I don’t know about y’all but I feel overwhelmingly bombarded with things that demand my attention on the daily and if there’s one thing I learned to always keep in check when my life seems to kick into hyper speed; it’s to always make sure that at no point am I compromising my peace. But what does that exactly mean? To me, it means removing draining obligations and people from my life – I constantly remind myself that not everyone or everything demands my energy – but this is easier said than done. I seem to always find a way to over-commit or maintain energy sucking relationships because I “feel bad” about canceling or don’t want to “hurt someone’s feelings”. And I know I’m not alone in my feelings here. But in doing this, we actively chose to sacrifice our emotional harmony to avoid the emotional distress that comes with choosing ourselves. But, what if some of us self-sabotage our peace to feed a personality trait – nurturer – or a deeper need/insecurities…I’m talking about Broken Bird Syndrome.
If you do a quick Google search, Broken Bird Syndrome has a few definitions, which I’ve seen exhibited by both men and women. To summarize, Broken/Wounded Bird Syndrome is when an individual surrounds themselves with people with deeper issues or who are emotionally unstable in order to fulfill a desire to be needed which obviously creates an extremely dependent relationship. The nurturer, to a certain degree, or “white knight” feels it is their responsibility to rescue the damsel in distress. Now, I’m no psychologist but my first thought when really digging into this was, “What makes the superhero if you will think someone else needs saving?” Which immediately had me flashback to my own relationships and the feelings of the familiar drama associated with individuals who’ve had this complex. My second thought was that some point, I think we all exhibit Broken Bird Syndrome. Someone hurt us deeply or one of our unmet childhood needs manifests into dysfunctional behavior in our relationships…which led me to ask myself, “Sh*t, do I attract broken birds?!”
So. Let me first state my case. I feel as though I am a nurturer by nature. I believe one of my superpowers is giving to others which is why I think I attract people who may be at a point in their life where they need to lean on someone. Now, due to my fascination with the human experience and being intrigued by people and their story, this is where I think I may exhibit Broken Bird Syndrome tendencies. It is not so much that I am actively looking for people who “need me” to be “saved” from themselves, more so, I genuinely enjoy helping people work through their problems from a rational lens – or what I perceive as rational, using my past mistakes as learning opportunities for the future. This, I think, is where I tend to attract people needing to unload the emotional baggage that feels too big to unpack alone. And I do it to myself. I am very open about the tough life moments I’ve worked through – obviously – and feel my life experience is very relatable. In sharing my story, I hope to influence others to search within for their truth but often find myself playing therapist and it can be exhausting.
What it boils down to is that there is a fine line between helping those you love and trying to fix or rescue them. It’s not your job to fix anyone. You CANNOT “FIX” SOMEONE. To think you can is a complete rejection of the true identity of the person and disbelief in authentic growth. Instead, I think it’s important to establish a healthy support system within your relationships – romantic, platonic or friends.
Release the Broken Birds.