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Animated Characters and You

Think for a moment and figure out who your most favorite animated character is. Who have you always liked? Pick one or two.

No one has to know who your favorites are, so be honest. Your favorite is perfect just as it is. If you are a man and you adore Tinkerbell or the Little Mermaid, then great.

Now have a second think and figure out who your least favorite animated character is. What character gets on your nerves? What cartoons or animated movie characters can you just not sit down and watch? Pick one or two.

warner bros

I am only including images to activate the part of your memory that has your favorite and least favorite characters in memory. There is no need to pick from this extremely limited selection of animated characters.

It is perfectly fine if your chosen characters are from a different country. The only thing that matters is that you know who they are.

 

muppets

Now that you have your selections made – forget about them. You needed to pick them now before we get started.

How often do you see a photo or video of yourself, and think… “Good GRIEF is that what I look like? I can’t believe I do that!”.

It is often easier to see ourselves from the outside. The experience of seeing yourself in a new way often causes quantum leap changes and they happen so naturally and easily. There is no thinking, over-thinking, talk therapy nor any need to create some extravagant and elaborate action plan for the changes to happen. It is like BAM. The shocking truth is right there. 100% undeniable. And voila, a new you is born.

Your family and friends know who you are and what you do. Sometimes they know us better than we know ourselves. Unfortunately, what they know and their insightful observations are often shared in the heat of conflict when emotions are running way too high. If their timing wasn’t bad enough, their choice of words and delivery style just inflame the situation. What could have led to productive change, suddenly becomes an explosive subject, often never to be brought to the table again.

There are many ways to get your own insight, from the inside out. Your most and least favorite characters provide windows for you to see yourself in new ways.

When you see more of who you are, your life changes in the ways you want it to

It was back in the 80’s when I noticed there was a connection between who a person is and the character(s) they adore. I was in college and dating a guy who had a tattoo of the Tasmanian Devil on his shoulder. You know, the Looney Tunes character, “The Taz”. In the 80’s tattoos were noteworthy because they were uncommon. His tattoo choice was particularly noteworthy for me because that was one character I had a big aversion to. If he loved “The Taz” enough to permanently brand it on his body I had to wonder, “Would we get along? Maybe we weren’t a good match?”. I was young and blew off my inner insight. After all,… he was working full-time in a big corporate office while also holding down a full-time curriculum at the University.

the tazIt wasn’t long before I saw with my own eyes he and “The Taz” had a likeness. He ate just like him. I could learn to live with his eating style, but he had a short circuit and erupted outwardly at random people he didn’t know, at the drop of a hat. One minute he would be blissfully calm and fun, then suddenly he would become this wild out of control creature. Just like “the Taz”. His body frame was even like “The Taz” (hair and all), only he was much taller.

One night at my place, he went to the window to admire his beautiful shiny black sports car parked across the street. In a flash he bolted out my front door barefoot, wearing nothing but his boxers. When I say nothing but boxers, I mean NOTHING BUT BOXERS. Back 30 years ago, boxers were thin polyester cotton fabric that was almost transparent. No buttons to close the big slot in the front and nothing to keep the jewels in place.

I jumped out of bed and ran to the window. What I saw led to an “uh oh”. I saw him beating on a man who was getting into a black sports car. It wasn’t just one man, there were three.

“He is in nothing but boxers and going to take on three men?!”……

I looked again and saw what he must have seen, when he looked out the window. Three men getting into a black sports car. The only problem was, he must have understood that they were getting into HIS black sports car, but it wasn’t. It was the black sports car parked next to his. Even if it had been his, going to war for a car just wasn’t wise. Especially in the middle of night barefoot and in boxers. Someone is going to die and the cards are stacked against “the Taz” this time.

I called 911 while staring out the window from a wired landline because back in the 80’s that was all we had. The operator answered. Instantly I turned into this crazy animated cartoon character myself as I screamed in a high pitch shrill for them to come quickly, or someone was going to die. As calm as a cucumber, she asked where I lived. It was like the million dollar life or death question that couldn’t have been simpler.

“Where did I live?”

