Wendy's syndrome: what it is, how to recognize it and how to overcome it

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Carlos Laforet Coll
@carloslaforetcoll
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Wendy's syndrome is typical of those who help everyone without asking for anything in return, thus ending up forgetting their own needs.

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If there is one thing that differentiates Wendy from Peter Pan it is the sense of responsibility. She, mature and always ready to take care of others, he, an eternal child who does not want to grow up. A behavior, that of Wendy, which at first glance seems simply caring, but which, taken to extremes, turns into a real syndrome, comparable to the more famous one of the Red Cross nurse.





The first to talk about it were Carolyn Quadrio in an article entitled "The Peter Pan and Wendy syndrome" and the psychologist Dan Kiley, who wrote "The Peter Pan Syndrome: Men who have never grown up", and the following year "The Wendy Dilemma : When Women Stop Mothering Their Men “.

be the famous Peter Pan syndrome characterizes those who remain imprisoned in an infantile and immature attitude in adulthood, Wendy's syndrome is typical of overly responsible people, which actually hide just as many problems. Kiley in her books was referring mainly to relationships, but these syndromes can affect everyone, regardless of gender.

Index

How to recognize Wendy's syndrome

The "Wendys" on duty tend to be excessively available to others, constantly solving problems, taking care of them, giving continuous attention and affection, in an unconditional way.

They appear very responsible, to the point that the less mature people around them tend to lean on it, sometimes demanding too much. But the "Wendys" like feeling indispensable!

Other features are a helpful, generous, calm attitude and little inclined to anger, an emotion that the "Wendys" fear to express for fear of losing the love of those around them.

Furthermore, according to Kiley, the Wendys have no personal identity, have no opinions of their own, they base their life on the approval of others and while hiding it, they are anxious.

In short, real Red Cross nuns in pairs and beyond.

What lies behind the syndrome

Responsibility is usually considered a quality but excesses are always insidious and Wendy's syndrome confirms this. Often people who suffer from it believe they do not worth enough, are insecure and have low self-esteem, and that is why they give themselves unconditionally, believing it to be the only way to get affection and love in return. Even in the couple.



Other than that, the "Wendys" probably they are afraid of loneliness, they believe inlove as a sacrifice believing they should deserve it, and they think they should be indispensable for each other.

Another problem concerns the relationship with the emotions such as anger and irritation, which come often deny for fear that they will cause negative consequences in relationships with others.

In fact, the "Wendys" struggle to say no, giving up a healthy selfishness in favor of an attitude that is too helpful but counterproductive.

The consequences

Who suffers from this syndrome tends to attract, according to Kiley, the so-called "Peter Pan", immature people who do not want to grow and take responsibility.

The "Wendys" can exercise control through the helpful attitude that makes them indispensable for these subjects. At least as long as their oppressive behavior doesn't make them run away, especially when it comes to couples.

The dynamic also remains similar in relationships with others, for example with the most immature children, who will tend to rely on the handyman “Wendy” parent.

The problem is, because of this behavior, the "Wendys" tend to completely renounce themselves and to their own needs, in favor of others, losing the opportunity to live an authentic life.

Tips for overcoming Wendy's Syndrome

Since Wendy tends to overshadow herself due to insecurity, it's important that she cultivate self-esteem by regaining her own space and desires. But if the person does not know himself, he will certainly need a psychotherapeutic path that helps him to reconnect with his own identity.

That said, some tips can still prove useful:


  • indulge in your hobbies and carve out space only for themselves;
  • learn to say no to avoid feelings of dissatisfaction, frustration and sadness;
  • learn to ask because if giving is important, so is receiving care and attention from loved ones;
  • don't put off desires all the time to please those of others;
  • understand that love is not sacrifice;
  • learn to forgive yourself.

You might also like:


  • Toxic love: when love hurts you
  • How to find and increase self-esteem in 10 steps

Laura Rose

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