Ever seen those parts or reels that say you’re the MC of your own life?
Well, guess what?
These people can be said to have the ‘Main Character Syndrome’. Let’s talk about it in some detail here.
So, what exactly is this ‘Main Character Syndrome’?
Also called the ‘Protagonist’s Syndrome’, it’s exactly like the name suggests. It’s when a person starts seeing themselves as the main character of a fictional narrative.
Everything that this person does in their life fits in with this character that they have created out of themselves.
How did this come into being?
‘Main Character Syndrome’ came from a widely popular TikTok trend which asked people to upload their regular moments with some cool music and pretend like they were in a movie.
For eg, looking out of the window while on a car ride and adding some melancholy indie music to the background.
The hashtag #maincharacterenergy was trending which gave rise to people adopting this mindset to their life instead of individual moments.
How does it affect you?
Like everything else in life, it has its own pros and cons.
- Focus on you: In a world that constantly focuses attention outwards, towards other people, doing things for other people, always trying to do something for others while constantly pushing ourselves into the background the main character syndrome can help bring attention to your own needs since without the main character, there is no story.
- Behaviour: the main character is usually one with respectable moral compass showing due compassion, empathy, accountability, consistency and ambition. Being the main character makes us abide by these values and significantly improve the way a we treat ourselves and others.
- Perspective: When you see yourself as the main character, every hardship that your gave automatically presents itself as an opportunity for ‘ character development ‘. This change in perspective is beneficial to many people since they stop looking for ways to avoid hardships but start looking for opportunities to grow in each one that they face.
- Freedom: Being the main character of your own narrative means you decide everything on your own. Each decision is yours and you are the only one responsible for it. People start taking decisions that they want without much guilt since they are the main character after all and the story is about them. It helps in embracing individuality and freedom without guilt of hurting other people. It provides one with the freedom to accept and do things according to your own moral and value system.
- Being okay with being different: This is one of the greatest achievements of the Main Character Syndrome. The main character is supposed to be different, supposed to stand out, supposed to be special in some way so that they could make the story happen. This makes it easier for people to accept it when they are different from the norm and so not feel pressured to fit in with the society.
- Letting go: Main Character Syndrome means that everything in your life is a pre-written script that is designed to make you come out on top in the end. This mindset makes it easier to let go off things that aren’t in our control. It helps look at things in a more positive light since you know that everything is working to get YOU to be the winner.
- Confine yourself to a box: A lot of times people do not allow themselves to feel emotions that would otherwise so if it doesn’t fit in with their ‘ character ‘.
- Self critisism: Being excessively focused on being the main character makes people criticize and judge themselves much harsher than others. They need to always be perfect since this ‘ character ‘ that they are in their minds is perfect.
- Justifying: On the opposite end of this, the main character could start justifying everything that he is and was doing because they are the main character. Everyone isn’t a Naruto or a Luffy. Some of us are Light Yagami’s as well.
- Either Narcissism or paranoia: When you see yourself as the all-righteous Main Character who can never be wrong and is the only main character to ever exist, that becomes narcissistic. This means that you’re disregarding the existence of all other stories. On the other hand, being the main character means that obviously, there’s a villain in our lives trying to make our lives difficult or even miserable. Too much of this can lead to paranoia and being suspicious of every small thing.
- Stepping on ‘ side characters ‘: Side characters often do not have too much importance in any series. It often leads to sidelining other people since they aren’t that important in our story anyway. It justify is using, manipulating and taking advantage of people around us without even giving it a second thought.
- Assuming no responsibility: If everything is a pre-written script, one does not need to be held accountable for their actions since it completely removes any responsibility of making the decision.
Is it actually a medical condition?
The main character syndrome in itself cannot be regarded as a disorder or even a medical condition. It really is a way to look at life and perceive our experiences.
Like how extreme optimism leads to toxic positivity and extreme pessimism leads to depression, Main character syndrome in its extremities can be harmful, but in itself, it is only a way of thought or a philosophy.
Any counter philosophy to this ‘Main Character Syndrome’?
Main Character Syndrome often expects the focus to be completely on one individual while shadowing everyone else and says that an individual is constantly performing on stage for an invisible audience.
Once people saw the rise in these tendencies, the hashtag #sidecharacterenergy had started trending on TikTok as a counter. People liked to portray themselves as the different side characters like the goth elder sister or the perfect best friend whose inherent purpose isn’t to shine but to add depth and dimension to the storyline.
While being an absolutely hilarious contradiction to #maincharacterenergy, it also provides a nice balance to it. It brings these side characters back into light while showing and reminding us that sometimes, it is the side characters that steal the thunder.
A healthy dose of ‘Main Character Syndrome’ is needed in everyone’s life to be able to focus on yourself for some time, but it needs to be balanced by the ‘Side-Character Energy’ to remain at peace and happy in our everyday life.
So, do you identify as a ‘main character’ or a ‘side character’? We’d love to read your opinions in the comments!