How do I know if I have Wendy’s Syndrome in my relationships?

Wendy’s Syndrome is one of those signs that regularly sacrificing for the well-being of others doesn’t have to be beautiful or desirable, especially when it’s done at the expense of our physical or mental health. That’s why it’s important to know if something like this happens to us.

In this article I will talk about how to detect Wendy’s Syndrome both in relationships and in family relationships, such as caring for young children or nephews.

What is Wendy’s Syndrome?

The term “Wendy’s Syndrome” is used to refer to a pattern of problematic behavior in which a person is seen in the constant need to please others even if it harms their own most basic interests and needsand this happens because of the fear of rejection.

That is to say, the person who suffers from this problem not only assumes a role of total submission to a person or a group of people who are special to him, but also plays a very active role in this role of satisfaction of the desires of others and is always alert to the possibility that he may not “fit in” and cease to be able to be appreciated or accepted by those he serves.

So it’s not just a matter of believing that you have to sacrifice everything to make someone happy just by doing it (which in itself would also be problematic), but that we dread above all the fear of being abandoned or rejected. Due to the nature of this psychological disorder, it mainly occurs in relationships or in the behavior of parents towards their children, especially when the latter are children or are very young.

Of course, Wendy’s Syndrome is not considered a mental disorder because it was not developed through scientific research, but rather through awareness and journalism. However, there are some psychological disorders that fit well with their characteristics, including Addiction Personality Disorder. But it must be kept in mind that the diagnosis of this disease is only made by mental health professionals, and also to consider that it is present in a person it is necessary to meet several specific criteria which do not meet to all who suffer from mental health and addiction issues. and fear of abandonment.

How do I know if Wendy’s Syndrome affects me?

As I said, there is no specific way to distinguish between “good mental health”, on the one hand, and “Wendy’s syndrome”, on the other, because the latter is not has not been described in detail in diagnostic manuals nor precisely defined. scientific consensus.

Therefore, to find out if you are suffering from something that can be considered “Wendy’s syndrome” in the end, all you have to do is ask yourself if the dynamics of relationships with others overwhelm us with fear of abandonment or rejection, or, conversely, we support these people rather by the good that this fact makes you feel. In order to better guide you in this task of self-reflection, I leave you with several guidelines and questions to consider. Of course, not all of these “red flags” have to be encountered for you to have this kind of problem.

1. Have you noticed that gender roles require you to take care of others?

Wendy syndrome He is named after Wendy Darling, a fictional character from the Peter Pan story. that, although at the beginning of the story she is characterized by not wanting to grow up and become an adult, during a trip to the world of Never Never, it happens that she constantly takes care of lost children, even if she’s not even an adult and he can’t do it under conditions.

It is not a coincidence; Peter Pan syndrome feeds heavily on the gender roles of selfless mother and wife, which in many cases are even interchangeable and are defined by the task of “being there” for others, helping them and solve their problems, even if they don’t. ask for it, thinking ahead of others. that’s why Women tend to assume more easily that they should serve even if no favors are asked of thembecause that is what is expected of them in the domestic context.

2. Did you assume you couldn’t be happy without your “half orange”?

In relationships, Wendy’s Syndrome can manifest as the belief that Once the love story you’re in has started, you can’t be happy apart from that person.. It’s the myth of the half-orange, as if the two of you were a single living being.

This idea is so harmful that it drags us into the desperate fulfillment of all the demands we believe we have to fulfill so that the other person does not walk away from us. In other words, we put her in a situation where she can blackmail us (and it’s worse if the other person finds out and uses her for their own ends).

3. Do you have obsessive thoughts in anticipation of your departure?

In the most extreme cases, the fear of abandonment results in intrusive thoughts related to rejection or the idea that this person will leave our lives. Nightmares about this are also common.

4. Does the possibility of getting angry terrify you?

Beyond cases of abuse in which anger may precede physical or verbal aggression, it may happen that even if the other person doesn’t usually get very angry or take a very hostile attitude towards us when this happens, we are terrified of making them feel this way.. Therefore, there are constant checking and checking behaviors that everything is fine and nothing to bother with us. It’s so exhausting that it leads to an almost constant accumulation of stress, and difficulty sleeping well.

Would you like to benefit from psychological support and learn how to better manage your relationships?

If you are interested in having professional psychological support to overcome your fear of rejection, boost your self-esteem and learn how to communicate in a healthy and fluid way with others, contact me.

My name is Tomas Santa Cecilia and I am a psychologist specializing in the cognitive-behavioral model; work for people who need help, as well as with couples and even corporate groups. Additionally, sessions can be conducted both in person and via the online video call format.

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