getting emotionally attached to fictional characters

Humans Get Even Weirder (fiction edition)

To add to the growing list on @space-australians

Humans are WEIRD!

Humans can form an emotional bond with anything. ANYTHING. We’re weird. Try explaining to an alien culture crying over a fictional character or having a Book Boyfriend. 

Other species bond, and can bond with individuals of another species (my dog loves me). But humans are the only species we know that can get emotionally attached to something or someone they know doesn’t exist. 

Imagine a human breaking down into tears over their favorite movie and the aliens trying to understand.

Alien: But, you said this individual does not exist?

Human: Yes! *sobbing* 

Alien: But you are crying.

Human: Didn’t you see him die?!?!

Alien: But he isn’t real. The actor stood up again. We watched the bonus scene.

Human: BUT I LOVE HIM!!!!! 

On the theme of “healing”

This is a very broad and generic-sounding theme that is always attempted by writers and artists everywhere since forever because the thing is we all are constantly in need of it. There’s all sorts of blows we are all constantly dealt in our lives—loss, heartbreak, and really traumas all sorts. The thing is I’m constantly seeing writers making the mistake of believing that to give their audience that feeling of “healing” they have to break them down emotionally first. And while there is a level of needed investment to get a pay off of moving forward, often times writers go too far in their attempt to give their audience the same feeling as their traumatized characters. But that’s not really necessary since so many of us have already experienced similar traumas in our own lives that we don’t need to constantly “relive” them in a fictional world. And to be perfectly honest, all you really need to do as a writer is portray a character the viewers can identify and attach themselves to in simpler ways and the pay off of identifying with them is the same. Let’s be honest as well, it is incredibly easy for most of us to find attributes to relate to in characters which is why storytelling is so important to our species. It’s been a tool of communication, of learning, of connecting for pretty much as early as we can trace our species back.

So why am I talking about this? Well because I’ve discovered two great pieces of media recently that are a couple of the very rare quality pieces that can translate the feeling of “healing” to their audience. Personally, I’ve needed these kinds of things to absorb right now with the world as devastating as it has been and to be honest how much I’ve been struggling in my own life to not feel totally paralyzed by every difficulty I encounter. These stories help emulate this sense moving forward that we all need to survive. So I wanted to take the time to recommend a film and a television show to everyone that I know haven’t been seen by most on here.

The first is a film called La Luciérnaga (The Firefly), a Colombian romantic drama, written and directed by Ana Maria Hermida. I don’t want to give much of the plot away in a synopsis so I’ll post a trailer below which will hopefully encourage you to check it out. It is a film I have watched at least four times in the last few months, every time during my rough nights and it helped me every single time. It’s an absolutely beautiful and unique story, which you discover at the end of the film was made by the director in memory of her brother, so clearly it’s a deeply personal piece of work which seems to be a trend in the more successful works I’ve seen and like on the themes of grief and healing.

La Luciérnaga is currently streaming on Netflix

Next is the semi-autobiographical comedy, One Mississippi by Tig Notaro, whose raise to fame basically came from her comedic stand up routines about her life literally falling to pieces after she was diagnosed with breast cancer, came down with C. Diff, and had to deal with the sudden loss of her mother. And if you haven’t seen her Netflix documentary about all of this called Tig you should absolutely check out as well. But her show begins with Tig returning home to be with her family and to be there to take her mother off of life support and much of the first season is really about her struggling to find a way forward and processing the loss of her mother and all the complicated bits that entails. The second season which was released at the beginning of September draws less from Tig’s own life with the exception of the love story that flourishes between her character and that of Kate, played by Tig’s wife in real life—Stephanie Allynne which is such an extremely rare and gratifying experience to be in as viewer as there’s no question of “chemistry” or realness to that of a relationship that is real with a story that resonates so closely to their own meeting and falling in love and how big of a turning point it was for both of them.

The trailers for season 1 and season 2 below:

Both seasons of One Mississippi are currently streaming on Amazon Prime

I feel you. I feel all of you.
  • Person who just started reading Lovecraft: Oh wow! This character is really engaging and I think I kinda relate to him. I think he became my favorite!
  • Me: Put that book down. Your innocence is not ready to be shattered yet.
Abuse and Fandom

Above all reason and logic, I’ve always wanted people to be happy. This is especially true for fictional characters.

Growing up in an abusive household, you learn to shove down your emotions and desires, to put on a face that is hard and strong, while you yourself are trembling on the inside. Your spirit begs to be let free, begs to be somewhere where your father’s footsteps and voice don’t send your body into rigamortis with a side of trembling dog.

Fear haunts you. Sleepless nights where you wonder if this is the day someone actually asks you about your bruises.

Can you lie well enough?

Will they care enough to not believe you?

To look past the trembling lip and the shaking fine that falls from your lying lips?

Growing up gay in a christian, republican home in the South is one thing that sticks with you. As if it is tar upon your skin, the shame that remains attached to your spirit peels off ever so slowly; and if it does come off it takes pieces of you, reluctant to let you go.

The fear of discovery, of rejection, of hatred.

