not their hormonal lives that are randomly disrupted.
It's like my ovaries are all, "Hey! You're pretty! I want to ovulate just like you."
Seriously. It turns out that I'm a period slut.