The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
As the phrase has become more and more popular, you’ve probably heard someone say they are “the main character.” And, if you’re like me when you heard that, you probably rolled your eyes, swallowed your sarcastic comments (along with some cringe-induced vomit), and agreed with them just to avoid the conflict. Someone who suffers from Main Character Syndrome is oblivious to their own affliction. They don’t realize they are not the main character, but intentionally try to make their lives sound more chaotic and complicated anyways.
Main Character Syndrome (MCS) is something you’ll want to cure fast! No one wants to hang out with someone who is constantly talking about themselves, blowing everything out of proportion, and making their life sound like an action-packed rom-com featuring the most insane and unbelievable characters. It’s draining.
What is the cure for MCS? Well, once one commits to this lifestyle, it might be hard to change. But fear not, there are a few things you could try to rehabilitate your personality. Start caring about other people’s lives. This is not to say you should never prioritize your own life. There are definitely times when you need to put yourself first and you might need to vent to friends for a bit. But you shouldn’t do this all the time. Your friends have things going on too, and they are not your free therapists 24/7. Seriously stop and think about the last time you asked one of your friends how their day was. If you can’t remember, I’m afraid you might be experiencing MCS.
Another treatment you can try – stop lying about your own life. If you have to extremely inflate every story you tell to get your friends invested in your life, they probably aren’t your friends. Real friendships are built on communication and shared investment. Talking about your own life, yes, but also listening to their issues, and offering advice when you can. Think of the oldest and simplest adage we all learn in kindergarten, treat others how you want to be treated. Think about how you’d feel if your issues and concerns were never addressed, and your friends constantly bombarded you with their rollercoaster lives. If you only ever talk about yourself, no one is going to like spending time with you. They didn’t pay to watch the “movie” that was your crazy, quirky weekend.
How does one deal with a friend that has raging MCS? You could try being honest with them. Tell them how you feel about your one-sided relationship. Express how it feels to constantly have your problems belittled by their exaggerated anecdotes. If you don’t want to take the direct approach, you could also try to distance yourself from the friend. At the end of the day, it’s important to realize you don’t have an obligation to this friend. You’re not a therapist. It isn’t your responsibility to solve their issues. A final – possibly drastic and somewhat hostile – approach is to blatantly retaliate. If they are going to ignore your feelings and never care about your life, why not do the same to them? A taste of their own medicine.
If someone you know is struggling with MCS, please don’t hesitate to direct them to this article. It could be an eye-opening experience. Or if you’re reading this article and realizing what I’m describing sounds like you, then issue formal apologies to your friends.
Sometimes we all have moments in which we want to be the main character. And maybe for one glorious, shining moment, you feel like you are. But the bottom line is, someone who truly is the main character, never verbalizes that they think they are the main character.