A long winded and completely boring post about an imaginary state of mind – Revertigo…

Does any one else find it slightly strange how you can go about your life, grow up, get a career, stabilise yourself emotionally, learn how to cook lasagne or pickle onions and think you’re doing pretty damn good. You can satisfy your own need for reparation with a few sweet words to those who you wronged, and you can suddenly see above it all. You are smarter, wiser, more confident, better, and even taller (because you learned how to walk properly in four inch heels.) It’s all going just dandy (yes, I said dandy) until you start talking to an old friend, you know, one of those friends, the one’s who were there with you through some of the really unspeakable moments of your teen years and suddenly you are that scared, insecure little girl that you thought you’d left behind.

**sing song voice**

“I have a theory, I have a theory!!”

Now I know you’re probably not used to me having theories, and opinions and stuff to say and all (excuse me whilst I practice my sarcasm), and my theory today is ree-heally boring… so I will do my best to liven it up as much as possible using funny cat pictures because according to some very lazy research that’s what people like…

funny cat picture bored

I haven't even got to the boring bit yet.

There was an episode of “How I Met Your Mother” in which Marshall was explaining revertigo. It’s that change that happens to an otherwise strong and confident person when they suddenly forget how to pronounce their own name because they run into a highschool crush, or the sudden reversion to highschool slang when you meet up with your teenage bff, or the unexplainable loss of acceptable diction when you happen upon your grade ten English teacher in the street.

Basically, it’s reverting back to how you were, losing the knowledge you have gained in the years between losing touch with someone, and reconnecting.

It’s weird, and it’s not really real… it’s a made up word by a fictional character… yet it’s undeniable that people do suffer from it.

I subscribe to the theory that Rita Carter sets out in “Multiplicity, The New Science of Personality.” Rita suggests that everyone is made up of many different personalities, and each personality enjoys prominence at different points of life, or around different people.

funny cat surprised

(just trying to liven it up, sorry, I know it's getting boring, stay with me now!)


So, everyone knows someone who has done something completely out of character; the uptight office worker who lets her hair down and goes wild at the office Christmas party, the perfectionist who lets the washing pile up in the corner…

We are, none of us, one singular personality stuck inside a body. We all hold a group of personalities, allowing us to draw on one or a few of those personalities to help us deal with certain things in life, or draw on them as our mind sees fit, which may not actually help us in the slightest  – it causes us to contradict ourselves, second guess our actions, doubt our own feelings.

OK, so we get that concept right? How does it tie into revertigo?

The way I see it is this, lets say one of your ‘personalities’ appeared only when you hung out with your bff when you were sixteen, you lose contact at some point in your life and for ten or twenty years, or however long, that personality hangs out in the pool at the back of your mind with the rest of them, never coming forward and never getting the chance to grow. When years and years later you reconnect, that personality finally appears again, it is still sixteen, it hasn’t been through all the tribulations that the personalities dominant in your maturity have, and because the dominant personality is sixteen, you act sixteen. You turn into the same giggling, NKOTB loving, havoc wreaking teen that you were. To everyone, even yourself, it seems as though you have regressed.

The personalities that are dominant in your maturity are the ones that have grown with you. They are the one’s that any long time partner or friend knows, the personalities that make it feel good to sacrifice things for your children, and the one’s who you have chosen to hold on to, for not only are your lifetime friends, and your life partner chosen because you like who they are, but because you love who you are when you are with them, that is – the personalities that are dominant when you are with them, are who you want to be.

There seems to be no definitive conclusion in my mind to these thoughts, perhaps ninety year old me would be able to shed some more light on the subject… but unfortunately, for the moment we are all stuck with present time me, and that is the me that thinks up long winded theories, then contradicts them later, and never really comes up with anything that Plato would have written about…

I guess I’ll just take this lesson from it, be with those who make you like who you are… because if someone make you not like who you are, they are bringing forth a personality undesirable to you, and the longer it stays dominant the more likely it is to influence everything else.

“My significant other right now is myself, which is what happens when you suffer from multiple personality disorder and self obsession.” – Joaqiun Phoenix


~ by Alissa Anderton on October 21, 2010.

7 Responses to “A long winded and completely boring post about an imaginary state of mind – Revertigo…”

  1. Fully agree……like last week when for some reason I spun that kid off the spinning playground wheel trying to make it go faster, causing alot of tears. That was not me at all….Ill blame one of the other me`s for that one….BTW that quote by JP above …you know that he is mental right???

    • Yep he’s mental, but aren’t we all just a little bit? It’s not the mental one’s you have to be careful of anyway – it’s the one’s that injure 5 yr olds on playgrounds… not mentioning any names…

  2. What I love about this theory is that I can blame my behavior on those around me, since they draw out those particular personalities in me. 😉

    “You love who you are when you’re with them…” Interesting (and true) thought, especially relating to dating. I can look back on multiple relationships and see how my own personality shifted to complement (or deconstruct) his. Hmm………..

    • Wonderful isn’t it, to find a theory, no matter how far fetched and imagined it is, to blame everything you do on someone else…

      The problem I find with the whole “you love who you are when you’re with them” is, I tend to gravitate to the people who do draw out the immature and mischievous behaviour in me… What does that say about the me I love to be??

  3. Interesting how there has been no mention of the reverse effect. Your theory also means that we draw out certain behaviours in our friends. So if you revert back, are you not in a way also forcing them to revert back?

    • Indeed, I think so. It would be a dual revertigo… both people will revert back to personalities that they held when they were close to each other, to make their interaction as familiar as possible.

      And perhaps we will find out in February – the definition of group revertigo, when we manage to get most of us together again… perhaps my hometown will suddenly feel like 1997 again… LOL

  4. whats happening in february?

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