How To Deal With Peter Pan Syndrome

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
How To Deal With Peter Pan Syndrome

The Peter Pan Syndrome refers to certain personality traits that are characterized by psychological immaturity and narcissism. These are people who are irresponsible in certain aspects of life, rebels who refuse to grow up, are dependent and who believe they are above social norms. If these features are part of your personality or that of a loved one, we will give you some tips to know how to deal with Peter Pan Syndrome.

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Steps to follow:


Peter Pan Syndrome was coined in 1983 by Dr Dan Kiley to refer to those who, like the Disney character, refuse to grow up and take on the behaviour and responsibilities of their age. They are immature on a psychological and social level, with strong narcissistic traits and refusing to grow out of childish behaviour and assume adulthood.


The origin of this problem may be largely due to emotional deprivation during childhood that has continued into adulthood, giving rise to a personality that needs attention and to be loved, pampered and protected. Main symptoms of Peter Pan Syndrome are:

  • Idealisation of youth and refusal to act like an adult.
  • Egocentrism and narcissism, only thinking about receiving and asking without giving or compromising.
  • Denial of any responsibility related to maturity.
  • Impulsive and immature behavior reminiscent of a child or adolescent.
  • They are often irresponsible and fear commitment.
  • Often they feel frustrated but do not take control of their lives or do anything to change what is bothering them.
  • They blame others without ever assuming their share of the responsibility for their actions.
How To Deal With Peter Pan Syndrome - Step 2

As with any condition related to behavior, the first step to deal with Peter Pan Syndrome is to assume that there is indeed a problem with maturity that is necessary to address and resolve. Although family and close friends can help the person affected realize it's time to grow up, no one else can take control of their lives.


Peter Pan Syndrome has a root cause that is important to discover to solve the problem. It is not always easy to see why we refuse to grow up, so if we cannot take charge of the situation by ourselves, it is best to visit a psychologist or therapist to help us.

Consulting a specialist is the best way of identifying what causes the insecurity or fear of adulthood to overcome it. Also a specialist may provide you with the tools to communicate properly, to overcome frustration and to assume responsibility for your actions without blaming others.

How To Deal With Peter Pan Syndrome - Step 4

Finally, a good way to deal with Peter Pan Syndrome is to identify the advantages of adulthood that arise when we assume our responsibilities properly. Show that we still have fun, that way the child within us does not have to be set aside but it also won't prevail.

Greater economic freedom, having our own space, having the maturity to make better decisions and being around people that truly matter to us because we have learned who stands by us and who does not want us in our lives are some of the advantages of living like a responsible adult, enjoying the stage in which we live without thinking so much about the past or that our youth is gone.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How To Deal With Peter Pan Syndrome, we recommend you visit our Mental health category.

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How To Deal With Peter Pan Syndrome