Peter Pan syndrome affects people who do not want to grow up. Such people tend to have the physique of an adult but the mind of a toddler. They dress like teenagers and have one or more emotional disorders. This syndrome affects both genders but is more common in males than in females.
What is Peter Pan syndrome? It is where a person grows physically and has advanced cognitive abilities, but remains emotionally stunted. They fear the next chapter of their lives; hence they choose to stick to what they are confident about. These people extol adolescence.
What are the symptoms of Peter Pan syndrome?
Some Peter Pan syndrome warning signs include:
1. Lack of career interest
Individuals with the Peter Pan complex have no interest in education or jobs. They are not interested in increasing their knowledge to get a promotion. Such people are okay with getting by on the little money they make and are quite satisfied with the little education they acquired. To them, the world is not changing, so there is no need to learn anything new.
2. Inability to handle adult situations
The adult Peter Pan cannot have a decent conversation. He or she will throw tantrums and yell if things do not go their way. They cannot be accountable for anything and are always looking for someone to blame for their mistakes. Because of their inability to deal with adult problems, they are often dependent on their spouses, siblings or parents.
3. Abuse alcohol and other substances
The Peter Pan man tends to use all his money on alcohol, weed and other substances. He drinks all day, or from the moment he wakes up in the morning. Even if he goes to work, he is probably high by the time he gets there. All the money he earns goes to alcohol and paying for a Netflix subscription that sustains his love for lazing around all day. He never helps in buying groceries or paying bills.
4. Procrastination and unreliability
Peter Pans can make plans only to end up canceling them on the D-day. They are good at making promises but have a hard time fulfilling them. Procrastination is their middle name. Hardly do they ever get work done on time; they have to postpone everything including the simplest of tasks.
These types of people are unemployed since they never go out to look for work and if they get a job, they get fired due to absenteeism. They tend to find the adult world so hard due to the fact that they have not yet acquired the required skills to face life.
If something is not important to them, then it is not important at all. If you are a couple, you will find it really hard to handle things on your own as you have no one to share responsibilities with. Men with this syndrome cannot see past their own needs and are quite inconsiderate of their spouses.
6. Feigning ignorance
These kinds of people are fun to be with and often come in handy when one needs a break from grown-up stuff. However, when it comes to handling critical issues, be 100% sure that they will dismiss you. The Peter Pan guys are hypersensitive to grown-up issues and have a habit of feigning ignorance when required to make important decisions.
7. Having excuses when it comes to paying bills
Such individuals regularly go out with friends but when it comes to paying the bill, the Peter Pan guy will always have an excuse. The most common ones are that he forgot his wallet, his credit cards have a problem, or that there is a delay with his bank. Such men keep promising that they will pay the bill next time but they never do.
Independent men are quick to make judgment calls, but the adult Peter Pan cannot make desitions by himself. Despite being of advanced age, he often needs someone's input before making a decision. When left on his own, he might choose to let the chips fall where they may instead of choosing to take one action over another.
9. Constantly being in debt
People with the Peter Pan personality are never accountable for their finances. They are always waiting for someone to do it for them. They are always in debt. The same way he ignores those who come to collect their debts is the same way he ignores commitment, so you have to be very careful with this type of person.
10. Exuding boyish charm
Persons suffering from this syndrome are very charming. They effortlessly bid others do their will and get away with doing the most unbelievable things. It is easy to fall for this man because he seems very innocent at first. After some time, his true colors start to show.
Peter Pan syndrome treatment
There are several ways to help those who suffer from this problem. These ways are centered on improving their attitude and behavior. However, there is no known way of fixing Peter Pan syndrome completely.
1. Allow them to take the lead
If someone is going through this problem, resist the urge to do everything for them. Although doing everything on their behalf will save you time and spare you a lot of frustration, it encourages them to be dependent.
The best approach is to let them take the lead and only reciprocate once they have put in a decent amount of effort. Do not do everything for a person who does not appreciate your effort or feels entitled.
2. Help them embrace adult tasks
Take baby steps. First, get them to talk about how they feel and what they are interested in. Then, invite friends over and initiate a conversation they are comfortable engaging in. Google jobs for them and let them make send an application. Get them out for a drive or a walk. Interacting with them in this way helps them to embrace the adult world.
Suggest therapy sessions. Let them talk to someone they are comfortable with. They can do the sessions once a week for starters. They can also attend the sessions with their family members or with their significant other. By getting therapy, they will understand what is Peter Pan personality and how to deal with it.
Now that you understand what the Peter Pan syndrome is, you can relate better with individuals who might have it. Immediately you notice the laziness and procrastination that comes with such people, take the suggested steps to help them cope and improve their lives.