What is the Cinderella complex and why does it affect women?
More modern generations have said that fairy tales and stereotypes of little princesses have seriously harmed the way women themselves see themselves (and their own misinterpreted love stories).
This social phenomenon based on traditional gender roles has led to what it's known as Cinderella's complex .
What is the Cinderella complex?
Defined in a simple way, the Cinderella complex is a psychological phenomenon that predisposes women to value themselves and their lives depending on the proximity of a protective figure: the couple.
In this way, this psychological and social phenomenon favors the appearance of a self-image characterized by the expectation of the appearance of a couple that supposedly will give meaning to our life and, in cases in which you already have a partner, it feeds the creation of a relationship dynamic based on dependence.
The North American writer Colette Dowling wrote a book in which she recounted how women with a Cinderella complex have a certain fear of independence and relate their happiness with their emotional status, giving rise to the insatiable and erroneous quest of the "prince charming" to achieve the Absolut happiness.
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Cinderella as a female model
The psychological pattern of women with Cinderella syndrome has three basic characteristics: an unconscious desire to be taken care of, rescued and cared for constantly by other people even outside the sentimental couple.
This type of behavior can be explained by several factors. And is that according to Colette Dowling, its root is a sum of motivations: from the way in which the woman is educated to certain social rules that lead women to feel this way, which makes a simple explanation to the problem.
In a way, the cultural bedrock based on machismo continues to feed this kind of attitudes and philosophies of life that make strong distinctions between what is proper to the feminine and what corresponds to the masculine. The first is fragile and must be taken care of from outside, and the second is strong, firm and self-sufficient. The combination of gender roles that derive from this polarized perception of man and woman creates, among other things, the Cinderella complex.
Some of the characteristics of the Cinderella complex are the following:
- Low self-esteem.
- Constant dependence.
- Fear of leaving the comfort zone.
- Idealization of the couple.
If you identify with any of these symptoms, the best method to combat or transform this behavior is looking for happiness without a partner and with the virtues you have for yourself, without having to wait for someone to come to change reality.
In case you can not overcome these fears and attitudes, the ideal is to ask for help from a specialist who can help you modify your beliefs and your habits.
Is it a mental disorder?
The Cinderella complex it is not a concept used in clinical psychology or in psychiatry To describe a mental disorder, it simply describes a certain pattern of behavior fueled by customs, stereotypes about differences between men and women.
However, if the patterns of behavior described are very accentuated and interfere with the quality of life of the person or their environment, it may indicate the presence of symptoms characteristic of the Personality Disorder or Dependent Personality Disorder.
5 keys to being an independent woman
It is very common to hear today talk about the need to claim independent and self-sufficient women. However, having a clear idea of how to adopt a more informed attitude towards safety is difficult. For this reason, we will work on these keys to develop female independence while respecting that of others.
Basically, we find two types of independence: the emotional and the economic . In part, the one depends on the other in order to consolidate a good level of independence.
Here we present five tips to overcome the problem:
1. Watch your emotions
Definitely the most difficult step and the first one to face, because it is the basis of the whole. Emotional independence is achieved by defining well what you want, what you like and what you do not. Regarding your personal relationships Whether it's with friends, co-workers, family or your romantic partner, you have to dedicate your efforts to analyzing where your real abilities end and where you really need the collaboration of others
2. Responsibility with money
The idea that what is normal and what is desirable is economically dependent on the couple, very much restricts their own freedom. Learn to depend on yourself and not ask for money from anyone.
3. Enjoy the loneliness
Do not panic when you're alone. Rate your moments of loneliness as something with positive aspects and meet with your own thoughts, feelings and fears.
4. Cultivate yourself
Enjoying a higher level of skills and knowledge empowers us and makes us more free and autonomous, regardless of our gender.
5. Work self-esteem
This point is as primordial as the first. Love yourself will help you to show you as an empowered woman and safe. Loving yourself, without falling into arrogance, makes you respect yourself, take care of yourself, cultivate yourself, etc. The same should be expected from the people around you.