I am always puzzled by people who act one way when you are alone with them, and then totally different when they are in the presence of someone else.
I once worked with a young woman who was intelligent, confident and caring. She was a great employee and a fun person to work with. From time to time a group of staff would go to lunch together, and on occasion her husband would just us. He was on the police force, and a rather arrogant, intimidating sort. When he was present, she became a timid, unsure adolescent. In part, I didn't blame her, because anything she contributed to the conversation he either corrected her or contradicted her. In short, a real ass. We always groaned if he showed up to join us for lunch, and I often suspected he wasn't a very nice person at home either. I was actually happy when I heard a few years later, after she left the agency, that they had divorced. I am sure she was glad to be able to be herself again, at least I hope so!
I went thru a similar experience in my last marriage. It lasted nearly thirteen years, and by the time I stumbled out the door I barely resembled the person I was when we'd first met. I didn't know who I was, what I believed, or what I even liked anymore. I did know I was tired, and miserably unhappy. I'm sure I wasn't much fun for other folks to be around. It took me a full year to recover my sense of self.
Now I work in a situation where two of my coworkers are nice, friendly, intelligent folks. We care about each other, converse on many topics, share information about clients and other work-related issues, and in short get along just fine. I like them. But, when the third co-worker, the "bad apple" of our bunch, is present, they both take on a totally different persona., laughing at her crudeness, whispering behind backs, making unkind comments about clients, and being distant and uncooperative... changing just as if someone had flipped a switch. Huh? I find myself often wondering "Who are you, really?" I certainly don't trust folks like that! If you are so easily swayed, or intimidated by someone with a bigger than life attitude, that you can't just relax and be yourselves in her presence, then well, that's pretty sad, I think!
I treasure people who are themselves. They don't have to be perfect - I know I'm certainly not, and they don't have to change to suit me, they just need to have some continuity of personality and behavior so that I know where they stand and that I can count on them. I get annoyed with folks who act like they are my friend one day, and the next seem to hardly know me. Sounds like grade school stuff, doesn't it? Yup!
I am pretty much a "what you see is what you get" person. Not one for games, pretences, or false faces. I try to be friendly and get along with everyone, but if I find myself having to guess which person you are being today, I probably won't spend much time building a relationship. I am all about being real. How about you?