Keys to Overcoming Wendy Syndrome: the Need to Satisfy Others
Wendy Syndrome has its roots in popular psychology.
Despite the fact that it’s not a recognized disorder in diagnostic psychology manuals, it’s made up of certain aspects that can be translated into clinical dimensions that require treatment.
Focusing your existence on caring for another person causes a slow process of self-destruction. The loss of self-esteem or extreme physical and mental exhaustion can easily lead you into depression.
Classical literature has provided several, even authentic, archetypes that help describe this very real behavior.
Wendy Syndrome, or “Peter Pan Syndrome,” “Othello Syndrome,” or “Alice in Wonderland Syndrome” all describe disorders, problems, and behaviors in which fiction becomes reality.
Now you could easily say that the subject of this article is the most common syndrome of them all.
In some ways, many women internalize it, not because they are forced to, but because it’s what they have seen for generations and it’s what they feel.
The person who cares and attends to another, loves. Giving up yourself seems to be an exceptional way to love. Sometimes it’s easy to forget something, however: whoever gives also deserves to receive.
This is where the problems start, with emotional dissonance and sadness. Today we propose to think about it through the following aspects.
Wendy Syndrome, or progressive denial of self
Although this syndrome, as we mentioned, is rooted in popular psychology, the symptoms of it are very clear:
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You understand that to love is, above all, to serve another person.
- For a long time this kind of relationship can feel good. It’s how you understand love.
- You’re not concerned (at first) that others don’t care for you equally. You just know that your partner feels loved by you and is happy. That is how you feel good.
- You do it so that those around you don’t get angry or upset. You fight for the external balance while forgetting your own.
- Gradually, however, you perceive that others look at every effort and act you do as “normal.” This can reach the point where they become tyrannical and demanding.
If you’re experiencing Wendy Syndrome now, pay attention to certain aspects that you should change.
Understand that love isn’t sacrifice: love is to give and RECEIVE
Many people were brought up with the idea that in order to love you have to give up certain things to cement the relationship. If you want someone, you have to “put up with” many things.
You have also been made to believe that you have to say “yes” when you want to say “no.” You begin to prioritize others over yourself, which is the other person’s goal.
If you have integrated these ideas into your way of thinking, you start to collapse under the weight of new ones:
- Love doesn’t mean giving up. If you give up, you’ll only become a victim of yourself.
- A loving relationship should be mature and aware. Both parties must give, no doubt, but it’s equally important to receive.
- Love is about forming a team, coordinating your strengths, interests, and needs.
- In Wendy Syndrome, there is always one person giving and one receiving. One wins and the other gradually loses.
- The real problem, however, is that the other person doesn’t even realize it. At the start of the relationship you feel happy caring for them, worrying about them, attending to every detail to maximize their well-being.
- After months or years, though, you notice that something’s wrong. In the end, all you are is taken for granted, not appreciated, and even more is required of you.
You can’t let yourself fall into this difficult and unhappy trap.
How to focus on other types of emotional relationships
Our first and most essential piece of advice: never fail to be yourself no matter how much you love the other person. Otherwise, sooner or later, frustration, discomfort, and unhappiness will appear.
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Caring, protecting, giving, denying yourself certain things… Fine, but your partner should also take care of you, give you things, and deny themselves things for you. Regardless: such self-denial should only occur if it’s for the common good.
- Don’t apologize for something that isn’t your responsibility.
- The greatest fear that people with Wendy Syndrome have is being abandoned. To prevent this from happening you can do anything (you should never let it get to this extreme).
- You need to learn to be happy on your own. Enjoy your own company to the point of knowing that if you found yourself alone, the world wouldn’t end.
- Learn to also correct your thought patterns, especially those that bring you suffering. This will help you create new emotions that make you stronger.
- Break away from ideas like, “If I care for them more, they’ll love me more,” or, “It’s better if I give this up and they’ll see how much I love them.”
- Stop projecting all of your hopes, desires, and energy on another person. Do so only in a fair way. You deserve my love and I deserve your respect.
Remember, in love we must have dignity. Never accept anything less: learn to receive and fight for your personal integrity.