What is Good Girl Syndrome?
The concept of Good Girl Syndrome didn’t originate in medicine: It’s a product of popular culture — a phrase you’re most likely to stumble across in your social media feed. But it can still be a useful way to think about behavioral patterns.
Good Girl Syndrome was described by Dr Susan Albers Md at the Cleveland Clinic as “the manifestation of traits that are valued or praised in girls. "
It has a lot to do with how caregivers (including people outside the family, like teachers) interact with girls and how those interactions shape and mold their behavior.”
Think about the term “good girl” itself: It conjures images of quiet, compliant, pretty girls who take care of others and don’t cause trouble.
“It’s rooted in societies’ stereotyped expectations of how women should be and the role they should play,” Dr. Albers explains. When people with Good Girl Syndrome deviate from typical “good girl” behavior, they feel guilty — or fear being judged.
Why are 'Good Girls' more vulnerable to reaching a state of burnout?
Burnout is a state of chronic exhaustion combined with poor functioning and emotional withdrawal.
In my practice I mainly see 3 (subconscious) beliefs dominating the seemingly popular, successful but completely burnt out women, which are:
Micro managing every detail and wanting to be in control at all times (especially of everyone's reactions)
Self-muting, lacking boundaries, pleasing, hiding vulnerabilities: avoiding confrontation
Feeling like never arriving where 'it' should be, it's never enough
You can imagine how exhausting and stressfull this is! I have heard terms to describe this chronic state as 'constantly swimming upstream with no end in sight' or 'running in a hamsterwheel with someone else turning the wheel'...
And yet...understanding all of this rationally is not enough for a real change.
Taking a few weeks off is also proven not to be a long-term solution, it can even play into an avoidant reaction that's part of the problem.
Believe me: I have checked all the boxes in the past when I faced burnout, and tried to use the above techniques: but a few weeks of down time is just a band-aid!
So what to do if you are a 'Good Girl' (near) that state of burnout?
The answer is in what you believe deep down, not rationally, but in your gut.
What do you not THINK but FEEL to be true about yourself, about your worth, and the relationship with the world you live in. The answers are already there, but our rational mind tends to push that 'feeling' part of us away, self-censoring them. The things we say to ourselves just once to easy our mind can be something similar as:
'I know it. I just should be happy with what I have and who I am. I should mark my boundaries and dare to be a little crazy'... But then, when the moment arrives, the truth is that we tend to fall back into the EMOTIONAL reaction again, stemming from our EMOTIONAL beliefs.
In the process of a healing journey with RTT hypnotherapy we strategically use hypnosis and self command intensively and repetitively in order to change the Good Girl belief system permamently. The beliefs that you have to behave a certain way and be approved by everyone to 'be good' needs to be extracted like a rotten tooth, and then changed into a constructive, loving and supportive one. Because no words will ever have as much power in your life, as the words you keep telling yourself.