- The relationship to actors from our favorite movies and television shows can often feel more like a friendship rather than just an entertainer. Then when news breaks that a certain celebrity has died, like ‘Friends’ actor Matthew Perry, it can be personally devastating. Clinical Therapist Lindsay Schiess from Therapy Utah joined us this morning to break down our perceived connection to celebrities.
- Schiess says these connections with strangers are called ‘para-social relationships’. Defined as a phenomenon that is a one sided relationship with a celebrity. “It’s a form of connection and feeling like we actually know them, even though there is no knowing there, but it feels that way,” Schiess says.
- It can be harmful when you replace your real authentic relationships with para-social relationships because none of it is reciprocal. It’s okay to relate to the celebrity, Schiess says, but you have to ground yourself in knowing that it is just a character. It’s important to make sure you are living in reality.
- Some celebrity deaths are tougher to deal with because that person may have embodied a character or did something that had some sort of significance to your life. Schiess says it’s important to acknowledge your feelings, but ground yourself in reality. We are just getting a glimpse into this person’s life, or the role that they are playing. It’s a good idea to remind yourself of that differentiation.
- If you are struggling and need help please visit for more information https://therapyutah.org/
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