The Wendy Syndrome: caring for others and neglecting yourself

It is important that we take care of ourselves in order to be able to care for other people and other responsibilities. If we don’t do so, our health could be adversely affected.
Wendy Syndrome

When speaking about the Wendy Syndrome, many people think that the description of this behavior given by popular psychology is somewhat outdated and typical of past generations, of our mothers and grandmothers.

But nothing is further from reality. The need to care for our partners, of giving them our all and of putting their needs before our own is something that is viewed as normal today. There are many women who make the mistake of “loving too much” and thereby losing their own self-esteem.

It is important to limit this, to be balanced. You can adore your partner, give a lot of love to your parents or friends, but you must never go to the extreme and forget your own needs and overlook your own personal growth.

Today in this article we will address this topic and find out a little bit more about the Wendy syndrome.

The Wendy syndrome, the perfect woman for a Peter Pan

Do you remember the personalities of Wendy Darling and Peter Pan from the famous book by James M. Barrie? Peter is a young boy that refuses to grow up, that does not want to have the responsibilities of an adult and above all, looks to live a life of adventure without ever having to enter the realm of stability and maturity.

Peter Pan, therefore, depicts all those rather immature men, unable not only to be responsible for their own life but also that of others. And what about Wendy Darling? She is that young girl, who from the first day, becomes the shadow of Peter so she will not lose him again, who worries about cleaning the house, about taking care of the “lost children” … Who gives everything for others because that is how she is happy.

Now let’s see what characteristics usually define people with the Wendy syndrome:




  • They feel the need to provide care, to tend to others, because in this way they feel that they are making other people happy.
  • They put the needs of others above their own, and then they begin to sacrifice their own desires and even the things that are important to them.
  • For these people, giving care is a way of offering love and therefore, they do it freely and because they love them. No one makes them care for others. However, they often “become attached” to a partner with Peter Pan syndrome, that is, immature men who don’t want to care for anything, who do not want to be responsible, and who are comfortable with having a partner to take over responsibility for everything, including their children.

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  • People with the Wendy syndrome have a lot of fear, above all, these two things: that other people will stop needing them and they will be left all alone. The idea of not having anyone to take care of terrifies them, because this is the way in which they feel useful and offer their love. At the same time, thanks to this, they see themselves as valuable and necessary.
  • It is vital to keep in mind an important aspect. It is possible that caring for and helping others will make you happy, but the time will come when you realize that others could be manipulating you, or that you are giving too much with nothing in return. The day may come when you feel frustrated and undervalued, and this is when the problem arises. You must be careful so that this behavior does not result in a possible depression.

Caring for yourself and also taking care of others

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Should we perhaps stop caring for others? Or worrying about our loved ones? Not at all. Never do that. Our partners, our families, and especially, our children, are those people who form a major part of our life, that identify who we are and that are indisputable pillars in our daily lives.

Now then, in all our personal relationships it is important to maintain a balance and to keep clearly in mind these aspects:

  • Never forget the importance of developing your own personal growth, of having your own space, your hobbies, of defending your values and of caring for your self-esteem. If you give everything for other people, you will become empty. And then you will feel unsatisfied, frustrated and sad. And then of what good are you to others if you yourself are sad? Nothing.
  • If you are a person who feels proud of yourself, if you feel happy, with good self-esteem and self-sufficiency to take responsibility for yourself, you will also be able to provide all this positive energy to others, all these emotions so needed.
  • You can care for your partner, the person you love. However, keep in mind that you also deserve to be cared for, recognized and valued. It is a power play, where both should win and neither lose. If you are one of those people that feel happy when caring for others, remember that you should begin first with yourself. If you fall, the others will fall. Cultivate your own happiness and then you will also be able to offer happiness to others.

It’s worth the effort!