What is the danger of the syndrome of the “good girl”
Man and woman
Why do we hear so often about cases of violence against women? Mainly because society still gazes blindly at male brutality and sometimes leaves it unpunished. The times when men considered wives and daughters their property and could treat them as they please have long passed, but we still have to deal with similar situations and seek fair punishment for criminals.
Undoubtedly, enlightening work yields considerable results, but statistics say that there are still an appallingly large number of women who experience psychological and physical violence.
- According to the American Medical Association, more than 4 million women suffer from abuse from partners and husbands every year.
- Every third woman in the world has been beaten, forced to have sex, or subjected to other bullying at least once in her life.
- Three quarters of women over 18 years of age (76%) who were raped or beaten said this was done by their former or current husband, cohabitant or boyfriend.
- According to a survey by the American National Institute of Mental Health, 84% of rape victims knew their tormentors, and 66% of them even had a romantic relationship with them.
- 29% of the total number of sexual crimes recorded in the United States was committed by husbands or lovers, and 7.7% of American women only admitted over time that they were raped by intimate partners.
The sad truth is that women cannot be good girls. this is dangerous
Cruelty often gets away with men: obviously, in order for this to change, it is still not done enough. But there is another reason women become victims of violence. They try too hard to be good. This makes them an easy target for abuse, moral abuse, assault and sexual abuse. Such women cannot stand up for themselves and break off unhealthy or dangerous relationships.
The behavior of a “good girl” increases the likelihood of abuse. However, it does not follow from this that a woman provokes a man to disgusting acts. This in no way means that she herself is to blame. It only means that a too correct and obedient woman gives a specific signal to men who are prone to manipulation and violence. It sounds something like this: “My need to be good (sweet, complaisant) is much stronger than my self-preservation instinct.”
The sad truth is that women cannot be good girls. This is dangerous. Yes, we are obliged to prosecute men who abuse power and demand punishment for them, but in the meantime women continue to suffer. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in the world (both men and women) who will not fail to play on someone else’s weakness. From their point of view, kindness and generosity are faults. Of course, not everyone comes across a partner who will psychologically mock her, insult or beat her, but each such woman is at risk.
Who are the “good girls”?
Such a woman is more concerned with how others feel about her than how she treats herself. The feelings of others excite her more than their own. She seeks to earn universal favor and does not reckon with her desires.
The dictionary gives many synonyms for the word “good”: caring, pleasant, sensitive, flexible, kind, sweet, sympathetic, kind, charming. They describe exactly the “good girl.” Many of them are struggling to be perceived that way. But in fact, completely different epithets correspond to this image. Such women:
- obedient. They do what they are told. They have learned: to do, as they say, is easier than to object.
- passive. They are afraid to fend for themselves, so they are easy to manipulate and push around. They prefer to keep quiet modestly out of fear of hurting someone’s feelings or out of fear to harm themselves.
- weak-willed. Confrontations so frighten them that today they say one thing, and tomorrow they say another. In an effort to please everyone, they agree with one person, turn around 180 degrees and immediately agree with his opponent.
- hypocritical. They are afraid to admit that they feel, so they pretend to be. They pretend that they like the one who is really unpleasant. They portray the desire to go somewhere when they really do not want to.
Blaming them for such behavior is just as unacceptable as blaming the victims of violence for provoking the attack themselves. They behave in this way for good reasons, including the cultural environment, parental attitudes and childhood experiences. In addition, the “good girl” syndrome has four main sources.
1. Biological predisposition
Women in general are more patient, compassionate, and prefer a thin world to a good quarrel. Harvard University professor Carol Gilligan came to the conclusion that the phenomenon, which everyone is accustomed to calling female humility, more often than not turns out to be a need to find a solution that would suit everyone: “This is an act of care, not restrained aggression.”
A University of California study found that women have a wider behavioral repertoire, unlike men who are limited to two choices: hit or run. The stress reaction is accompanied by the release of oxytocin, which keeps a woman from rash acts and makes you think about children, as well as seek support from other women.
2. Social stereotypes formed under the influence of the environment
Girls are supposed to be polite, decent, well-meaning and complaisant. That is, they are by default made “of sweets and cakes and sweets of all kinds.” Unfortunately, in many families and cultures, women are still required to please everyone, to be selfless, affectionate, modest, and generally live for the sake of others.
In addition, they admonish a teenage girl: in order to achieve this ideal, you need to stop being yourself. Soon she really stops talking and hides her feelings. She has a mission: to try to please others, especially representatives of the opposite sex.
