Shane left a comment in part 1 that had me thinking a little. Go read his comment then come right back, I’ll wait. Done? Good. Creating an alterego and modeling are two different things (in my opinion, but you will quickly realize that it’s not worth much).

Modeling: this is when you copy the actions and traits of people that you admire and would like to become. It’s a great way to develop yourself and to push yourself to do things that make you feel uncomfortable. I model myself after people all the time, but so does Bobby.

Alterego: is a character that you create to help you cope with an uncomfortable situation. Your alterego could (and most likely is) modeled after someone you know. The big difference here is that the alterego is separate from your values and beliefs. you could turn it off and on (sometimes not in your control).

What the fuck are you talking about?

Let me give you an example. Chuck ‘The Iceman’ Liddell is a an Ultimate Fighter (if your not familiar with this type of fighting, google it, but wait until after you read this post). I don’t know Mr. Liddell (be polite, this guy can kick the shit out of me), but I assume that he is a pretty good guy. I assume that he has close family and friends that he truly loves and they probably love him too. But wait a minute, this guy is a vicious fighter! He goes into the octagon to seriously hurt people, this is his job. Really? Is Mr. Liddell (seriously, please don’t come after me, i’m scared of you) a monster? No, I don’t think so. I know that I would never ever want to meet ‘The Iceman’, not even in a crowded mall, in broad daylight, with a can of mace and my rape whistle. Mr. Liddell (don’t hurt me, I only have good things to say about you) I would meet. I would introduce him to my wife and children, we could even go out for beers (my treat of course).

Not just marketing

All you marketing gurus out there (you know who you are) are probably saying to yourselves, ‘you’re a fucking idiot‘. I do understand that ‘The Iceman’ is a lot more marketable then Chuck Liddell, I’m not kidding myself, but do you think that matters to Mr. Liddell? When Mr. Liddell (hi, I have two young kids, they need a father, please don’t hurt me) steps into the octagon in his mind he switches to ‘The Iceman’, a guy who’s only goal is to inflict pain on whoever is placed in front of him.

Parents don’t raise there children to be murderers, pornstars, or stippers (I hope), but we still get these in society. If you look at gangs, the members rarely use there real names, they have nicknames. Skinny G on the corner is a killer, but John Smith is a 15 year old fatherless child who still gets grounded by mom. I think you get the point.

Michael Brito and Bobby Street

Here is an example from my life. When I was a student at Red River College (grafuck design), I entered the program as Michael Brito because this is what I thought I needed to do to be successful. Michael Brito is a hard worker, he is dedicated, and he’s not a quitter. Sounds like a winning formula, right? Well, Michael Brito did not do so good in the first semester. I was frustrated. How was I going to get everyone’s fucking attention?

Second semester starts, we are given our first assignment and Michael Brito starts working on it. Then I got up, took a deep breath, and decided that if I wanted a different result than first semester that something had to change.

Introducing Bobby Street

I became Bobby Street (well, I didn’t just become Bobby Street, he has been around for awhile, but he decided to make an appearance). The moment I did everything changed. I became more popular (even though I was brutally honest and offensive at times), I was a lot more confident and because of that my work improved. I stopped looking at what others were doing and did my own thing, good or bad I knew that people would talk and I was happy that they were talking about me.

So you liked this post, now what? Well you could subscribe. Everyone else is doing it and if you learned anything from this post it is that you should do what I tell you, because you want to.



Filed under psychology


  1. I love that you tagged this post with “ultimate fighter”. That’s awesome.

    Absolutely – you have to channel someone. There’s a book out there called “What Would Jackie Do?”, referring to Jackie O. It’s a pretty ridiculous book, really, but I dig the concept. Look at Norma Jean and Marilyn.

    You can’t just be your boring-ass self all the time.

  2. j0ed0gs

    where i use to work (until i was recently fired) i would get dirty looks when i used the word awesome by one of the owners, so i decided to use it in just about every sentence (how you like me now). it was awesome.

    well said naomi.

  3. Ok, I’m getting closer.

    The interesting part is that you choose to separate these different aspects of yourself into tangible personalities. Is it really helpful to give them a different name?

    I certainly have different sides, as does my wife.

    Most people always tell me how sweet, and gentle and passive she is.




    oohhhh, god that kinda hurt.

    I usually answer, “oh yeah, she an absolute angel” (please don’t kill). Which she is, when anyone other than family is around. Julie has this amazing ability to self censor (I failed that class in jr high), that is until she is around those that she loves. Then you suddenly get to realize that this is the toughest broad god ever decided to pop out of a woman’s womb.

    It is interesting how most o us stop self censoring around loved ones.

    I had a friend though who went traveling for 6 months and decided to become jack. I aksed why jack, and he said jack sounded manly. (I guess he didn’t feel manly and needed a good boost). So you must have something there.

    Keep going – I’m listening

    And this is way interesting!

    BTW – answer the interview we posted on our site – I bet you have a totally fascinating story.


  4. j0ed0gs

    great comment shane, you make some excellent observations. for me it is a lot easier to have two seperate people. i admire bobby, but he’s a jerk and i don’t want to be that guy unless i have to.

    thanks for listening. i will post the answers to your questions, but you may be setting yourself up for disappointment.


  5. Makes perfect sense. Using alter egos accomplishes many goals, most of them psychological, some of them material and by association. Shrinks call this role-playing and use it for therapy. Actors call it “taking on the role.” My ex-wife did this.

    To those who wonder, no, you cannot become someone with multiple personality disorder through the example Michael/Bobby speaks of. I know this because I went to school to study these things 🙂

    However, convincing oneself is a fairly easy thing to do and maintaining the line between who is you and who you really are deep down can become confusing if you’re not careful. (Just ask anorexics and bulimics.)

    So my question to Bobby is: How do you know which is the real you and where do you personally draw the line? Do you think that Bobby’s personality traits are just you “amplified” and allowed out to play?

  6. j0ed0gs

    hey james,

    i think you are right. if you are not careful you can get confused at who you really are. i used to be able to control bobby’s appearances, but as time has gone on i am finding that bobby just appears. yeah i think your right i think that bobby is an amplified me.

    wow, we have made a breakthrough in this session. you should come back, i have other issues we can discuss.

  7. I’m a fashion blogger. Manolo the shoe blogger is a wildly popular blogger who blogs about well, shoes, and other fun fashion stuff. the Manolo, as he refers to himself in the 3rd person, is this character who blogs in a flamboyant Italian/Spanish/Euro hybrid voice.

    Is he like this in real life? Who knows. No one actually knows who he is, but no one cares because he is so damn entertaining.

    I think the an alter ego is just an easy, fun way to let those personality traits come out that we often filter like Shane’s wife, and most women I know. We are good filterers. It’s like junior high, when a boy would send his posse to tell a girl he liked her, and if she scrunched her face or said “Ew”, the posse would run back and break the news to the boy and the boy’s response? “I was just kidding dude. I don’t like her”. Why run that risk? Alter ego doesn’t give a shit. Make him/her say it.

  8. michael brito

    @sandra: i think thats what i was trying to say. having an alter ego is a good way to do or say stuff you normally wouldn’t. i think some peeps call it balls.

  9. or cojones if you want to be polite in English but crude in Spanish =)

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