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We humans are very good at imitation. We often don’t even realize we’re doing it. When you were a baby, you learned how to talk and walk by imitation. As a child you learned what behaviors are acceptable by imitation. As an adult you learn things much the same way. You may even have a few little habits or quirks that came from someone else, such as a way of laughing, a way of fiddling with a pen, a way of using an eating utensil, or a way of wrinkling your nose in a particular expression. The way you use words and the accent you have are things that people frequently around you use. All these are things that rub off on you.

Some people are more easily rubbed off on than others. Some people pick up more on some things than on other things. Some people don’t seem to pick up much at all. But all of us rub off on each other all the time. I especially notice this in myself when it comes to accents and subtle mannerisms. If someone around me has a strong accent, I will find myself picking up and using that accent almost right away, though often I don’t know it until someone points it out. If I spend a lot of time with someone I will notice things about their movements and facial expressions, sometimes imitating them, again without realizing it at first.

The more time you spend with someone, the more you will rub off on each other. The more you do together the more you will become a little bit more like each other. You’re still your own separate persons, but you pick things up from each other. This can be good and it can be bad. Many people pick up bad habits by frequent exposure to them. But many people pick up good habits by frequent exposure to them as well.

Pay attention to who and what rubs off on you. Pay attention to who you rub off on, and what it is you’re rubbing off. The more you expose yourself to something, the more chance it has to rub off on you.

So what’s rubbing off on you? What’s rubbing off of you?