White Knight Syndrome indicates those people who feel an almost compulsive need to save others, help them and solve their problems. This attitude can be traced back to abandonment, trauma, and unrequited effects. To this, we owe the intense ability to get in tune with the pain of others. And this even if the help they offer is not always required.
Most of us know at least one person who tries to help others, someone who instead of the heart seems to have a radar with which to detect the needs of others. Sometimes, as we well know, that help can lead to intrusiveness. It can even make you feel uncomfortable or deny you the opportunity to be responsible and solver of your problems.
Other times, however, we are grateful to that sincere and always devoted altruism. However, we do not see the background of these dynamics, of this need. White Knight Syndrome describes part of the population made up of invisible individuals, profiles that hide emotional wounds and emotional knots that have never really been unraveled.
Characteristics of white knight syndrome
In fairy tales, the rider on the white horse is the one who saves the girl in danger. In real life, this folklore figure can be a man or a woman and his highest aspiration is to engage in love relationships with wounded or vulnerable people. This bond will allow him to feel useful, to heal the other, to reaffirm himself, and make his partner stronger.
But wounded people rarely manage to heal, often their wound grows, and they become the mirror on whichever greater trauma and suffering are reflected. They are frustrating attempts at redemption, which cause inevitable unhappiness. Here is what lies behind White Knight Syndrome and the following explains this behavior.
White Knight Syndrome triggering causes
A past made up of abuse, authoritarian parents, or the lack of a healthy and loving bond during childhood, are the factors that most often give rise to this syndrome. Having lived through different experiences of abandonment both at the family level and on the part of the partner is usually a trigger.
Characteristics of the white knight
The rider is moved by the fear of feeling that emotional distance again, of being hurt, betrayed, and abandoned. These are particularly fragile people, with a high tendency to frustration, to feel offended or disappointed by often insignificant actions. They manifest low self-esteem and great insecurity.
They have little empathy, they cannot distinguish the emotional reality of others from their own, and here they are often subject to emotional contagions. They do not know how to set limits and therefore identify themselves in those who suffer, in those who are worried or frightened, but often with their attitude they intensify the suffering of others.
They tend to build highly dependent love relationships. They want to be everything for the other person. They try to be that fundamental support, that source of daily nourishment, and that other indispensable half. Such a situation ends up resulting in unhappiness and a high emotional cost for both parties.
There is only one way to heal from White Knight Syndrome, by saving yourself first. Facing the most difficult journey of all, the one in which you have to face your own inner world, your own demons to understand and defeat them so as to illuminate the darkest corners.
Finally, he will have to make the bravest gesture of all for a white knight, ask for help from others, turn to an experienced professional.
This syndrome was described in 2015 by the psychologists and professors of the University of Berkeley Mary C. Lamia and Marilyn J. Krieger.