We live in a globalized era, focused on materialism and consumption … and also digitized. It makes us jump from article to article without the necessary depth, and the terms are made up. You know: Peter Pan syndrome, impostor syndrome, “toxic” people …
What is really true? Is there a Peter Pan syndrome as such? Adults who find it difficult to take on responsibilities beyond financial income or who want to live as eternal adolescents?
What do we mean by Peter Pan syndrome?
Let’s start with the purpose of this article: The big problem with our digital world is that we identify with what we read. Instead of identifying you, in this article we will try to dig deeper into this problem to find out what it really is, how it affects you psychologically and emotionally, and most importantly, how to fix it.
So is it Peter Pan syndrome? this syndrome it refers to the difficulties of certain adults in assuming responsibilities and commitmentsAs if they wanted to reap the benefits of the adult world while somehow continuing to live in adolescence.
This syndrome as such does not exist in psychology. However, I am often greeted in consultation with people who tell me, “Ruben, I have Peter Pan syndrome. Help me solve it.” What is really happening to these people?
For more than 10 years I have been supporting people in their change process as a psychologist and coach, and this phenomenon is relatively recent and is part of our current social context. We live in a materialistic and consumerist age in which we build an identity by identifying with what we believe to be and what we need. These people, in search of a personal concept of freedom and autonomy, reject certain aspects of adult life.
In principle, this is not a problem at all. The difficulty arises when, over the years, they experience constant existential crises or difficulty finding purpose in life.
The problem is not to live to adulthood (these people are adults and live by their own values and decisions) but rejecting certain experiences that involve bonding, childbirth, care and commitment (Like a long term project, a relationship, actions that involve fighting for others, or even having children).
Does this mean that these people have to live more conventional lives? Nothing could be further from the truth. Each person’s lifestyle should follow their own values and trends. The difficulty is not this, but avoiding experiences that involve losing some control and feelings of “freedom” (according to their own concept). This avoidance ends up being a limit and a blockage, as it prevents them from living more broadly, satisfactorily and on purpose.
Why is this happening?
There are several emotional difficulties that make it easier for some people to tend to shy away from these experiences: low tolerance for frustration, need for control, constant pursuit of personal freedom out of fear and insecurity towards certain experiences which involve this total loss of control, etc. Let’s go further in this subject with a video where I tell you. Give it a game!
Peter Pan syndrome therefore only refers to a current psychological problem that depends on our lifestyle and context.: The difficulty of managing certain emotions (frustration, fear and insecurity) when one lives certain experiences which involve a path of personal dissolution and which implies an authentic and necessary contact and encounter with the other and with our humanity.
This is similar in the case of relations: We want to live the experience of the couple but we are afraid of the possible consequences (infidelity, lack of support, not feeling loved, etc.), which is why we avoid the experience or even leave the relationship before meeting the first difficulties.
The relationship between this difficulty and the loss of goal is important. In our materialistic and consumerist world we tend to think that the purpose of life is something inherent in us. However, the goal is not found or sought, but done. When a human being does not have certain experiences that involve this contact with difficulties (family, relationships, some way of engaging with the other), he is somehow disconnected from some of his more human tendencies. This is what makes us experience the existential crisis or feel that our life has no clear purpose.
How to fix it?
As I told you in the video, if the main source of the problem is how we understand and deal with certain emotions, such as frustration, insecurity, the need for control or fear, the solution is in do this by learning to push those boundaries and create emotions on our side instead of against us.
If this is what you want to achieve, in empoderamientohumano.com you have the opportunity to plan a first exploratory session and take the last step towards the change you need. This is the most important decision of all.