And it’s funny isn’t it, that despite your father rejecting everything you already were that you feared so deeply coming out to him? As if his rejection would break you more than the feeling of his wedding ring on his fist busting open your lip, the helplessness you feel as you fall on the carpet of your family home thick in your throat. An illness you can’t quite get over.

So Happiness. I’ve always wanted it for my fictional characters, and I didn’t know why I became so emotionally distraught when their happy ending didn’t come, why I wept so tumultuously at their misfortune. Joining fandoms exasperated these feelings, as I found that millions of people were also invested and deeply saddened when the characters they loved did not achieve peace and love. Yet still I struggled with the why’s of my emotional attachment, the deepness of happiness and despair I feel about something not real.

When I was a child, I would immerse myself so deeply into my book that I was unable to hear what was going on around me. When I watched television, my mother often remarked that I was deaf to the world around me. Indeed, it seemed that I had mentally climbed into the pages, the screen. And I see now that I retreated to worlds that were far more friendly than my own, that did not care that I was loud, that my heart was big and bleeding, where my tears were not answered by a slap and a raised voice. Where I watched people express their feelings and marveled that they were listened to, respected.

I was 23 when I realized what a panic attack was. I was 10 when I had my first panic attack, or perhaps I was 9, memories are so elusive when you are young. I had done something wrong according to my stepfather and was sent to my room, where I was to remain until he decided to release me. Hours passed, and oh how I wept. I wept and I was all too aware of how intensely alone I felt, how alone I always felt. How alone I would always feel. The walls began to spin, and my breath began to become strangled within my convulsing throat, my chest heaving. Blackness rose around me, familiar in its calmness and protection. When I awoke I was still alone, still afraid. No one had come to check on me, though it had been at least 1 or 2 more hours. This taught me that I would indeed always be alone, and that I had to learn to carry my pain on my own.

No one was coming.

Reading was an escape from a world that did not want me, that did not accept me in all my odd freakish mannerisms. My friends were all fictional, providing me the love and support that I desperately sought in the real world. As I grew I became more attached to my fictional worlds, and now at 25 I am what is known as a shipper, or a fangirl. These are terms that are specific to those on the internet who find themselves heavily invested in various fictional universes. We write about them, we rejoice in their successes, mourn their losses. We look to their world to express our own, to express ourselves.

We turn to them because we are still searching for happiness and acceptance in our own lives, and if we cannot find it then at least someone else can.

So why invest in fictional characters? They are my friends; they are my confidants. They are people who never let me down. I seek happiness for them because if they are happy, surely the little girl who stood so proud and broken, tears burning in her eyes in the face of her abuser, has a chance for happiness as well. I protect them in ways that I could not protect that little girl, hold them in my arms as she longed for someone to hold her, and support them as she still, at the age of 25, longs for others to support her.

When we love characters it is because we see a piece of ourselves in them. Their pain, their joy, is wrapped up in our own joy and sorrow. I am not ashamed to profess my love for fictional characters, as I often see the little girl with falling tears, trying desperately to love herself. Her small hands over her ears, blocking out the harsh words those around her are piling on her exhausted spirit. I love for her, and I love myself because of it.

Common Issues of being an INFP
  • Getting easily attached to fictional characters despite how bad the plot is.
  • Feeling like you need to cry when you see others cry.
  • Forgetting all the time that you’re a person.
  • It being extremely hard to pick sides in arguments.
  • Being so emotionally and morally driven that if either of those contradict each other, you’re utterly screwed.
  • Feeling like utter garbage if someone makes you break your morals.
  • Blaming yourself for things outside of your control.
  • Having a song that triggers you.
  • Being randomly startled by how the bad the world is.
  • Constantly doubting if you’re a good person.
TV Show You Watch (Marvel Preferences)

woooohoooo more preferences

-Jazz

Warnings; none

*GIF’s aren’t mine, credit to the original owners.*

Steve Rogers/Captain America

How I Met Your Mother

With all the shite that goes on in SHIELD and your everyday life, you both need some humor and comedy to relieve the stress. You both really liked the way it had the perfect balance of comedy, emotion and romance and you had fun comparing Barney Stinson to Tony. 

Tony Stark/Ironman

(BBC) Sherlock

Tony started watching the show when someone compared his IQ to Sherlock’s. He watched the first episode and tried to work things out and solve the mysteries quicker than the character, but he never got ahead. In the end, you both forgot about the whole trying-to-beat-a-fictional-character thing and ended up getting hooked.

Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier

Orphan Black

Out of the two of you, you were the one who got emotionally attached to the characters and Bucky was the one who got interested in the science side. It had episodes set in the military too which interested him, and you would always argue over which clone is your favourite. 

Thor Odinson

The Big Bang Theory

Thor liked to watch it and laugh (’Look at these nerds try to explain a universe that know nothing about.’ - Even though he was the one who knew shit all) at the characters, while you enjoyed it for the comical side.

Loki Laufeyson

Game of Thrones

Loki loved Game of Thrones because of the time it was set it, but you both enjoyed it for the entertainment value. And Kit Harrington. But mainly the entertainment value. (And Kit Harrington.)