I had no idea. And no mental ability to know how to find that information inside myself. Maintaining her calm as a cucumber persona, she began using hypnotic suggestions that I just take a moment to breathe deeply, calm down and my address would come to my mind naturally and easily. That infuriated me because I was in no position to be calm because I knew if a miracle didn’t happen, someone was going to die. But I am more compliant than argumentative so I obeyed.

Soon I remembered where I lived and provided the crucial information. I stood inside at the window watching. It was as if my window was the screen of a live action suspense movie that was unfolding in slow motion because the adrenaline rush was so high. Only it wasn’t a movie, it was real life. Within a flash from all directions 3 squad cars arrived. They surrounded the scene with their blinding spotlights on the unfolding mayhem. What a timely arrival because two of the men had their crowbars cocked and ready to swing at the crazy naked man wearing nothing but boxers who was on the asphalt annihilating their buddy at full blows, for reasons that totally eluded them.

mighty mouse

Fast forward about 14 years. I was just a few dates into a new dating relationship when I learned he had a tattoo of Mighty Mouse on his shoulder. What went through my mind was “Uh oh – Do I want to go out with a man who has a superhero superman wannabe mouse branded on his shoulder? Am I prepared for the problems to come?”. These thoughts, as images of my experiences with the Tasmanian Devil reeled in my memory. But out loud I politely said “oh neat – when did you get this?”. He laughed it off and explained it was a stupid decision from his youth in the military back 20 years earlier.

It didn’t take but a couple weeks for me to see he had a likeness to Mighty Mouse, much like my college boyfriend’s likeness to “The Taz”.

That was way back many years ago. Besides deciding to no longer date anyone with tattoos of animated characters, I couldn’t help but ponder, “How much are people really like the animated characters that they gravitate towards?”.  And “what insight about our person do our least favorite characters offer?”. I began to look at the characters I loved and had an aversion too. It was fascinating.

This is probably a good moment for a word of advice. I don’t suggest using the question “Who is your favorite animated character?” to be sneaky and think that you will covertly know a person’s true identity once you know their most adored character. That is like playing with matches in a forest during a drought. However, I will unashamedly admit that if I am ever approached by a salesperson with a Wile E Coyote tattoo, I won’t waste any time making like the roadrunner.

Some Basic Insight and tips for working with your chosen characters

Ten people who choose Goofy will undoubtedly have traits in common with Goofy, but the 10 people will be different from one another and none of them will be a Goofy Clone.

Working with someone who has the ability to ask good questions about your chosen favorite and least favorite characters can lead to valuable insight that you may not reach by working on your own.

Don’t read written character descriptions by someone else. You need to watch your chosen characters in action in a movie or cartoons. It is important for you to understand the characters from your own perspective. That is where the valuable insight is.

Your least favorite character probably has more to offer you than your favorite.

The more you see the more there is to see. As time passes, you will notice that your chosen characters have more and more insight to offer you about who you are.

Ask your friends and family how they see the characters you have chosen. Their perspectives will be priceless and are likely to offer many opportunities for smiles and laughter. It will likely lead to an interesting conversation filled with intrigue and curiosity, especially if they are willing to share who their own favorite and least favorite characters are.

Don’t be surprised if over time you begin to gravitate away from your initial choices and towards different ones. While it doesn’t always happen, it often does.

Here are some of the starting points from which to work with your favorite character(s)

What is your chosen character like?

 

What is their lifestyle?

 

Where do they live? With whom? What is their home like?

 

Who do they have relationships with and what are the dynamics?

I will use Piglet in Winnie-the-Pooh as an example

piglet

Keep in mind this is how I see and understand Piglet. How I see and understand Piglet is what is important. How you see and understand your characters is what is important.

Piglet is a small pig who walks upright on his back legs. He is unassuming, has little confidence in his abilities or self-worth, is entirely non-threatening, goes with the flow, does things that go against his better judgement, is more comfortable being agreeable than making waves and when he does express his opinions it is done so with uncertainty. He lives alone in his inherited birch tree home that still has his uncles original sign “trespassers will” proudly displayed in its original location. He is nostalgic and sentimental at heart, more quiet than forthright and his life is filled with happenstance natural catastrophes that force him to exercise every cell of bravery in his body. Such as when his tree home is flooded with water or when he is carried away into the sky by the wind because he is holding a helium balloon. His closest friend is Winnie-the-Pooh who is quite narcissistic and has an insatiable and uncontrollable addiction to honey. In fact, Pooh bear probably needs to be working the 12 steps in an anonymous program. Piglet’s feel quality is not one of extreme happiness and joy, which would be more fitting to Roo or Tigger. Piglet has an air of innocence, charm, love, kindness, loyalty, devotion and resignation about life and disregards his own needs to be of service to others.

