Why Should I Be The Only Me?

A case for doppelgängers.


For the better part of my life, I have been indoctrinated with the belief that individuality is sacrosanct. I am the only “me”, unique and chalk full of distinguishable differences from any other human being in the world. It’s a nice thought until one considers believing in one’s own individuality is dangerous.

Believing in individuality can’t help but make an individual feel special, as though having a different mix of chromosomes somehow makes than better than the usual (though having a different mix of chromosomes is very much the usual) and that’s precisely the problem. Feeling special breeds feelings of entitlement, of privilege, over-inflating egos beyond acceptable levels of confidence and self-esteem to full-blown narcissism. Why should I be the only me if being special only means having an ultra-confident exterior that’s ready to crumble at the slightest criticism?

Even worse than developing into a narcissist, being the only me is basically accepting an eternity of loneliness. Because I am wholly unique, totally different than everyone else in the world, does it not stand to reason that even the most empathetic people will far short in their assessments because they’ll never truly know what it’s like to be me? Given the cock-eyed looks of shock shot my way whenever I express my true feelings, I, for one, can’t help but believe that the only person that could understand me is another me.

Embracing individuality leaves you with two choices: narcissism or eternal loneliness. Why should I be the only me?

Just to be clear, this is not an endorsement of conformity and assimilation. More so that we might want to rethink our position on doppelgängers. Rather than think of doppelgängers as shadowless wraiths from beyond come to announce approaching death or misfortune, assuming our physical essence to perfection, we ought to appreciate them. Appreciate doppelgängers for providing solace to a mind weary from eternal loneliness. Appreciate doppelgängers for grounding us in humility.

Why should I be the only me? I shouldn’t be. No good can come from being an individual. If you feel the same way, I hope your doppelgänger crawls into your bed tonight to spoon you, passing on humility, perfect companionship as well as death and misfortune.

4 thoughts on “Why Should I Be The Only Me?

  1. One of the most humbling experiences is being asked “what makes you so great?” especially in a job application. And then you learn that maybe you’re not as “unique” as you always believed. There are hundreds of other applicants with the same qualifications and interests. Suddenly, it feels like a struggle to stand out. But this is certainly an interesting thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. May I offer a suggestion for how to answer this humbling question should you have the misfortune of being asked it in the future?
      I would reply simply, “Competency.” While not a unique quality per-se, competency is in short supply and highly valuable in any work place. Though truthfully, I hope that you do not have to ever stoop to such a level.
      All the best,


      1. I always appreciate advice. I have an interview coming up in less than a month, and in my statement of purpose, I managed to avoid answering that question. I do think that I’ll keep that in mind. Thanks.

        Liked by 1 person

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