HowTo:Refer to Yourself in the Third Person

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“We all know that Oscar Wilde would never refer to himself in the third person.”

~ Oscar Wilde on me, you, them, us, and himself

“They wantses us! they wantses us!”

~ Smegal on Smegal


~ Bob Dole on Bob Dole

"Watkins, if you keep referring to yourself in the third person, your supervisor is going to kick your ass, just as sure as he's pointing at the hole in your head right at this very moment."

The tendency to refer to oneself in the third person is often viewed by psychologists as a symptom of narcissism. In order to learn how to effectively refer to yourself in the third person, it is often desirable to understand the narcissist mentality, and develop an ability to "role-play" as an actual narcissist. Needless to say, the comedic potential of having this ability cannot be overestimated, but there is also danger, in that you may inadvertently develop strong narcissistic tendencies in yourself without realizing it.

About Narcissism[edit]

Children who fail to grow out of the "monarchic" phase of intellectual development and into the "dualistic" phase may become narcissistic throughout their lives. They may effectively intellectualize and rationalize their behavior, but their inability to view situations from perspectives other than their own causes them to also become abusive or coldly detached when challenged, and to react with rage and indignance when denied or thwarted in some way.

Paradoxically, the tendency of narcissists to refer to themselves in the third person stems from precisely this inability. When asked to explain their ill-conceived actions or describe their negative emotions, narcissists usually refuse to take responsibility for them. Instead, they blame others, often by composing narratives featuring a suspiciously-autobiographical "fictitious" character who understands everything, is a world-renowned expert in whatever subject is germane to the issue at hand, and whose authority is therefore unquestioned. This is also why narcissists may be inextricably drawn to the act of making up quotes.

According to Dr. Sigmundheimer F. Rhoid, author of Narcissism: Why I'm Right and You're Just Really Gay, "Narcissism can be a very useful tool for quote fabrication. In fact, I happen to personally know a world-famous behavioral theorist who's studied the made-up quoting phenomenon for many years, and he says precisely the same thing."

Getting It Done[edit]

"This guy made up this quote all by himself!"

In order to refer to yourself in the third person, you must first think of yourself in the first person, and then imagine someone else, exactly like you, expressing that same thought - about you. However, it is also important to differentiate between the third person and the second person plural. For example:

  • First person: "I have always believed that fat people should not be allowed on airplanes."
  • Second person plural: "Clearly, everyone of you believes that if any fat person ever manages to get onboard, they should be thrown out once the plane reaches 20,000 feet, so there will be a nice, satisfying splash."
  • Third person: "The world's top expert in the field of obesity-prevention believes that fat people should not only be thrown out of airplanes at a minimum height of 20,000 feet, but that they should also be strangled face-first in bowls of dog food if they won't get on the plane."

...and so on. Note, however, that this particular writer has tripped himself up: By excessively embellishing the statement to remove the first-person usage, he has contradicted himself. If fat people shouldn't be allowed on planes (at all), why would they be punished with dog-food strangulation for refusing to board? This makes no sense.

The Celebrity Perspective[edit]

When fabricating "made-up" quotes for Uncyclopedia, it is often desirable to impose the third-person perspective on a celebrity figure. While the most commonly-employed person is Irish author Oscar Wilde, other quotable famous personages include God, Winston Churchill, Benjamin Franklin, Sun-Tzu, and Christopher Walken. Many also consider Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to be a person, though this is the subject of some controversy. (While Anonymous is technically not a person per se, he is still somewhat famous, and therefore heavily quoted.)

In this case, it is advisable to understand something about the people being quoted, beyond simply their sexual preferences or tendency to express homicidal rage toward business rivals. However, that may require "research;" an antiquated concept heretofore unknown on Uncyclopedia. Nevertheless, research can improve quote-quality by as much as 80 percent, according to a world-famous literary theorist who has studied the "made-up" quoting phenomenon for many years.

Other Problems[edit]

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Extreme narcissists may develop dissociative disorders, which on a wiki site may be expressed as wikiphrenia. In meatspace, however, narcissists are generally asocial or even antisocial. Others tend to feel uncomfortable around a narcissist, often for no immediately-apparent reason.

When referring to yourself in the third person, any natural ability on your part to take on such an asocial/antisocial mentality will draw you to the act of making up quotes like a moth is drawn to a flame. It is important not to get "burned" by becoming too heavily involved in the process. A good example of this, at least in the wiki context, would be the rewriting of an article about how to refer to yourself in the third person, especially after the earlier version has been deleted. In general, this kind of activity should be strenuously avoided by anyone wishing to maintain their personal sanity.

Finally, non-narcissists who "role-play" as actual narcissists should be aware of the inherent dangers in using this technique. In extreme cases, laugh riots can result when readers of articles placed on satirical and humorous wiki sites become violent and "lash out" at their perceived tormentors; such as you.

See Also[edit]