Why do we relate to Vivi? Many of us relate to his grapple with existential themes. He’s just as human as the rest of us. But he’s a very awkward kid. I wonder if it’s due to his personality?
Avoidant Personality Disorder. Avoidant personalities are often hypersensitive to rejection and are unwilling to become involved with others unless they are sure of being liked. Excessive social discomfort, timidity, fear of criticism, avoidance of social or work activities that involve interpersonal contact are characteristic of the avoidant personality. They are fearful of saying something considered foolish by others; worry they will blush or cry in front of others, and are very hurt by any disapproval by others. People with an avoidant personality disorder may have no close relationships outside of their family circle, although they would like to, and are upset at their inability to relate well to others.
Of course, maybe Vivi doesn’t know his place in society. Due to circumstances in the storyline, he’ll feel very inadequate, even inferior, about himself. Who is he really? Vivi seems interested in reaching out to people, he just doesn’t seem to know how. He has very little contact outside of his grandfather’s marsh. He lacks confidence. He’s extremely timid and shy. He stumbles over his speech. His stumbles physically due to clumsiness from a sort of stage fright in interacting with people. For all of these reasons, he seems to avoid people.
Initially, Vivi is clumsy, shy and gullible, almost to a fault. Often stumbling over his speech and lacking in self-confidence, he is afraid to use his magic to save his friends, believing himself incapable. During his journey, his personality develops and Vivi gains confidence and bravery in the face of danger. Despite his new-found confidence, Vivi questions his existence and discovers he must find answers to some of the big questions in life himself, instead of relying on others’ help.
Throughout the game, he does try to reach out to people. But people avoid him! Think about how Vivi feels. It’s no wonder he’s sensitive to criticism or rejection. However, there are some things about himself he cannot avoid, and has to scarily confront them head-on. Luckily, his friends provide him with the confidence that he needs to understand how the world works.