With different people we all act differently whether we realize it or not. Many places we may see this is around family, friends, school, work, or other places and people who we often do not see all together. In this idea there are two theorists; Mead, who says that “generalized other” is taking the role of many people and that it is a life long process, the other is Cooley who says that the “looking glass self” is how a persons self view grows out of society’s interactions and the perceptions of others. In other words Mead’s idea is that people become who they are by taking the roles of those around them and that Cooley’s idea is that we see or act the way we do because of how we think others see us.
In this sense I think that where I would notice this most in myself is between how i act between my different friends, boyfriend, and certain family members. I think I act the most like myself when I am with my boyfriend, mother, or closest friends. When I am with my more distant friends, and distant or older family I act differently. I would say I act this way and differently because I am more comfortable around these certain people. As Mead would say I take the role of these people that I am more comfortable with. On the other hand I think that the people who I am less comfortable around such as distant friends, and distant and older family I fall more into the ideals of Cooley where I act how I think they view me. For instance when I am with my boyfriend I often notice myself sort of “mold” to him and his personality although I still sort of maintain my own personality, but in a way his personality becomes a part of my own. This to me is how I view Mead’s ideas as taking the role of others. Whereas when I am with say someone like my grandmother I am “more proper” because I think I change myself to act and be the way I think she sees me or wants to see me; as a responsible, quiet, respectful, well mannered, very ladylike individual (not like I’m not these things regularly). In this sense I think this would be more along Cooley’s ideas of a persons self growing with society’s interpersonal interactions and the perception of others.