Tony Stonem: Narcissistic Personality Disorder
This is an analysis about the psychology of Tony Stonem. The character who introduced us into the world of Skins and Bristol teenage mayhem.
Tony when we first meet him presents himself as a young man who is in control of everyone and everything. He has a gorgeous girlfriend. People respect him. He’s talented. Women want him. He has a best friend who will do anything he says. He manipulates his parents. He seemingly has the perfect life.
In the effort to keep his life perfect and interesting he does things that even the most self serving person would never do. He plays with people’s emotions. He plays games because he can. Furthermore he does not feel bad about those things until he loses control. Like for instance when Michelle started to fight against Tony and when Sid started to fight against Tony. He began to panic. Is this because he feels guilty? Or because his self importance is not being fed?
Jamie Brittain was asked via twitter if he thought that Tony would have changed if he was not hit by the bus. He replied that he did not think so. This in my mind means that there were is something irreversible about Tony’s psychology that dictates how he relates to people and how he understands feelings. Personally I think that Tony has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Here are the common symptoms :
React to criticism with rage, shame, or humiliation
Take advantage of other people to achieve his or her own goals
Have excessive feelings of self-importance
Exaggerate achievements and talents
Be preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, beauty, intelligence, or ideal love
Have unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment
Need constant attention and admiration
Disregard the feelings of others, and have little ability to feel empathy
Have obsessive self-interest
Pursue mainly selfish goals
The bolded items are the ones that I feel fit Tony perfectly. The main thing about Tony is that he does everything due to self interest or self amusement. He also has a hard time empathizing with other people. For instance he knows that Sid has a crush on Michelle. Therefore he took the opportunity out of boredom to create a situation where he messes with Sid’s emotions for Michelle and also manipulates Michelle’s feelings for him in order to create drama. He expects Sid to do nothing, because he thinks he is vital to Sid’s life. He also expects Michelle to forgive him, because she worships him. He has this inflated self confidence in that he expects people to take his games, because they admire him so much.
The only relationship in which we see Tony show concern and love is for his little sister Effy. Who is similar to Tony in several ways including her inability to relate to other people. They both have psychological disorders though Effy is more in line with bipolar than Narcissistic Disorder. Though they both have issues with attachment and intimacy. That is the only time that Tony shows genuine concern and fear.
Many people will point to how he begs Michelle and finally declares her love for her. Then of course his actions of giving Sid’s letter to Cassie. Many people view those actions as Tony’s attempt to change and redeem himself. Jamie Brittain’s comments about Tony; however, paints a picture of a young man who realizes he has tried everything and nothing has worked. So he finally gives into the demands of the people in his life. Because a narcissist is nothing without admirers and a leader is nothing without followers. It seems as if Tony’s gestures to win Michelle back has very little to do with true emotion, but instead with the humiliation of rejection and criticism. Losing that admiration. Was too much for Tony to bare, so he gave into Michelle’s demands and made a gesture of friendship to Sid.
It’s an interesting thing to think about. Chances are Tony would probably begin his twisted game playing and actions of self interest as soon as he felt the admiration is back.
Tony is a complex character and part of his complexity is his vulnerability in terms of losing control so quickly. Losing control of himself and losing control of the situation due to an distorted sense of self and an exaggerated sense of importance. He is also complex in that he genuinely cares for and takes care of his little sister. He is the first and the original Skins mindfuck.