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The “Cinderella syndrome”

I believe that you are all familiar with the Cinderella story. What do you think about it? A story about a poor girl who lost everything she loved in her life, but still managed to remain good, gentle and optimistic. Is that right?

However, let’s lift the curtain and see what really it is about. The Cinderella syndrome, first mentioned by Colette Dowling, refers to a fear of independence with an unconscious desire to be taken care of by others. I’d like to elaborate further on it and show that the fairy tale contains a dangerous message, such as,

«if you work hard, relieve others from their responsibilities or bear harm, then you will be rewarded». One day, a prince with a glass slipper will knock on your door and save you from an evil stepmother, take you to his palace and make you happy forever.

The above message may be one of the reasons why you take too many responsibilities on. You subconsciously hope that if you do a little bit more or will resist any unexpected stress, you will be rewarded. But, unfortunately, very often it’s not the case. Instead, after taking too much on and controlling everything around, you can end up with frustration, unexpressed anger, resentment, sadness, anxiety, burnout and even depression. Therefore, we can see that the Cinderella story is not so fairy-tale. Aim to let go of any control, don’t measure your progress by anyone else’s standards and appreciate yourself for who you are!


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