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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5763
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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a female friend was telling me that i was suffering from the

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a female friend was telling me that i was suffering from the cinderella complex. i read about it and believe it to be about women feeling helpless and waiting for a man to take care of them like a prince would. she is very sucsefull and independent. i believe she has tried all her life not to be cinderella. is there a labeled complex for that? she thinks me and all men need to feel like powerful in a relationship or it will fall apart. meaning know one will want a girl like her.
What your friend feels is really not a disorder. It is most likely more of a reaction to a situation she was exposed to. She is compensating for either witnessing or being a victim of a situation that made her feel that being weak was something to fear and/or something that is wrong. What she is doing can be considering a coping mechanism.

It sounds like there might be two things going on with your friend. One, she may have grown up in an environment where the message was given to her that females that want to be taken care of are wrong or weak. This message can be powerful to a child that witnesses a mother or other female figure appear weak or taken advantage of, even abused. She also could have had an abusive father who made her feel fearful. A female child would be affected by the negative effects of acting needy or being victimized by an abusive man and would do anything to avoid appearing needy so she is not hurt. In an effort to appear independent and therefore not needy, she may overcompensate and avoiding any sign that she needs others at all, even when it would be appropriate to do so, creating a lack of balance in her life.

Another possibility is that your friend may see the consequences in society of women who appear needy and that let men run their lives. Women who are domestically abused for example appear weak. Your friend may have seen much of this around her and decided to act in the opposite manner to avoid becoming a "victim" of men in society.

Your friend may also see in you the very traits she tries to avoid in herself. Although couples can be attracted to each other because they have many similarities, they also can be attracted to each other because of traits they see in the other person that are undeveloped in their own self. She may see that you are willing to "need" others, which is very healthy, but may trigger fear in her so she claims that you have a "Cinderella complex" which she fears having herself. But it can also trigger a need to develop that side of herself as well because maintaining her "strong" side takes a lot of energy for one, and does not met all of her needs for emotional closeness or letting others help her.

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