This article is not about depression, the title is simply representing my current mood and mindset. Sorry. I have come to a pretty interesting crossroad in my life but I fail to see any of the ways on which I can now step – it is almost as if my future was covered by fog which I am unable to look through until it is too late to change my decision.

Well, enough of that depressed nonsense. What I have in store for you today is a brief idea that popped into my head today. We all act differently around different people, that is a well known fact among most. There is the parent behaviour, the close friends behaviour, the arrogant behaviour and the list goes as far as the divergence of the individual’s experiences. This realisation left me cold for many many years, I never sought to identify how different people made me feel and how I reacted to them. That only changed very recently.

What I see now is quite scary, for it is entirely possible that the only determining factor in our behaviour are other people. In other words, other people make us who we are, if only for the duration of our interaction. Is it possible to break through this conditioning, to break through other peoples’ expectations and our own fears of displeasing others, or making fools of ourselves? Can a man or a woman ever be the same in the company of different people?

If you still don’t know what I am talking about think about the last time you were in a group of people and how certain members of the group would change the group dynamics and psychology – how different topics were chosen for conversation, how humour changed from witty to aggressive,… – and think of how you reacted to it. How your mood changed (and when), whether your emotions were stable throughout. Whether you were anxious at any moment, whether you did certain things that you wouldn’t do if the choice was solely on you.

There is a common saying that states that before one has the right to interact with other people he should first learn to live with himself. It sounds so zen that it makes me smile with pleasure. It also creates the immediate need in my mind to strangle whoever first thought of it and put it into words.