How are you like your chosen character ?

 

How does your life resemble theirs ?

 

In what ways would you like to be like this character? How could you do that?

 

What would make this character’s life better?

 

What is holding this character back from having a more fulfilling life?

 

Is that something that would benefit you too?

 

What relationships in your life mirror those of this character?

For example:
Who in your life is like Winnie-the-Pooh?
Do you have someone like Tigger? Roo? Rabbit? Owl?

Here are some of the starting points from which to work with your least favorite character(s)

What irritates you about your least favorite character?

I will use Miss Piggy from the Muppets as an example

piggy 2

She has the ability to be melodramatic, pretentious, arrogant, condescending, self-important, haughty (not hotty, but she thinks she is), self-serving, zero introspection, righteous, predictably unpredictable and can be manipulative.

In what situations or with what people have you exhibited these same qualities?

You may need to put this question on your backburner because it can be extremely hard to see how qualities you despise are qualities you harbor. So let me ask that question again.

In what situations or with what people have you exhibited these same qualities?

What are the qualities underneath the extravagant outward façade of your least favorite character?

I will use Miss Piggy again as an example

She is confident, sure of herself, independent, financially self-assuming, looking for and following her own path, speaks her truth, doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her, will bust out superhero strength if her Kermit is in danger, knows what she needs and will walk right out the door if they aren’t met, proud, feminine, a dreamer, lives in the moment, doesn’t get embarrassed, affectionate and sexy. There is never a need to question Miss Piggy’s agenda because she is that transparent. She lives in the moment at every moment and will change direction to follow her heart and needs.

Those are some pretty admirable qualities.

How are you like the admirable qualities of your least favorite character?

 

How would your life change if you developed more of these underlying qualities in your own life?

 

How would your life change in positive ways if you were to develop a pinch of those negative “less desirable” qualities?

This is another question you may need to backburner. Be open to considering how these qualities could serve you and in what context. No matter how “horrible” a quality, there is likely a time and place that it will be useful to create best outcomes. So let me ask that question again.

How would your life change in positive ways if you were to develop a pinch of those negative “less desirable” qualities?

 

A few additional closing thoughts to consider

Every character is a collection of qualities. Qualities are just qualities. It is how you and society judge them that give them a meaning of good/bad or right/wrong. A same character will be one person’s favorite and another’s most despised. Qualities propel us and they hold us back. There is a time and place to be quietly introverted and a time to be speaking boldly. There is a time to be a leader and a time to be a follower. There is a time to be selfless and a time to be selfish.

If your most favorite and least favorite characters are in the same cartoon family then use that information. For example if you love Piglet, but don’t like Winnie-the-Pooh. Since these two characters are close friends it is a bit curious that you would pick both and you may want to determine if you have people in your life like Winnie-the-Pooh?

roadrunner 1

If you had two favorite characters (or two least favorite) then you have yet another window for insight. For example, if you love both Batman and the Roadrunner. Look to see if Batman and the Roadrunner have common traits. batmanWhat are they? You could also consider if your two favorite characters such as Batman and the Roadrunner are representative of different parts of your person. Maybe one represents your intellectual thinking self while the other represents your heart emotional self. Or maybe one represents your social extroverted style while the other represents your introverted self.

For those who want and like a challenge, I have another suggestion. The questions I offer for your favorite character are very different from those I offer for your least favorite. Switch them. Place your least favorite character into the questions as if it was your most adored character.

Who you resonate towards and what you shun offers a lot of insight about…..

Who you are

Who you aren’t

Who you aspire to be

What and how you see the world around you

What you need

What you fear

The life you lead and more…

Characters are comical exaggerations of who we all are at heart. Why not allow them to show you in loving ways who you are?

When you see more of who you are, your life changes in the ways you want it too

 

Krista minni costume

 

 

Warmest,

            Krista Umgelter