- Posted by Paul Gowder on February 1st, 2009 filed in doom, dredging for comments by posting about sex, misanthropy, psychology, skeletons in the closet
- 9 Comments »
Psychology produces something actually interesting in the dating department. (A year behind. So?)
Research tends to focus on the positives of self-monitoring — a personality characteristic that accounts for how attuned individuals are to societal conventions as well as the degree to which “appropriateness” controls their behavior and moderates how they present themselves to others.
“High self-monitors are social chameleons,” says Northwestern University researcher Michael E. Roloff. “And, because they’re quick to pick up on social cues, are socially adept and unlikely to say things upsetting to others, they are generally well-liked and sought after.
“Research finds them to be excellent negotiators and far more likely to be promoted at work than their low self-monitoring peers.”
But there’s a downside for high self-monitors when it comes to their romantic relationships. “High self-monitors may appear to be the kind of people we want to have relationships with, but they themselves are less committed to and less happy in their relationships than low self-monitors,” said the Northwestern professor of communication studies.
In “The Dark Side of Self-Monitoring: How High Self-Monitors View Their Romantic Relationships” in the journal Communication Reports, Roloff and co-authors Courtney N. Wright and Adrienne Holloway present their findings from a study of 97 single young adults.
“The desire to alter one’s personality to appropriately fit a given situation or social climate prevents high self-monitors from presenting their true selves during intimate interactions with their romantic partners,” says Roloff. “High self-monitors are very likeable and successful people. However, it appears they’re just not deep.”
Their propensity to self-censor prompts them to avoid face-threatening interactions that more honest self-disclosures potentially provide. The result: the partners of high self-monitors may be completely in the dark about the extent of their high self-monitoring partner’s degree of commitment and regard.
Superego to id: stop dating actresses, writers, people who are overly introspective, total neurotics, the sort of person who was a social outcast until she actually studied how people interact and consciously mimicked them (like one ex-girlfriend did), people who are obsessed with the approval of their friends, people who completely reinvent themselves or start giant propaganda campaigns to impress others, anyone involved in any way whatsoever in law or the corporate world (with the exception of delightfully badass public interest lawyers), anyone obsessed with clothes or makeup, anyone involved in any way whatsoever in Hollywood, etc. etc. No, really, Paul. Stop. Stop it. (Id to superego: But I like actresses! No fair! Can I just keep those, and the writers? Superego to id: You’ll regret it…)