Taking a deeper dive into echoism
Many of us have heard about the narcissist who loves any kind of attention. But you may not have yet heard about the equally fascinating counterpart—the echoist, a term popularized by psychologists that are now making headlines and hitting TikTok alike in the discourse around mental health. Those familiar with Greek mythology may recognize the name from the story of Narcissus, a hunter in love with his own reflection, and his romantic admirer Echo, a nymph cursed to repeat back the last few words she hears, and just like their namesake, echoists struggle to have a voice of their own. They ‘echo’ the other person's needs and desires while losing their identity in the drama and emotional chaos of a relationship. Echoism support groups, therapists, and workshops are springing up, and demand for information appears to be increasing. Here, we’re looking at the conversation surrounding this growing trait.
- What is echoism? Where narcissists are addicted to feeling special, echoists are afraid of it.
- Can echoism exist without narcissism? Like any trait, Echoism persists regardless of whom people spend their time with.
- Are echoists just passive people? Echoists can be terrific listeners, but their fear of becoming a burden often blocks their ability to share.
- What are the typical problems of extreme echoism? Echoists never or rarely feel special—and they suffer for it.
- Is echoism a diagnosis? Echoism is a trait, not a disorder, and many consider it a survival strategy.
Head over to TikTok, and videos with the hashtag #echosim have amassed over 2.4M views, with content focused on those sharing their own experiences, offering advice on how to recognize the trait, and creating boundaries. (Cassandra has already discussed how young people are more comfortable in communicating their needs and advocating for themselves, see The Great-RePort on Work and Parents on Board).
THE ECHO SOCIETY UK
Psychologists claim there’s a growing number of cases of echoism, and over in the UK, London-based The Echo Society UK was set up as a volunteer-driven not-for-profit organization providing peer support groups, social groups, counseling service, outreach workshops, and a grassroots movement to raise awareness and campaign for those impacted by coercive control.