I really liked the framing in the linked post. Some relevant quotes:
When I stay with my parents I regress back to being a teenager. I become irritable, messy and spend most of my time eating cheese toasties and watching The Simpsons. There’s something about this social environment which brings out qualities in me that I don’t like, and behaviours which I don’t want [...]
Another example - there’s a friend of mine who is quite a curious, laid-back type. And often when I’m with said friend, I somehow magically become more curious and laid-back. In this case, the social environment is bringing out qualities in me that I do like.
There are [...] things which EA brings out in me which I don’t like.
I’ve spoken to a bunch of people that are doing something like ‘trying to figure out their relationship with EA’. And often it seems like people end up trying to do something like ‘work out whether EA is good or bad’.
This is a hard question to answer. I think an easier one, and a more action-relevant one is ‘Does EA bring out the best in you?’ or even ‘What does EA bring out of you?’.
An overall theme here is that people are different depending on the social environment that they are in. This will be more true of some people than others. Some people will change a lot, like a chameleon, and other people will change only a little, like a cow, or a… wardrobe, or whatever the opposite of a chameleon is.
I found this a useful mindset I hadn't thought of, even if it seems obvious in hindsight. Many posts and books mention the value of engaging with the effective altruism movement to prevent value drift. But I had never reflected on what directions different parts of the movement are making me drift towards, or are preventing me from drifting to.
Edited to add: Symmetrically, I'm now thinking: "When I'm interacting with the effective altruism community, do I help bring out the best in other people?"
I can't trace back where I found it, it somehow made its way into my open tabs for this evening. Thank you to whoever shared it.
Edit: It was in this footnote, huge thanks to David_Althaus and Ewelina_Tur for sharing it on the forum.