Again and again, TikTok has become the new bible of trendy buzz words for Gen Zs out there. According to the TikTok reference, the term main character is always associated with people who think that the world revolves around them as they seek attention through pretentious actions. The main character syndrome is well-portrayed in short meme videos by TikTok user @DaiseyGorgeous with funny main-character occasions he does to the tune of Lana Del Rey's Mariners Apartment Complex, his attempt to portray the main character traits we often see in movies is spot on. However, how is exactly the main character syndrome seen in psychology?
According to Kate Rosenblatt—a therapist and senior clinical manager at Talkspace—main character syndrome refers to identifying as the protagonist in your own life story. However, the main character syndrome is not an actual mental-health diagnosis as it only exists in pop culture with the influence of movies. But the term 'main character' always refers to someone who is self-centered, believes the people around them live to support them, and views themself as the main character of their life. Kate Rosenblatt and other experts break down four key red flags that can tell you whether you, inadvertently, are the main character in the group.
They feel like everything revolves around them and their problems
If you often feel like you are the center of attention and have people around you as only your supporting roles, you might have yourself a tiny hint of exuding some main-character energy. Someone who radiates the main character syndrome often thinks or sees themself as someone they imagine or want to be like, or is pretending to be the lead of their own story or self-created tale, according to Cynthia Catchings, a therapist for Talkspace.
They think their life is perfect
Cynthia Catchings said that someone who projects themself as the main character often presents their life through rose-colored lenses that portray a false image of themself in front of people they want to impress. They also tend to constantly build their online persona by carefully curating their photos that give off the vibe they want people to see. The problem with this trait is that they overly control their image and may lash out at anyone who contradicts it.
Not good at taking criticism
Be careful, people with main character syndrome often find it troublesome to take any criticism or a joke. We can't deny that living in a healthy circle gives us the occasion to be criticized for good matters, however, people with main character syndrome find it hard to distinguish and digest advice as insults that they think any kind of criticism is always based on jealousy.
Everyone knows that in every movie, the main character is always faced with an obstacle or hardship that can develop their character until fulfillment is found at the end of the storyline. Well, a happy ending is always there when it comes to movies. However, someone with the main character syndrome tends to think that their hardship is something that they should romanticize. Instead of looking for a solution that will eventually indeed develop their character as an individual, they tend to dwell in struggle and daydream about the happy ending.
The main character syndrome is a fairly new concept and as of now, not much research has been done to learn more about it. However, if someone develops the mentioned red flags of main character syndrome, they can easily slip into narcissism which further can harm their mental health even more.