Larger Than Life

“Larger Than Life,” Backstreet Boys

I’ve heard people described as this as well as met some people who I think would fall into this category. They are supremely charismatic, outrageously funny, refreshingly unfiltered, and often are captivating storytellers who can entrance a room but who can also make an individual feel heard and special. Although, someone like Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby also might be considered larger than life for his reputation and the luxurious parties he throws…but except for a formal speech, he stands to the side at his parties and silently scans the crowds for his one-and-only, Daisy. So I guess my definition of “larger than life” should broaden and really just encompass those who are memorable and story worthy, for one reason or another, and act a little bit like this life isn’t quite good enough for them. It might just be me, but I could see larger than life people being supremely well-liked or well-regarded, but maybe unsatisfied because they’re always striving for what they don’t still have…like Gatsby with Daisy. But if Daisy loved him, would he be content? But is the reason that she can’t love him because he is too full of himself? Is being larger than life something to aspire to or does it cause more net unhappiness? Can it even be aspired to or is it more innate?

2 thoughts on “Larger Than Life

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  1. This is really interesting! I feel like a lot of the time people like this come off as “having it all together,” since they seem so sure of themselves and confident in interacting with the world. But like you say, it does seem like sometimes they are ultimately unsatisfied with life in some way, pushing towards some huge goal. I also wonder, though, whether this only appears to be the case because charismatic people project more of themselves into others around them? Doesn’t everyone have it together to some extent, but are also aiming at something that’s out of reach to them? But maybe charismatic people are better able to solidify these qualities, since they express them more often?

    1. This is a really good point, Sam. I don’t know, do you think everyone is really aiming for something out of reach? I guess I do, there are just degrees of it. Whenever I’m around “larger than life” people, I tend to want to set my own aims and expectations of life higher because that’s what they do. I feel like my “base” level of aspiration is semi-low, but I just get really inspired by people around me/TEDTalks/the like.

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