Psychologist reveals the 8 ‘Good Girl’ archetypes from the caretaker to the obedient daughter – so, do you fit into any of them?
- Clinical psychologist Dr Lalitaa Suglani, Birmingham, discussed ‘Good Girl’ trope
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A psychologist has revealed the eight ‘Good Girl’ archetypes from the pleaser to the enabler in a post on Instagram.
Clinical psychologist Dr Lalitaa Suglani, who is based in Birmingham, took to social media to outline the concept of the ‘Good Girl’, as well as share the different tropes.
In her post, Dr Suglani, who has more than 130,000 followers, said that the ‘Good Girl’ syndrome can be applied to any gender.
The syndrome, which refers to how women are often socialised to help or benefit others, regularly to their own detriment, often stems from our childhood experiences.
In a caption accompanying her post, the psychologist wrote: ‘As children, we learned that in order to receive love and security, we had to constantly appease those around us.
Do you fit into any of the ‘Good Girl’ archetypes? Among the eight archetypes are the pleaser, the self-doubter and the conformist (stock image)
‘We moulded ourselves to fit the projections of our caregivers, prioritising their expectations over our own authentic selves.
‘This process effectively masked our true essence and led to a form of self-abandonment.’
The 8 ‘Good Girl’ archetypes
1. The Pleaser
2. The Perfectionist
3. The Over-Achiever
4. The Enabler
5. The Self-Doubter
6. The Caretaker
7. The Conformist
8. The Obedient Daughter
Source: Dr Lalitaa Suglani
According to Dr Suglani, many people then carry this programming into adulthood and throughout their lives.
This, she says, causes them to often wonder ‘why they aren’t appreciated or taken care of by others’.
In her Instagram post, the psychologist listed the 8 archetypes as well as giving a description of each one.
According to Dr Suglani, The Pleaser is ‘hyper-focused on gaining approval and avoiding conflict’.
She says they ‘often go to great lengths to keep others happy and may suppress their own desires and emotions’.
Meanwhile, The Perfectionist type ‘strives for flawlessness’, with a fear of mistakes or disappointing others possibly driving them.
Dr Suglani added that ‘their pursuit of perfection can lead to high levels of stress and anxiety’.
She says that The Over-Achiever is ‘driven by a strong desire to excel academically, professionally, or in other areas of life’.
According to Dr Suglani: ‘They may constantly seek validation through their achievements and may struggle with self-worth if they don’t meet their own high standards.’
The next archetype she listed is The Enabler, who she says ‘tends to support and accommodate the needs or behaviours of others, even when those behaviours are destructive or harmful’. In an attempt to maintain peace, this type may enable unhealthy habits or relationships.
The archetype of The Self-Doubter is described as being ‘plagued by self-doubt’ which means they ‘may second-guess their decisions and abilities’. In a bid to alleviate their doubts, they may constantly seek reassurance from others.
Meanwhile, The Caretaker ‘is often defined by their nurturing and caregiving nature’, writes the psychologist.
She adds: ‘They prioritise taking care of others’ needs and well-being, sometimes to the detriment of their own.’
Next, The Conformist seeks to f’it in and adhere to established norms and rules’, possibly even suppressing their individuality to ensure they avoid standing out or facing criticism.
Finally, she listed The Obedient Daughter, writing: ‘This character archetype is obedient and compliant, following societal or familial expectations without question. She may struggle to assert herself or make independent choices.’
According to Dr Suglani, it is possible to move away from the limitations of these archetypes.
She writes: ‘Recognising and comprehending these patterns is a crucial step toward healing and liberating ourselves from societal expectations.
‘By nurturing self-awareness, self-compassion, and establishing healthy boundaries, we can embark on a profound journey of self-discovery.
‘This journey allows us to reclaim our autonomy and prioritise our own well-being.’
The post struck a chord with many Instagram users, who took to the comments section to discuss which of the archetypes they felt they embodied – and to reveal how they felt stifled by these roles.
Many people commented on the post, about the tropes they felt represented them, and about how they felt stifled by these roles
One wrote: ‘So true! I’ve seen this ‘Good Girl’ syndrome affect people of all genders, and it’s heartbreaking how we often sacrifice our true selves for the sake of others’ approval.’
Another added: ‘Only good behavior and excellent grades, otherwise punishment…that is how is always was. And well..it was not for my own good, as it brought me nowhere. I just start waking up towards my childhood trauma. Thanks for sharing!’
And a third wrote: ