Kryptonite Man: Why There Are People You Just Can’t Get Rid Of

It is not a scientific term, and yet many feel understood and captured by the concept of kryptonite man and what stands behind it.

Pop culture has once again managed to explain a complex psychological phenomenon in a plausible way.

And the naming of such phenomena often enables many to recognize that they are also affected – but not alone.

Cartoon-inspired name for widespread phenomenon

You know that feeling of just not being able to get rid of a certain person? Even if the relationship was long ago, the slightest reminder of the person gives you extreme palpitations.

Probably many people have this one person. The phenomenon even has a name: kryptonite man.

A kryptonite person, that’s someone you just can’t let go of. Someone you’ve had feelings for for years, even if the relationship has long since ended, you’ve been living happily in a new relationship for a long time, or even if a relationship never materialized. You rarely or never meet the person in your everyday life.

However, a kryptonite person is your personal weak point. Like kryptonite, DC superhero Superman’s weak point – hence the name for the emotional phenomenon. Kryptonite is the only material capable of causing serious damage to the otherwise seemingly invulnerable superhero.

Idealization as a basis for kryptonite man

Psychologist Vivian Jückstock explains the phenomenon in an interview with Deutschlandfunk: “It is not uncommon for people to have their own demands and wishes, which are projected onto others. It’s about idealization.”

The personal kryptonite person thus triggers a feeling of fascination and is idealized. But not only the person himself, but also the association corresponds to an idealization in the memories.

Although the kryptonite man is not a scientific concept, there are also psychological explanations behind the consideration, such as the key-lock principle. It means that the partner is the key to a castle shaped by the past, by the family, by growing up.

He or she creates a familiar feeling. The relationship can also lead to pain through dealing with familiar things.

Don’t get into a relationship with your kryptonite person

It can be dangerous if the fascination is an addiction and not a distant crush. If the person is part of your everyday life and you have some kind of relationship with your personal kryptonite person. Then it can also become a toxic relationship where you are emotionally dependent.

In such a case, you should leave the relationship as soon as possible and cut off contact. Seeking psychological counseling can also help those in a toxic relationship.

What you can learn from your kryptonite person

But if your feelings for your kryptonite person are just a harmless crush, don’t worry. Nevertheless, be aware that you are idealizing the person and shared experiences. Most of the time, the memories weren’t as special as you imagine them to be.

Also, use your feelings for your kryptonite person to reflect on your level of self-esteem. Projecting feelings onto a certain person can also mean that you should work on improving your self-esteem.

You should also reflect on old experiences of separation and loss and try to process them.

If you have feelings for your kryptonite person despite being in a committed relationship, it does not directly mean that you should break out of the relationship. Sometimes a kryptonite person can also be a reason to think about what is missing in your relationship.

This article first appeared on BUNTE.de.

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