Kicked to the side- or willfully standing bench-side. Your life is in fact a movie. You don’t get to eat the popcorn or stand on stage. A one-stock character made for others to feel comfortable. Just like a chair, you are there. But will anyone miss you? When the chair scoots - and their derrière digs into the air; then they will feel you are not there. Yes, cut the chords off. Untangle the hair- knot. Did you ever notice when someone moves out of the shadow- they seem prettier and wiser? Suddenly, they can sing, dance, or act. It wasn’t so sudden. They always could sing - but others would shush them. Stop stepping aside. Sit down in the light. Then, grab a friend to your side. Flame up the room. And just stride.
Are you a sidekick?
Synonyms: Side character. Helper. Aide. Right-hand man (or woman). These are all words that suggest you are on the side.
Yet, is being labeled a sidekick a diss?
Well, according to Merriam-Webster, a sidekick is defined as:
A person who is closely associated with another as an associate or partner.
Hence, in this case, no, you are not being dissed.
Whereas, the Cambridge dictionary’s definition is:
A person who works with someone more important than they are.
Here, this definition seems more offensive. You are reduced to the role of an equal vs. a subordinate.
Uff, it is easy to tell why a misunderstanding can happen here.
In pop culture, being called a side character is an insult.
How many times have you heard the sound, “You have to start living like you are the main character in your life”.
True, we all should live out a dramatized and romanticized version of ourselves.
Light the candles up- wear your sequence robe and burst out in song and dance when you feel like it.
More importantly, catch yourself when you allow yourself to be sidelined. Are you enjoying it there?
Secret signs you are a side character
1. Sitting in the backseat
In cars, a hierarchy exists according to age.
To some, it is a birthright to sit in the front seat.
In families, this perk comes with the price of taking the brunt of the responsibility and trouble.
However, in friendships never sitting in the front seat is a sign that you are passive. You let people get their way.
Never outstretching your legs enough. Thinking it is not a big deal for you to occupy less space. I’m here to say you deserve to sit in the front seat from time to time.
2. Dressing down on purpose
Have you ever had someone ask you to not wear makeup to an event?
Clearly, I remember a girl saying, pick either: a cute outfit or makeup.
Needless to say, I did not listen. There, that friendship ended.
A real friend wants you to look your best. Dressing down is fine if you are doing it to be comfortable.
Ignore the following voices surrounding your outfit:
- If I wear makeup I should dress down. So, I don’t look extra.
- Purposively ruining and sabotaging your hair (via an awkward updo) when too many eyes are on you.
3. Falling into the archetype trap
Every blonde needs a brunette friend. Every calm person needs an angry friend.
You are the funny friend. The nice one. Bashfully honest. The protector. A narcissist. The fight instigator.
We tend to pick a stock character like the movies to continue our role in friendship groups. Any deviation causes confusion and bickering.
Unfortunately, being trapped in an archetype is damaging because we start to believe in the character we play.
With every smile, nod, and positive reinforcement we become more glued to the image of ourselves as the X type of friend.
4. Staying quiet 🤐
Do you stop yourself from telling jokes, in case, you make people laugh too hard?
Also, do you let others take the lead in conversations?
Not because you are tired or hate starting conversations. But because the people around you prefer to be leaders.
Maybe, the attention offends a person’s vibe near you.
Plot Twist: No, you should not always be the main character.
Nonetheless, being a sidekick is ok sometimes.
You don’t get to always sit in the front seat. If you do, sorry to tell you, you are a bit selfish.
While we all like to think of ourselves as the main character, it does not mean we can be one 24/7.
In reality, the role shifts between friendship groups and relations. We can be part-time sidekicks.
It is damaging to assume we will always be the main character.
If we all are the main characters all the time, we are essentially pushing people aside. That’s not cool.
Conclusion: Know when to step aside
Lastly, taking on the role of the main character does not give anyone the right to be mean.
There is a time and a place for everything. It is never fun to try to outshine a bride on her wedding day for example.
Or a person on their birthday. Stay dressed and fully you.
However, there is no need to augment yourself with an oversized version of yourself that minimizes others.
Our character development in life has ups, downs, and detours. This includes stumps on the way.
Sometimes we are that main character. Other times, people need a lending hand. A confidence boost. It’s ok to step aside then.
Did you notice how in movies side characters often stay the same for many years? Never progressing. Turns out we can be these people in life too.
Truthfully, with some people, my personality has no depth. We do not talk about the serious things in life.
We need to accept that in certain circles we are the star in others the mouse.
Moving to the right does not mean you are a side character though. It means you understand timing. In my opinion, choosing to move has to be a choice, only when you want to.
That is what truly differentiates a side character from the main one. You are only a side character if you let people move you to the corner.
Is the sidekick or the main character the mastermind?