3. Family settings that the girl learns
Relatives give us their views on life. In fact, we copy everything from a model of relationships to understanding the female role in the family. These beliefs make up our thinking, behavior, and worldview.
There are several typical family situations, under the influence of which a “good girl” grows up:
- cruel and tyrannical father or older brother,
- spineless mother
- education in the traditions of misogyny,
- parents who insist that she should be restrained, sympathetic and affectionate.
For example, the false rule that other people’s interests should be placed above personal interests is usually learned at home. It is formed by the example of a spineless or dependent mother who sacrifices herself for the sake of a family or husband and never takes into account her own needs. Looking at her, the girl quickly learns that a decent woman, wife and mother should forget about herself and live in the name of another’s good.
It happens differently: a woman receives the same attitude from selfish or narcissistic parents who live for their own pleasure, ignoring the needs of the child. A girl growing up under such conditions begins to think that her well-being depends on whether she can satisfy other people’s whims.
4. Personal experience based on their own early experiences
In childhood or adolescence, they often experience emotional, physical, or sexual abuse. Parental cruelty and neglect form a distorted worldview and unhealthy tendencies that force a woman to be a “good girl.” Ultimately, those who have developed such a syndrome:
- blame themselves for everything that goes wrong
- doubt themselves, their knowledge, feelings and impressions,
- blindly believe other people’s words, even if a person has failed them more than once,
- naively justify the true motives of someone’s actions,
- consider that they are obliged to satisfy other people’s desires, even to their own detriment.
But the main factor responsible for the development of the “good girl” syndrome is fear.
What are women afraid of?
There are many reasons for fears, but most often they are due to the fact that women are the weaker sex, in any case, physically. Most men are actually stronger, therefore it is not surprising that they manage to intimidate women. We may not be aware of this, but there is fear.
Another deterrent is the penis, a natural male weapon. Most men do not think about it, like most women. Nevertheless, an erect penis is used to penetrate, inflict pain and demonstrate power. Again, women are not aware that this archaic fear lives in them. Two purely physiological factors affect female thinking and emotions at a subconscious level. We “know” that our safety is in the hands of men. If we dare to argue with them, they will get angry and can punish us. Although most men do not use their physical superiority over women, the likelihood of a threat always remains.
The second reason for deep female fears lies in the historical dominance of men. Throughout the history of mankind, physical force has been used to subjugate the rebellious and demonstrate power. Men have always been stronger than most women and have, with rare exceptions, dominated society. Therefore, women have been attacked and threatened by men for centuries and, accordingly, have been forced to fear them.
If you are the same woman who is tired of being a “good girl”, look into the face of your fears
Until recently, domestic violence was not considered out of the ordinary. Remnants of the past are still preserved in some countries, for example, in India and partly in Africa, a woman is not considered a full-fledged man: her father and then her husband dispose of it.
Finally, the third reason for female and girlish fears is based on the fact that men continue to harm them by the right of the “master.” Despite the tremendous work to prevent domestic violence and sexual abuse of children, these two crimes are still prevalent throughout the world. As before, husbands scoff at their wives, and the number of sexual abuse of children is growing inexorably.
Shame and horror embrace a girl or woman who is abused, whether physical, emotional or sexual. Many of them have been haunted by fear of being in the same situation all their lives. Although he also acts on a subconscious level, it’s really easiest for a girl to restrain herself with threats to hurt.
In these fears lies the root of many, if not all, false beliefs from which the “good girl” syndrome develops. So, many women do not dare to break off a painful relationship, even if they know that they should. It is not that they are weak, stupid, or masochist who enjoy suffering. They are afraid of everything that was said above. But if a woman manages to understand what frightens her, the feeling of shame for her “bad” behavior gradually lets go.
If you are the same woman who is tired of being a “good girl”, look into the face of your fears. This will help you understand yourself, forgive yourself, find hope and want to change.
Stop being a “good girl”!
From early childhood, it was clear what was expected of you: you must follow the rules, not make noise and think primarily about others, and not about yourself. Although many men complain that they feel driven into a corner because of the need to be a “good guy,” the “good girl syndrome” affects women more. Psychotherapist Sharon Martin talks about how to free yourself from this role.
The circular principle of quarrel: why conflicts are repeated
All couples quarrel from time to time and then try to understand how the conflict began. Who was the first to blame the other, who had to defend. However, many do not realize that the quarrel most likely occurs on a circular basis – that is, in a circle. What does this mean, said psychologist Julia Tokarskaya.