Savior Complex: Definition and Common Examples - Deepstash

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The savior complex

The savior complex

It is defined by the constant need to try and save people by solving their problems. You have this syndrome, if:

  • you feel attracted by vulnerable individuals
  • you try to change the others, as you believe that you know what is better for them
  • you always feel the need to provide a solution
  • you are under the impression that only you can help them.

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The "savior

Trying to save the others might prove an extremely exhausting goal for the savior. Among the negative effects that this savior syndrome can have:

  • having a burnout 
  • breaking the relationship with the person you are trying to save
  • once you realize you cannot actual save anybody else but you, a feeling of frustration might emerge.

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Fighting the savior syndrome

In order to overcome the savior complex:

  • practice active listening rather than active helping
  • talk to the person in need in order to find common ground rather than putting in place your own solution
  • remember that you are in control only of your own life
  • make sure your need to help the others doesn't come from an unsolved personal problem.

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Identifying your savior

If you believe that somebody is playing the savior role in your role, try helping them by following the below tips:

  • make sure they understand that their behaviour is welcomed, but not necessary
  • provide a positive example to your savior
  • advise them to reach out for professional help

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