When you think of TikTok trends, you think dances and filters, but the latest TikTok trend isn’t so much a tech tool as it is a way of life: main character energy.

The trend is about seeing your life as a movie or TV show in which you are the main character. It’s about self-love, self-recognition, and making yourself the star of the show in your own reality, basically.

And look, considering most TikTok trends are fucking dumb, and often a hindrance on our self-esteem, it’s great to see that this viral one is aimed at boosting our confidence and making us love life etc.

But at the same time, I feel like there’s a toxic side to main character energy where instead of people viewing themselves and their mates as fully realised beings, they give themself the starring role and treat those around them like side characters.

This isn’t across the board, there are plenty of people who have the ability to see beyond their own selves and boost their mates up. But I’ve also found that there are people who have taken main character energy as a pass for their own narcissism and fail to envision a movie where they’re the main character as part of an ensemble cast, and not hogging the spotlight on their own.

You know the kind of friend I’m talking about. The one who shares a photo celebrating your birthday where they look like Dua Lipa and you look like a Gremlin (and not even the sexy gremlin from Gremlins 2. The dude gremlins).

They’re the kind to rock up to lunch and yarn about their life for hours, without asking you a single question about what’s going on with you, even though you’re well aware of their life story ‘cos your text convo is populated with live updates about their daily happenings. Speaking of which, they’re also the friend who takes hours, sometimes days to reply to your text, then use the lame “Sorry, just saw this!” excuse, even though they’ve been active on social media, because in their eyes, you’re the side character, and therefore your lines in this script should be minimal.

Basically by gassing themselves up, and having you gas them up as well, they’re making you feel inferior, like they’re the main character and you’re the sidekick.

As I’m writing this, I have Joe from Princess Diaries’ voice in my head going, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” And I totally get that, it should be on you to do the work and love yourself etc. But the problem with these sorts of main character types (again, they’re not *all* like this, just some) is that the camera is on them 24/7 and they haven’t factored in time for your life. So while you’re invested in their life, that energy isn’t reciprocated, so you walk away feeling from interactions with these people feeling drained, like your main character story is a snoozefest compared to theirs.

The message here is to never let someone else’s main character energy steamroll yours. There’s a seat for all of us at the table and no one main character is more important than the others.

I’m not condemning main character energy, either. When it’s used properly and we treat ourselves and others like main characters, it’s a beautiful thing. I’m just saying we should aim to be an ensemble cast full of legends, rather than allowing our own story to overshadow others. And hey, if your shitty mate thinks they’re the Batman and you’re the Robin, then that’s their storyline, not yours (and it’s a pretty piss poor one, if you ask me).

Matty Galea is the Entertainment Editor at Pedestrian who also dabbles in woo-woo stuff like astrology and crystals and has been penning horoscopes since the start of his career. He also Tweets about pop culture and astrology and posts spicy content on Instagram.