Sunday, October 10, 2010

Doppelgängers and favorites

A reader asked me about my sense of sometimes having a doppelgänger . I think at least some of these points apply equally to people that a sociopath chooses as a "favorite," i.e. someone that they play with and protect rather than play with and destroy.

Doppelgängers are a weird sensation. They can feel good or they can feel bad, I can want to absorb them into the rest of my identity, or I can want to kill them. They always feel like a part of me, though. I think the best way to describe how I feel around them is that I "recognize" them. I see something of me in them. And not just the me that most people know, but the hidden me that very few know.

I think that this is the thing about doppelgängers that provokes the strongest reaction in me, that I see my hidden self in them. It makes me a little nervous, like I have been found out. I wonder -- if I can see the real them, can they see the real me? And if their identify is so obvious to me, I wonder if my identity is obvious to others as well:
They say that you can never truly see yourself; not in mirrors, or photos, or windows, or water. All you see is a flat reflection. You go through life with only an idea of how other people see you in the three dimensions, always one step removed from every true angle. Unless you’re (un)-lucky enough to have a twin.
Typically there is just one thing I have in common with these people. Perhaps a similar reaction to a certain stimulus. Maybe they also data-mine incessantly to make predictions about other's behavior. Maybe they also are completely ambivalent about some outrageous political issue. Whatever it is, it is something that I consider unique enough to me that I am pleasantly surprised to discover it in someone else.

The raging narcissist in me is very charmed by our similarities, but the wary recluse in me thinks they are a dangerous liability. The result is that all of our interactions have a ticking time bomb urgency and intensity about them.

Although it is true that these people are objectively interesting in some ways, usually I discover to my disappointment that they are still largely unoriginal. Once I realize that they're not who I hoped they would be, I get over my obsession immediately. But it's all very exciting at first.


  1. I'm sure I'm going to get reemed for this, but what's a doppelganger? The only time I have ever heard of this word was in an independant movie by marilyn manson, and it was twin women stitched together. It was stupid...stopped watching afer a few seconds. on a lot the past couple of days, damn...UKan is at it again.

    Looks like I missed out

  2. my computer is acting up, it should have read looks like I missed out on a lot the past couple of days, oops.

  3. Google is ye friend.

  4. Jesse, a doppelganger is a person's double. Folk lore says if other people see your doppelganger it foretell's misfortune for you; if you see your own doppelganger it's an omen of death.

  5. (My doppelganger has been throwing a lot of unnecessary apostrophes into my posts.)

  6. lol, Oh, wow, that's creepy. Thanks Aerianne.

    I got the hint Medusa, I'll look it up.

  7. That's weird. I've seen this word used in quantum physics(super position). It's hard for me to imagine it on a large scale level though or to apply it to human experience. It's freaky! I'll have to google it too.


  8. Jesse, take a look at 'How they met themselves' by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (surely a sociopath?)

  9. What "creeps out" a Sociopath?

  10. "The uncanny valley" ..thanks

  11. Now for my stupid question. What is an uncanny valley?

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. @PMS Uncanny Valley

    FFS PMS, if that is the case then every morning you must shit yourself silly when looking at the mirror, you exquisite accumulation of bullshit.

    Why not end it now and bring a smile to the human race, or at least plug your ear-holes to stop that damned whistling noise! x

  14. i understand this. when i wasn't with him i felt disorientated. when you're an extreme it's bizarre to come across the needle in a haystack scenario of finding your equivalent, and he really was my doppelganger cos he was my 'evil' twin. haha, i mean that in jest (ahem sort of).
    and the fact he might have wanted to kill me? can't say it was off my mental radar. thanks for that bit of honesty ME, i feel so comfortable all of a sudden. not.

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