‘Peter Pan Syndrome’ – 7 Signs You’re Dealing With An Emotionally Immature Grown Up

Have you ever met a man who acts like a child?

If you know an adult who refuses to accept responsibility, deems life to be unfair, and lacks ambition, they might have what is known as Peter Pan Syndrome. According to Healthline, the name “Peter Pan Syndrome” first appeared in Dr. Dan Kiley’s 1982 book, Peter Pan Syndrome: Men Who Have Never Grown UpAlthough this syndrome can be found in women, Kiley focused on the analysis of men’s behaviors. So, what exactly does the Peter Pan Syndrome entail? It is important to note that this syndrome is not a clinical diagnosis and it, therefore, does not have a concrete set of symptoms. However, there are several behaviors and patterns which are common to all men who have this syndrome.

There are 7 signs that a man in your life is an immature adult who struggles with ‘Peter Pan Syndrome’

1. They neglect their chores and responsibilities

Healthline explains that they prefer to “live for today” and that they ignore their chores, responsibilities, and problems. Moreover, they expect that their partner or family members will take care of them instead.

2. They are emotionally unavailable

Men who struggle with Peter Pan Syndrome cannot commit. They do not want to define or label relationships and they seldom make long-term plans. In addition to this, when they are in a serious relationship, they avoid communicating about issues and fail to resolve problems in a healthy way.

3. They are financially irresponsible

Immature adults spend unwisely, have no savings and never plan for the future. They rely on their parents, siblings, friends, and even partners to provide for them.

4. They lack ambition

As previously mentioned, men with Peter Pan Syndrome have trouble committing. This inability to commit affects not only their relationships but their careers too. That is, they quit jobs frequently and change fields solely because they get bored or stressed. Moreover, they often lack effort, show up late to work or skip it altogether.

5. They throw temper tantrums

Like children, emotionally immature adults expect to be taken care of. They believe they are entitled to special care and demand to be pampered at all times. If they do not get their way, they throw temper tantrums and have breakdowns.

6. They never own up to their mistakes

When they make mistakes, they always find somebody else to blame as they never think that they are at fault. They do not worry about making mistakes as they always expect somebody else to fix the damage they cause.

7. They treat their parents like children do 

Men with Peter Pan Syndrome talk to their mothers more than anybody else. In fact, their mothers often buy their clothes, do their laundry, and do their food shopping. Furthermore, many men choose to live at home so that their mothers can take care of them as they did when they were children.

Having an emotionally immature adult in your life can be difficult and frustrating. If you are wondering what causes their condition, Berit Brogaard D.M.Sci., Ph.D. explains that Peter Pan Syndrome ‘often results from an overly protective mother (or father)—a helicopter mom, or a parent who gives their son or daughter free range, and too much praise and attention, during childhood and adolescence’.

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