Celebrity Psychological Issues No. 18, 19 – Cognitive dissonance and no one understands me

“Celebrity took a while for me to understand. I had to mature. I had to understand that being a celebrity was my new reality, I couldn’t avoid it” - Paul Michael Glaser (right) – Starsky & Hutch

“Celebrity took a while for me to understand. I had to mature. I had to understand that being a celebrity was my new reality, I couldn’t avoid it” – Paul Michael Glaser (right) – Starsky & Hutch

Here are Celebrity Psychological Issues No. 18 & 19 of the Top 20 issues of being a celebrity. For the previous article, for issue No. 17, click here.

 18. “I am so conflicted” – Cognitive Dissonance
Given the complexities of the life and phenomenon of a being celebrity, it is not surprising or unusual that every celebrity will experience extraordinary mental and emotional conflicts if not Cognitive Dissonance.

Cognitive Dissonance is the mental and emotional stress that is created when there are two contradictory thoughts, both of which you accept to be true.

Here are just a few of the contradictory thoughts:

  • I love fame/I hate fame
  • I am great/I am an impostor
  • My fans love me/Everyone uses me
  • I can do whatever I want/I am a product and everyone owns me
  • I have no privacy/I am all alone
  • I want everyone to see me & know me/I want to be left alone
  • Fame is equivalent to worthiness/fame is meaningless

 “Even though I’m happy, I feel like I was a little bit happier two or three years ago when I had less money” – Cardi B , 2018

An example of “I am great/I am an impostor” –

“I’m a fat slob! I’m so ugly and untalented. They’re going to find me out!” – Judy Garland,  at the wrap party for her last M-G-M production, confiding in one of the film’s music directors. However, Garland also would look in the mirror and kiss her own reflection and say “You’re a star!”

A visitor to her dressing room during her final singing engagement in London saw her listening to a recording of the performance she had just given. Clarke describes the scene: “‘Oooh!’ she cried when she heard the first burst of applause. Then, leaning into her makeup mirror, she kissed her own reflection, ‘You’re a star!’ she exclaimed. ‘You’re a star! You’re a star!'” – https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2000/08/the-queen-is-dead/378302/ 

19. “I am unique – no one understands me” – The Artist
Of course, everyone is unique and everyone has their own set of skills, gifts and talents. However, it is also true for celebrities that are artists, that yes, you are different and the more creative you are, the more isolated you might feel based on the belief or feeling ‘No one understands me.’

The ‘creative types’ always prize their art and artistic expression over the fame, adulation and riches; they also tend to be quite neurotic. And when there are dry spells and no one is giving you the opportunity to do something great, to create something special and valuable, to fully express yourself, then it is easy to feel deflated, lost, confused, dejected, hopeless and depressed.

Without the right guidance, those feelings can overpower you leading into despair and depression. With the right support and guidance, you can find the path to fully express yourself once more as well as learning to calm the neurotic tendencies. For some musical artists who were once star performers – former teen or young rock & pop idols that have now outgrown that phase and era – the solution lies in evolving to a new phase of guiding and mentoring new young and upcoming artists.

Incidentally, research reveals that actors do have different personalities from the average person; they are more extraverted, more open to new experiences, more agreeable, adept at embedding (adopting the perspective of someone else who adopts the perspective of someone else) and are highly empathetic but also neurotic – suffering from anxiety, moodiness, worry, envy and jealousy. Thus actors can be prone to emotional disorders. (Actors need to be able to experience deep empathy to correctly portray and emit the vast range of human emotions on a screen or stage. Women are generally more empathetic than men and as such, more women are represented in the acting profession than men.)

“Actors of both sexes were significantly higher than comparison groups in extraversion, openness to experience, and agreeableness. There was a trend towards higher neuroticism. The actors also scored significantly more highly than comparison groups on Baron-Cohen’s empathizing quotient.” – “Personality and Individual Differences” by Daniel Nettle, Professor or Behavioral Sciences, University of Newcastle, UK, 2005

For the next top Celebrity Psychological Issues, No. 20, click here

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