Peter Pan syndrome: adults trapped in never again

Peter Pan syndrome refers to those adults who continue to behave like children or adolescents without being able to take responsibility for their actions and their adult lives. They are people who refuse to grow up with marked emotional immaturity nuanced by strong insecurity and a great fear of not being loved and accepted by others.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the concept of Peter Pan Syndrome, as Dan Kiley explains.

    Peter Pan syndrome: adults trapped in childhood

    The Peter Pan are the eternal youth who disregard the demands of the real world while hiding in a fantasy world, In your country Not anymore. Trapped, they cannot develop the roles they must assume, such as that of father, partner or professional, as one would expect in adulthood. They can be recognized because many of them may be reluctant to become independent from their parents, have superficial and uncompromising emotional relationships, or not find their place in the world of work. As the well-known character of JM BarrieThey are constantly on the lookout for adventure but feel unable to stop their flight and achieve stability in real life.

    This resistance to growth, more common in men than in women, Was defined by the American psychologist Dan Kiley in 1983, and this is an increasingly common problem, because sociologically this disorder is more and more chronic due to the capitalist society and the immediacy, in which things are accomplished every day with less effort and without the need for commitment, and in which we consume to fill the emotional gaps. All this brings us immediate but fleeting pleasure.

    Thus, in Peter Pan syndrome, there is a tension between the lifestyle linked to childhood, on the one hand, and the demands linked to adulthood, a stage characterized by the need to assume responsibilities and achieve long-term goals. The prospect of leaving behind a lifestyle based on play and immediacy is very difficult for some people., Who in some cases are reluctant to embrace that emotionally mature lifestyle that goes beyond self-centeredness and the “here and now”.

    People with Peter Pan syndrome may appear carefree and happy because they live by the maxim of Carpe DiemBut when you investigate your life or yourself a little, feelings of loneliness and dissatisfaction arise, accompanied by personal dependence, as they need another person by their side to meet their needs and make them feel good. feel protected. This person who takes care of your satisfaction is usually the parents, older siblings or the couple.

    Consequences of Peter Pan syndrome

    the the consequences of PPS lead to significant emotional alterationss, with frequent high levels of anxiety and sadness, Which can lead to depression. They also feel dissatisfied with their life, because by not taking responsibility for their actions, they don’t feel their successes as theirs (internal locus of control) Which has a direct impact on the self-esteem of the individual.

    In addition, usually people with PPS they feel misunderstood and they find it hard to realize their problem and ignore that they are suffering from it until a critical situation occurs and they realize that their way of behaving and dealing with the world is not effective or is abnormal compared to the rest of their equals.

    Adults who do not take responsibility

    At the relational level, difficulties also arise due to a lack of commitment and high demand with others.. Usually, the Peter Pan person seems confident in themselves, to the point of appearing arrogant, but as we have already mentioned, behind them lies low self-esteem. He enjoys many personal qualities such as creativity and ingenuity and is generally a good professional. In addition, he strives to elicit the admiration and recognition of the people around him. But while socially they can be leaders appreciated for their ability to entertain and liven up the atmosphere, they deploy their demanding, intolerant and suspicious side in privacy. So I could sum it up with the sentence: “a leader outside and a tyrant at home“.

    At the level of romantic relationshipMany of them are single and become dungeons for their great ability to seduce, and move from one relationship to another endlessly. Those who have a partner can create superficial relationships, being for years without getting to make a lot of compromises. Many come across the “Dark Triad” profile.

    He is also a candidate to play the role of Peter Pan, the boy who effortlessly changes from being the object of affection of the mother to that of the partner or the wife. In this case, since he never manages to be alone, he does not learn to take charge of his life.

    Signs of Peter Pan syndrome

    In order to be able to finish recognizing Peter Pan, I will present / display the most characteristic signals:

    • Although adults are in their 30s or even 40s they continue to behave like young children.

    • feel one in need of attention by those around him.

    • His attitude focuses on receiving, asking and criticizing and don’t bother to give or do for others. He wants them to give him what he asks for or if he doesn’t get angry because they don’t tolerate frustration.

    • Living egocentric and in his problems without worrying too much about what happens to those around him.

    • Constantly feeling dissatisfied with what he has, but he acts to resolve his situation, he wants to have it all but without any effort to achieve it.

    • He sees engagement as an obstacle to freedom.

    • He is not responsible for his actions but he intends others to do it for him. outraged blame others for what went wrong with him.

    • They hide behind excuses or lies to cover up their inability to grow.

    • He is very attracted to youth, idealized vital step for the subject with SPP.

    • Fear of loneliness.

    • Lots of insecurity and low self-esteem.

    Causes of Peter Pan syndrome

    Peter Pan syndrome, like most psychological phenomena, is probably due to the effect of several factors, such as dependent or avoidant personality traits, problem-solving style, or educational role modelsBut it seems that what weighs most heavily on this mismatch is the life story of childhood itself; a very happy and carefree childhood which can be idealized by the person with PPS or on the contrary very unhappy and insensitive.

    In the first case, the syndrome seeks to perpetuate the happy moments living in a constant childhood that refuses to overcome, while in the second the function of the syndrome is recover the stolen childhood, By the freedom granted by the adult.

    “Mature”: redefining the concept

    Growing up as a person is part of the natural development of human beings, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Being an adult requires deciding to grow up and adopting values ​​and goals in life. You also have to give up some things to achieve the goal, take responsibility for your own mistakes, and tolerate day-to-day frustration.

    Maturing does not mean losing the child you carry inside, Not letting him out sometimes makes people too rigid, but there is no need to let the child dominate and hinder the adult’s life, as in the case of Peter Pan. A relationship of understanding and affection between the adult and the inner child is essential, for successful maturation consists of succeed in maintaining a balance between the two parts of the person.

    “Wendy’s syndrome” also exists

    Where there is a Peter Pan, there is a Wendy. You want to know what it is Wendy’s personality profile? We tell you in the following article:

    “Wendy’s Syndrome: People Who Need the Approval of Others”

    Bibliographical references:

    • Craig, G. and Baucum, D. (2001). Psychological development. New York: Pearson Education.
    • Kiley, D. (1983) Peter Pan Syndrome: Men who never grew up. New York: Dodd Mead.
    • Papalia, D .; Wendkos, S. and Duskin, R. (2005). Psychosocial development in middle adulthood. Human Development. Mexico: McGraw Hill.

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