Has anyone ever told you that you have a savior complex?
A savior complex is often seen in people who believe that they’re capable of single-handedly helping people around them. This is mostly relevant in romantic relationships. Sometimes, this behavior can be seen in family dynamics. But it’s never something good.
It’s a trauma response. These people grow up thinking that they need to be the solution to every problem and that they’re responsible for the way people around them feel or act.
One of the most common things that those with a savior complex do is tie their entire worth to how helpful they are to people around them. They exert so much energy in trying to save someone and show them that life could be beautiful, that they forget about their own wants and needs.
Are you one of these people? Has anyone ever told you that you’re forever trying to fix and save others? Especially your romantic partners?
You’re skeptical about it because you’re not able to see it. After all, you’re just acting like yourself, right?
However, the first step to recovery is to recognize the problem at hand. Don’t just believe that it will go away by itself.
1. You always want to find a solution to others’ problems
The first sign that you have a savior complex is obvious – you always want to find a solution. It doesn’t matter if people are asking for your opinion or not, you still go out of your way to provide them the answer.
You don’t get that some people just need to vent about their problems. More often than not, people don’t need you to give them advice, they just need to have someone who’ll listen to them.
That simply doesn’t sound like something that you can live with. You immediately have a whole lot of ideas on the tip of your tongue and you’ve made a plan! So why aren’t they thankful for it?
2. You’re attracted to people who show you their vulnerable side
When someone shows you their vulnerable and emotional side, you can feel every atom of your body react to them. You feel like you’re the only person they ever trusted enough to reveal these things to. It makes you feel special when someone opens up to you.
You get a clear image of their needs right away. You ask more questions to pull more out of them. Even if you don’t empathize with them, you still try your hardest to pretend that you care.
When they tell you that you have healing energy about yourself and that’s the reason they told you everything, it’s like you’re on top of the world. You don’t see that this could be nothing more than a manipulation tactic. You don’t sense that this person is just trying to get to you.
You’re blinded by the fact that they chose you of all people to tell their secrets to. If they have problems, you see the potential in helping them and fixing them.
3. You think you’re the only one who can help
When a person has a savior complex, they tend to trust themselves more than anyone else. It doesn’t even matter if someone else needs specialized help, you still believe that you’re able to help them no matter what.
This includes medical and mental health professions. You believe that people just need to tell you what’s going on and you’ll be able to help them through things.
You even find yourself advising against visiting someone else. For example, if your partner says that he’ll talk to his friends to ask for their opinion, you get offended. How could he do that when he has you?
That’s a clear sign that you want to save everyone, even though no one has asked you to do so.
4. You’re constantly plagued by a sense of failure
You think that someone else’s mental state or enjoyment in life completely depends on you. When you’re not able to keep everyone close to you happy and satisfied with their lives, you feel like you failed them somehow.
You can’t understand that someone else’s happiness isn’t your own responsibility.
It’s definitely a sign that you have a savior complex. Others wouldn’t bother so much. They wouldn’t think they need to keep everyone happy all the time, or that the tears of others are directly linked to their inability to make them smile.
You, on the other hand, feel like you’ve somehow betrayed them. That’s when you’ll feel like you’re not good enough for the people around you, because if you were, they wouldn’t be so depressed and anxious.
You genuinely do need to realize that others’ problems really are none of your business.
5. You focus so much on your partner, you forget to take care of yourself
It’s very hard for people who suffer from a savior complex to take care of themselves. This is most obvious when they’re in a relationship.
Every single need your partner has is met. You make sure that he’s always safe and happy, or else you’ll feel like you did something wrong.
If he’s in a relationship with you, you can’t fathom that he should have any bad days. That’s why you need to solve all his problems before you can focus on your own.
When you live this way, it drains you completely. You can’t even begin to solve your own problems because all of your focus is on him. You’ll get to the point where you’re not taking care of yourself at all.
6. You stay in bad relationships because you feel a sense of responsibility
How many relationships have you stayed in because you didn’t know how to leave? You didn’t want to abandon the person because you felt it your duty to heal their pain and sadness.
You also didn’t want to make your exes go through that entire experience alone.
More often than not, you were the one broken up with. And that’s when you blame yourself for everything and believe it must have been your fault somehow.
You’ll know that you have a savior complex when you look back at your past relationships (or your current one) and realize you never left when you saw the red flags. You’d always wait for your partner to make that decision.