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Alter Ego

Trigger warning: personality disorders.

We are not mental health professionals. All our claims are backed up by credible research studies. If you relate to anything we post, we highly urge you to consult with a licensed mental health professional for a safe and accurate diagnosis.


An “alter ego” means to have an alternative self, which is believed to be distinct from a person’s regular personality or is a part of a person’s personality that is usually hidden from others. For example, Superman is Clark Kent’s alter ego and Hyde is Dr. Jekyll’s.

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What is Your Alter Ego?

  • Evaluate your true self first by identifying the ways you perceive and express yourself (this is what identity is)
  • Try to think about how others perceive you. People’s experiences can alter how they see themselves or how they are perceived by others. Your identity also influences the decisions you make; friends, fashion, political beliefs, etc.
  • Subtract the stereotypes and conventions when exploring yourself. Think about who you are when nobody is around to impress.
  • Think of an actor’s role in a form of media or in real life who you related with (personality wise)
  • Identify your guilty pleasures. This could be like usually listening to R&B but pop is a guilty pleasure or typically preferring 90s style clothing but sometimes being drawn to grunge when shopping.
  • Evaluate how your gender, sexuality, etc, make up who you are as a person and if these attributes are a big part of your personality or not.
  • Identify your weaknesses. The point of having an alter ego is usually to become to best version of yourself–even if unrealistic. Psychologists say to focus on points of frustration especially.

Who is Your Alter Ego?

  1. Pick their name. Preferably, name represents the alter ego’s personality. For example, the name “Sophia” means “wisdom” in the Bible. Therefore if you think your alter ego is wise, you can name is Sophia.
  2. Give your alternative ego a distinctive look. Take Batman for example.
  3. Put your alter ego into practice and make sure you are happy with it.
  4. Don’t let gender or other attributes hold you back. Your alter ego could be anything you want it to be. Just please make sure it doesn’t harm anyone like Dr. Jekyll’s did.

Misconceptions

“Alter egos are unnecessary and do more harm than good.

This myth is easy to debunk. Look around you, this world is full of alter egos. From the cashier at a grocery store all the way to the biggest corporate tycoons, most people have to create an alter ego sometime in their life before their natural personality won’t just get the job done. Unfortunately, we live in a world full of masks. However, it is important to know that alter egos can get out of control and can become a personality disorder.

“You can easily get rid of an alter ego.”

Studies actually show that it’s near to impossible to completely get rid of a triggered alter ego. The only thing you can do is change it a bit or adapt to it completely. throughout it all, it’s important that you stay in control of your alter ego so it won’t start controlling you.

“Alter ego is the same thing as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)”

Alter ego is for sure not a split/multiple personality disorder. the key difference between the two is the fact that an individual purposely switches personalities when they have an alter ego while when they have a personality disorder they unconsciously switch personas. However, alter egos can essentially lead to personality disorders if not managed properly.

Some Representations of Alter Ego in Media

  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Hyde)
  • Death Note (Kira)
  • Fight Club (Tyler Durden)
  • The Nutty Professor (Buddy Love)
  • Every Marvel/DC movie
  • Mr. Brooks (Marshall)
  • The Dark Half (George Stark)
  • Watch how celebrities are during interviews VS when they’re performing, it may surprise you.

Sources

•http://www.literarydevices.com/persona/
•https://www.personalitycafe.com/threads/alter-egos-and-type-personas.123152/
•https://www.soulveda.com/happiness/can-having-an-alter-ego-help-reveal-your-true-self/
•https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/200611/altered-ego

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