WORK-LIFE BALANCE / SEP. 02, 2015
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9 Signs You are a Sidekick and Not a Hero

It takes a serious comic buff to remember the sidekick to every superhero, as important and mostly entertaining that they are, sidekicks tend to be forgettable. So why is there so little written about these guys and girls? Is it their lack of special powers, is it the fact that they are just moonlighting for a superhero, or is it something deeper than that?

See Also: 8 Workplace Superheroes: Which One Are You?

The saddest part about sidekicks, is that they usually don’t even know they are sidekicks, they think they are just helping their heroes. But like Marilyn Monroe used to say, ’well behaved sidekicks rarely make history,’ or I don’t know, I swear it went something like that.

Much like in the comic books, the professional world is ruthless for sidekicks. Whether they help save the day or not, they are unlikely to be remembered, especially when the time comes for a promotion. So if you are after advancement, read the list below to find out if you are the superhero or the sidekick to your story. If you find yourself to be the sidekick, make sure you stop doing whatever it is that you’re doing and switch your behaviour to be more like a superhero.

1. You Constantly Ask for Help

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Superheroes rarely need to ask for help, they generally manage on their own. But can you count the amount of times Batman has had to save Robin? How many times has batman had to come along and rescue Robin? Sure every once and a while Batman does need Robin to defeat a major super villain, but apart from that it’s generally Robin who asks for help. Sidekicks are generally known to expect the superhero to tell them the plan and act accordingly. For example, it’s not too hard to picture Robin asking “What will we do Batman?” That’s because sidekicks don’t take the initiative to get things done, they just do a lot of standing around and waiting for someone to tell them what to do. Do you spend a lot of time asking for help or asking other people for how to do something? You might be a sidekick.

2. You Spend Your Time Following Someone Else’s Dreams

While superheroes are obsessed with keeping their city safe or saving the world, or well, making their love interest fall for them, sidekicks are not known to have their own dreams. They generally don’t appear to have any dreams to go after, or any ambition to achieve greatness. Instead sidekicks are always following someone else. Rather than taking charge and pursuing their own passions, sidekicks just take orders. Of course that doesn’t make sidekicks are worthless, rather it makes them lack passion which is a characteristic of superheroes. If you spend all your time helping someone else make their dream come true, you might be Robin instead of Batman.

3. You Don't Feel Very Powerful (Pun Intended)

Sidekicks just aren’t as powerful as their super hero companions. While superheroes feel fine to bounce over buildings, tackle bad guys, or throw tanks through the air, sidekicks are usually a lot less able to get things done. Even after their superhero shows them the way of how to do things, they still lack the powers to get the job done. Sidekicks are just usually kind of wimpy, kind of lame, kind of young and immature. If you feel inadequate, insecure, depressed, or just plain wimpy, you are definitely a sidekick.

4. You Always Say "Yes"

If you constantly find yourself saying “Sure Batman.”, “Let’s get to it Batman.”, or “Holy space banana Batman.”, then chances are you might be a sidekick. Sidekicks serve only one purpose, to help the superhero achieve whatever he wants, so they are not really allowed, let alone required to say no. That would be outside their job description, and even though sidekicks might be scared or unfit for the task the superhero chooses for them, they don’t really have an option. They just say ‘Yes’ and we assume that then they pray for the best.  

5. No One Remembers Your Name and you Live in Someone Else’s Shadow

Sidekicks spend their time blending in and being a part of the behind the scenes team, but superheroes aren’t afraid to stand in the spotlight and hold responsibility for saving the city. Most of the time, people don’t even know what a sidekick’s name is, let alone what they do. If you find yourself blending into the crowd and getting lost behind the accomplishments of others, you might be a sidekick.

6. People Mistake you for a Personal Assistant

Lots of people assume that sidekicks are sort of the superhero’s personal assistant. If the superhero’s forgotten something, or isn’t where he’s supposed to be, then you expect the sidekick to point the superhero to the right direction –much like a personal assistant would do. Do you often have people asking you if you are someone’s secretary? Sure sometimes sidekicks get to do cool stuff and fight evil, but a lot of times they are just running errands and doing the dirty work the superheroes don’t want to do.

7. People Don't Take you Seriously

Sidekicks often get completely over looked when the villains are planning their attacks. Half the time when a sidekick actually gets to save the day (which is rarely), it is because the villain gave the sidekick zero credit as a competent crime fighter. Chances are, if you are always trying to fight for recognition and respect, you are a sidekick.

8. You Don't Have a Place to Call Your Own

Do you spend a lot of time crashing at other people’s places? Hey its ok, sidekicks usually don’t have a home of their own either. Robin sleeps in the birdcage in Bruce Wayne’s mansion, but it works out well for both of them, or at least it does in the long run. If you are always staying at someone else’s place, you are probably a sidekick too.

9. You are Young or Inexperienced

One redeeming quality of the sidekick is that they are often inexperienced, but over time they are bound to improve. It goes without saying of course that this will only happen if they’ve dedicated their lives to fighting crime. A lot of the sidekicks’ incompetence and goofiness comes from a simple lack of experience. If you have a lot to learn, but you are working towards something, you could be a sidekick.

See Also: Become an Office Superhero

All in all, sidekicks aren’t all bad, they have some redeeming qualities: they are humble, they have a huge growth potential, they get to hang out with cool people all the time, and someday they might get the chance to become heroes themselves.

While sidekicks are seldomly remembered, and they rarely make history, they certainly function as a piece in the puzzle that keeps the world safe when the rest of us go to sleep. It may be tough, and it’s hard when batman keeps asking you to take his cape to the dry cleaner or walk the bat dog, but even superheroes need that special someone to stand beside them in times of trouble.

What about you? Are you a sidekick or a hero, and are you ok with that? Leave a comment below, or share the article with a hero or sidekick that you might know.

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