What Really Is Peter Pan Syndrome, And How To Solve It?

What really is Peter Pan syndrome?

We live in a globalized era, focused on materialism and consumption… and also digitalized This makes us jump from one article after another without the necessary depth, and terms are invented. You know: Peter Pan syndrome, impostor syndrome, “toxic” people…

What is really true? Is there a Peter Pan syndrome as such? Adults who have difficulties assuming responsibilities beyond financial income or who want to live as eternal teenagers?

What do we understand by Peter Pan syndrome?

Let’s start with the objective 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 are going to try to go deeper into this problem to find out what it really is, how it affects you in a psychological and emotional sense and, above all, how to solve it.

So does Peter Pan syndrome exist? This syndrome refers to the difficulties of certain adults in assuming responsibilities and commitments as if they wanted to enjoy the advantages of the adult world but continue living somewhat like teenagers.

This syndrome as such does not exist in psychology. However, I often receive consultations from people who tell me: “Rubén, I have Peter Pan syndrome, help me solve it.” What is really happening to these people?

For more than 10 years I have been accompanying people as a psychologist and coach in their change processes, and This phenomenon is relatively recent and is part of our current social context We live in a materialistic and consumerist era in which we build an identity by identifying ourselves with what we believe we are and need. These people, in search of a personal concept of freedom and autonomy, reject certain aspects of adult life.

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In principle, this is not any kind of problem. The difficulty comes when over the years they experience constant existential crises or difficulties finding a purpose in life.

The problem is not living as adults (these people are adults and live according to their own values ​​and decisions) but reject certain experiences that imply bonding, dedication, care and commitment (such as a long-term project, a relationship, actions that involve making an effort for others, or even having children).

Does this mean that these people need to live a more conventional life? Nothing is further from reality. Each person’s way of life must follow their own values ​​and tendencies The difficulty is not that, but avoiding experiences that imply that they lose certain control and sensations of “freedom” (according to their own concept). This avoidance ends up being a limit and blockage, since it prevents them from living in a broader, more satisfying and purposeful way.

Why is this happening?

There are several emotional difficulties that make it easier for some people to tend to avoid these experiences: low tolerance for frustration, need for control, constant search for personal freedom out of fear and insecurity towards certain experiences that imply that loss of total control, etc. We are going to go much deeper into this with a video where I explain it to you. Hit play!

Peter Pan syndrome, then, only refers to a current psychological problem that depends on our way of life and context: the difficulty in managing certain emotions (frustration, fear and insecurity) when living certain experiences that imply a mode of personal dissolution and that imply a genuine and necessary contact and encounter with the other and with our humanity.

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This happens in a similar way in the case of couple relationships: 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 abandon the relationship before encountering the first difficulties.

The relationship of this difficulty to the loss of purpose is important. In our materialistic and consumerist world We tend to think that the purpose of life is something inherent to us However, purpose is not found or sought, but rather done. When a human being does not live certain experiences that involve contact with difficulties (family, relationships, some form of dedication to the other) he is in a certain sense disconnecting from part of his most human tendencies. This is what makes us experience an existential crisis or feel that our life lacks a clear purpose.

How to solve it?

As I told you in the video, if the main source of the problem is the way we understand and manage certain emotions, such as frustration, insecurity, the need for control or fear, the solution is in do that learning so that we can overcome those limits and make emotions be on our side instead of against us.

If this is what you want to achieve, at empowermenthumano.com you have the option for us to schedule a first exploratory session and take the definitive step towards the change you need. That is the most important decision of all.