The Peter Pan Syndrome
Where does this information come from?
There is plenty of information on the Web about the Peter Pan Syndrome but most of what you are about to read here comes directly from the main source: the book The Peter Pan Syndrome: Men who have never grown up by Dan Kiley, published in 1983.
Dan Kiley was the psychologist who coined the term, who labelled for the first time a group of psychological features easy to recognise and explained them.
What is the Peter Pan Syndrome(PPS)?
This term is applied to those men who, just like Peter Pan, refuse to grow up.
"Keep back, lady, no one is going to catch me and make me a man."(Peter Pan. Chapter 17)
How to recognise someone with the PPS?
1. He is unable to express his feelings in a normal way.
2. He tends to put off doing things.
3. It is difficult for him to make friends.
4. He believes in "magic thought": if he thinks hard enough, the problem will disappear.
5. He feels guilty and angry towards his mother.
6. He has a distant relationship with his father.
8. He hides his sensitivity behind a "macho" cover.
1. Irresponsibility, as a result of lenient parents.
2. Anxiety about the tense family atmosphere.
3. Loneliness, even more serious in upper-class.
4.Sexual role: he expects every girl to behave like Wendy, like a mother.
5. Narcissism, it's all about himself.
6. Sexism, deep inside he expects Wendy to clean the house.
How to help a victim of PPS?
If you are the victim's...
1. parents: try to improve the atmosphere at home, communicate
2. wife/girlfriend: ask yourself if you are a Wendy and if so... become a Tinker Bell
3. relative/friend: don't put up with his childish behaviour
Are you a victim yourself?
Try to find your own way back from Neverland!
Can you recognise anybody/yourself here?
If so, maybe you don't need to worry. Having some of these symptoms doesn't mean being a victim of the PPS. There is a difference between "behaving" in a childish way and "being" childish, which really affects your relationship with those people around you.
Many men simply have an active imagination and a wish to remain young at heart; those are sometimes symptoms of intelligence.
Michael Jackson: an example of PPS?
Many people would think so. "Neverland" was the name of the ranch where he lived; he had his own amusement park there and he enjoyed the rides like any other child.
In an interview he said himself: "I am Peter Pan". He even wrote a song called "The Lost Children". (You can listen to the song here).
But he also said in his autobiography Moonwalk that what he liked the most about children is that they are open-minded and look at everything with new eyes, getting excited about things that adults have already forgotten to get excited about.
Have you forgotten your inner child?
If this has given you food for thought, you can listen to Peter Pan by El Canto del Loco while you try to answer the question.