"It's your sense of alienation from self that provides, perhaps, the deepest terror. Where other meters measure how traumatized you are by the things that happen to you, Self measures how traumatized you are by your own reactions to those things. To put it another way, the only thing you can ever really be 100% sure of is 'I think, therefore I am.' The Self meter measures how uncertain you are about the 'I' in that statement."When a painful betrayal of one's self image, self-loathing, internal conflict, personal failing/flaw or guilt is Played for Drama. Can cover:
— Unknown Armies corebook.
- Dead All Along
- Gollum Made Me Do It
- Heel Realization
- The Killer in Me
- The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body
- My God, What Have I Done?
- My Greatest Failure
- Tomato in the Mirror
- What Have I Become?
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: all the main cast, but Shinji Ikari might be the poster boy for this trope. A person with very high moral standards, but a weak and tender heart that cannot shoulder them against the odds. He develops a bad case of self-loathing, reaching a Despair Event Horizon after the final angel and a Moral Event Horizon for himself after Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!.
- Perfect Blue, along with a healthy dose of Psychological Horror and Surreal Horror. Yay, loss of identity and emotional insecurity!
- Sankarea: Rea has this when she starts to succumb to her zombie nature.
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: happens to the Spiral King in the prologue/parallel works.
- The origin of Spider-Man involves this, as Uncle Ben's death is indirectly caused by Peter's irresponsibility.
- Taxi Driver is all about the protagonist projecting his self-loathing on others, where his antagonists are just placeholders for the things he hates about himself or wants for himself.
- In The Film of the Book of 1408, the overall schtick of the titular hotel room seems to be dragging guests kicking and screaming through the darkest corners of their own subconscious and beating them over the head with their own doubts, fears, and regrets. Mike Enslin discovers this to his extreme detriment.
- This is what the horror of Room 101 in Nineteen Eighty-Four is all about. Using your greatest fears to get you to betray the most important thing about yourself, to destroy your self-image by making you betray everything and anything that's left of what you valued before they arrested you.
- The title character in Eden Green is a rationalist young woman infected with an alien needle symbiote that gradually takes over her body. Her intelligence is her main weapon, and her greatest fear is losing it to the symbiote's survival-obsessed instincts.