Our Peloton instructors have become sources of inspiration, motivation, and even friendship for many members. With their charisma, talent, and gorgeous personalities, it’s easy to see why we build so much emotional well-being around these virtual instructors, and it can be jarring when something happens that shakes our perception. This could be anything from a remark made to us directly, to something we see on social media that we interpret as being about us. When this happens, it can be really tough and sometimes even devastating. What happens when our instructors fall from their pedestals and break the trust of their loyal followers?
Over here at The Clip Out, we are keen to explore the challenges that we face when our parasocial relationships with instructors are disrupted. Dr. Jenn, a renowned therapist, outlines the difficulties of projecting our desires and expectations onto instructors, who are, at the end of the day, human beings with flaws and imperfections.
Why Do We Put Instructors on Pedestals?
Dr. Jenn explains that when we are in the comfort of our homes, on our Bike, Tread or Row, we begin to identify with the instructors and fill in the blanks about who these instructors are. The connection that we feel with these instructors can be so strong that we feel like we know them intimately. Dr. Jenn calls this a parasocial relationship, where we feel like we have a bond with the instructor, yet the instructor knows nothing of us.
The problem with parasocial relationships is that when we fall into this mental trap, our emotional investment becomes heavily intertwined with the virtual persona that the instructor has developed. This can lead to feelings of disappointment, disillusionment, or even betrayal if the instructor does something that goes against what we expected.
The Importance of Remembering Instructors are Human
To avoid this type of emotional rollercoaster, Dr. Jenn says that we must remember that instructors are human and they have good days and bad days. They have specific skills, talents, and personality traits that make them the unique individuals they are. Keeping this in mind can help us find balance, enjoy the instructor for their skills, and not to build a personal relationship with them.
In the end, we should appreciate the skills and talents instructors bring to the table while tempering our expectations of who they are as people. While instructors have become figures of motivation and inspiration, their role is to guide us through our fitness journey and help us achieve our goals. So let’s appreciate them for what they bring to the table without putting them on a pedestal. Let’s take advantage of the amazing support system Peloton offers and enjoy the ride!
Tune in to The Clip Out every Friday to hear Tom and Crystal’s take on this and other hot Pelotopics. We’re available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, iHeart, TuneIn. Be sure and follow us so you never miss an episode. You can also find the show online on Facebook.com/TheClipOut. While you’re there, like the page and join the group. Lastly, find us on our YouTube channel, YouTube.com/TheClipOut, where you can watch all of our shows.
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