They are called superheroes: those among us who constantly strive to be the best, most useful version of ourselves, sacrificing their own emotional and physical well-being to try to make life easier for others. everyone around them. But what happens when this once admirable characteristic can turn into an unhealthy habit that has negative consequences?
This is the world of “super-helper syndrome,” a phenomenon where unrecognized personal boundaries are crossed while trying to help others at all costs. In this blog post, we’ll explore how helping others (too much) can come at a high price. An award that could affect every aspect of your personal life in ways you never imagined.
The super helper syndrome defined by two psychologists.
Super Helper Syndrome is a psychological phenomenon, which describes the tendency of some individuals to compulsively engage in helping behavior in order to gain love and validation from those around them. It is characterized by the belief that the only way for a person to be worthy or appreciated is to help others, and people affected by this syndrome often place the needs and desires of others above their own.
Superhelpers often feel irrational pressure to “save the world”, believing it is their responsibility to ensure that everyone else is supported, even if it comes at their own expense. The compulsion to help can also lead people with super helper syndrome to believe that they have special abilities to solve problems that no one else could solve without their help; in this way, they may become unable or unwilling to accept healthy boundaries as they feel obligated to continue offering help even when it is not needed.
Additionally, many people with super helper syndrome may be more inclined to sacrifice their own physical and mental health in order to meet the needs of others first. This fatalistic mindset can cause them to habitually neglect their personal responsibilities, creating a cycle of unhealthy patterns that are hard for them to break.
If you recognize yourself, know that this behavior could bring you more harm than good.
You will be exhausted both physically and mentally.
One of the main risks of super-helper syndrome is physical and mental exhaustion. He can be very demanding constantly putting the needs of others ahead of his own and providing them with care and attention. This creates an extreme level of stress that can manifest itself in physical exhaustion, such as headaches, fatigue, insomnia or difficulty concentrating. Additionally, it can lead to mental exhaustion, including feelings of overwhelm, anxiety, depression, or difficulty regulating emotions.
You develop a feeling of anger.
Another risk is resentment and anger. When people with super helper syndrome focus so much on helping others that they neglect their own needs and well-being, they may begin to feel anger toward those being helped because they have the feeling of being exploited. This resentment can also be directed at themselves for not setting better boundaries or for not expressing how they feel. In some cases, this resentment can even lead to feelings of guilt and shame as the person struggles to understand why their efforts are not appreciated.
You run the risk of being manipulated.
A third risk is that of exploitation. By devoting so much energy to caring for others without considering what they can actually bear or limits to set, a person with super-helper syndrome can find themselves in situations where they are exploited or manipulated by other people who view their caring nature as a vulnerability.
Often these people don’t know when they’ve had enough, because help has become such an integral part of their identity that it’s hard for them to draw the line between feeling responsible for someone’s life else and that of letting go when it’s time to do so.
You criticize your benevolence.
Finally, there is a risk of harmful self-criticism. People who suffer from super-helper syndrome often have unrealistic expectations of their own worth and how they think others should treat them; it causes them to feel inadequate if things don’t go their way, to blame themselves for not being able to get something out of their control, or for not doing “enough” for someone who doesn’t appreciate them anyway. All of these feelings end up creating a toxic internal dialogue that, if not handled properly, impacts self-esteem and quality of life in all its aspects.