[RPG] How to emotionally distance theself from the own character


I really like playing D&D. There's something about the environment that I find to be amazing for making friends; everyone has their emotional defense barriers slightly lowered, and there are a lot of fun things to talk about that come up in the course of the game.

However, my problem is that for a great deal of time I've played, I was emotionally kinda broken. A lot of things in my life weren't going too well, and I ended up retreating into my character.

Since that time, I've been able to take concrete steps to fix my life, and things are looking up. I now am fully aware my previous approach to the game wasn't emotionally healthy, and I want to fix that for the future, but I don't specifically know how. (What I consider to be unhealthy: betrayals and my character's mistakes in-game would seriously shake me on a personal, out-of-game level.)

How can I go about emotionally distancing myself from my future characters? I don't want to get that trapped by emotional transference again, though I also don't exactly want to be roleplaying Marvin the robot from Hitchiker's Guide (I do enjoy taking an active role in solving problems). I would really appreciate any advice, especially if anyone has a personal experience with a similar situation.

If it makes a difference, I'm not going to be playing for a while because I'm still getting my life back together, but I would like to start again sometime soon, perhaps after the new year.

Best Answer

As pointed out in the comments, it is a bit difficult to answer without more detailed information but I'd offer one approach based on the information we have:

Make your character's personality differs from your own personality. Explore possibilities you don't have or don't want to have in real life. Maybe even a type of character you'd detest to be in real life.

E.g. if you are a rather shy and nice type of person why not play a rough swashbuckler that's just after gold, rum and girls. Not really a murder hobo but definitly always out to get the most for himself.

This way you create a sharp difference between your real self and your character. This makes emotional detachment easier.

Really try to think what this character would do not just you. Try to avoid my guy syndrome though.