Clint Barton/Hawkeye 

Gossip Girl

 If anyone were to ever ask Clint what his favourite show was, he would reply with ‘definitely not Gossip Girl’. He got you into it, surprisingly. Obviously, he would never tell anyone that. His OTP was Dan and Serena.

Bruce Banner/Hulk

iZombie

It was science-y, had comedy and drama and therefore fulfilled everything the both of you looked for in a TV show.  He’d tried to work out the science of zombieness many, many times but the nearest thing he’d ever got to it was what the characters in the show said.

Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver

Orange Is The New Black

Aside from the hilarity of the show, you both enjoyed the different characters background stories. It also taught you both that everyone has backstories that you shouldn’t judge them for - For Pietro, that was an important message given his past with Ultron.

Sam Wilson/Falcon

Doctor Who

You’d both been watching the show since you were kids, and nothing changed when you got together. You’d have marathons or just watch single episodes - But would always, always fight over which Doctor was the best.

Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow

Friends

Natasha always needed something with a light-heart as a distraction on her dark days, or just any day. Friends was the kind of show that you could just turn on and watch from any point and the characters reminded you of the different Avengers in a way. 

Wanda Maximoff/Black Widow

Jane the Virgin

Even though the show had all kinds of ups and downs, you both got addicted and were both addicted from the first episode. You both tried to learn Spanish to understand some parts of the show without subtitle but you both ended up getting distracted by the new season.

*Again, GIF’s aren’t mine. Credit to the owners.*


anonymous asked:

top five most likely things infps do for fun?

ooohhh FUN? That’s my middle name (not really I’m a boring teenager who likes glow in the dark dinosaur stickers and poetry). LETS GET THIS LIST DONE!

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1) READ- obviously this had to be in the top five! We infps generally adore reading and we love how books can transport us to magical places, make us fall in love, frustrate us and get us emotionally attached to fictional characters. 

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2) Travel- Most of the things that are fun to us, involve exploration in some way or the other and this? This is the real deal- we dream to travel all around the world- Venice, Paris, Africa, Vienna EVERYWHERE! Travelling as they say, is like reading more pages of the book that is the world and it gives us a sense of freedom which we absolutely love!

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3) Look through old photographs, trinkets and letters- I have something I call a memory box and it contains strange little things that I’m sentimental about- from the teddy bear candle on my first birthday cake, to the leaf I stepped on when I had a good day! Most infps tend to collect all these little things and sort through them because they have an amazing memory and although that means that some unwanted details may be etched too clearly in our minds, these objects take us to moments in our lives we are able to experience again.

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4) Spend time with our loved ones- This might just be being alone with them and not talking or watching a favourite movie together or talking about everything and nothing, but infps are warm, relationship-oriented creatures and although we love being solitary, we also like the company of the few people we allow to be in our hearts!

5) Daydream- Did you seriously think that I would leave this one out? HAHAHAHA not a chance! We love this and as I repeatedly say, we are dreamers and nothing entertains us more than going through our thoughts, making up creative *coughsweirdasfcough* scenarios and taking wonderful little trips in our imaginations!

Love,
- Your infp princess

Why I hate Legend of Korra: Book 4

Some of my followers and friends in this site have known be to be a staunch pro-Korra person who is emotionally attached to this character. I looked back at my two years of being in love with with fictional heroine and the finale devastated me.

I need to get this out of my system before it gets built up inside. I found it hard to believe it affected me not only emotionally but physically. I thought that this was the time I was celebrating the end of one of the most special shows in my life. But after what happened in the finale, I have nothing to do but expel out my resentments, stay out of the fandom and then move on.

Keep reading

  • Therapist: Why are you here today?
  • Me: *pulls out a 100 pages list* I become addicted to fictional characters and it just keeps getting worse. I have no self control when it comes to tumblr, books, re-playing my favorite otp scenes on youtube or re-watching a whole series in a few sleepless nights in a row. Also I ship too much. I have more otp's than clothes. And they just keep pile up, they keep calling to me. To top all that, I'm addicted to reading fanfiction, especially at night. I am way too emotionally attached to those fictional characters I mentioned earlier, I bawl my eyes out whenever my favorite characters die or hurt and now it's feels like there's literally a hole in my heart. I can go on but I'm pretty sure you get the point... Now I know that the first step to solving a problem is admitting that you have one, so that why i'm here today.
  • Therapist:
  • Me:
  • Therapist:
  • Me: Shall I continue?
Me reading "The Girl With All the Gifts" by M. R. Carey

From the very beginning I knew this book was going to get emotional.

Before even 50 pages in, I got emotionally attached.

Then the realization that it probably wouldn’t have a happy ending, people would get hurt, and probably characters I liked most…

The end:

It was a super good book, though. Go read it.

The scene where Arno thought he saw Elise in the Franciade tavern and it turned out to be a case of mistaken identity was cruel and unnecessary. Seriously Ubisoft, stop playing with my feelings like this!! Arno and I are still grieving!! (Also, I clearly get too emotionally attached to fictional characters than what’s rational/healthy …)

image from madeinmasyaf