Each passing day proves a reality which is that human’s life is deeply influenced by all kind of models. Either it’s the case of living models or the ones “imprinted” upon the social memory of humankind, the sphere of theirs activity (science, art, music, politics) or the status of public persons or unknown ones (persons that only we recognize), there isn’t one who doesn’t have somebody as a model. Some of us have not only one, but various models, a one for every area which makes a point of interest for us.
Probably every one of us remembers about our first “confessions” regarded our model, obviously from parent’s stories. The most frequent question of our childhood or youth “what do you want to become when you’ll grow up” got answers as “I want to be a singer like… /a painter like…/or just like my mother”.
Child or adult, we both looking up to a model and we identify ourselves with him mostly because the process of our own development needs certain milestones. We all must have some guidance in our life to ease our social integration and to perform in career and family.
The relation between us and our model starts as an appropriation process when we try to “still” all the good parts and positive ideas that we agreed to from him. In a more or less obvious way, we imitate the most representative attitudes and behaviors of his personality because makes us feel right and capable of being for a moment just like the model.
In time, this emotional and unfiltered “absorption” of anything it comes from our model it must become more selective, more critical and centered on a specific target-the one of maintaining a benefic relation with our model, mutually advantageous. This means to avoid being annihilated by his personality and to use those personal positive aspects of him in our own evolution as a unique person.
Considering the fact that a secret of life is also to know when to stop or how far to push an action, the model’s power must be controlled as well. We need to be vigilante and draw a line between us and our model so we won’t be assimilated or become emotionally or cognitive addicted to him. What I’m trying to say can be express like this: “I admire my model for the way he writes, but I have to find my own style to write; I appreciate my model for his remarkable paintings, but I need to see which painting technique is suitable for me”.
So when a model’s impact is negative on us? The answer centers on the moment when we are feeling and thinking more like him than like us; when we are being more emotional than cognitive around him or when we talk about him; when we let him to “govern” our own existence. And, probably, these “dangers” are more imminent in the situation of a living model. In that particular instant, the model-person changes into an idol and the normal admiration and appreciation develop into an exaggerated worship called fanatic attitude.
Don’t let your model to take over your own life!-Psychologist, Nicoleta Cramaruc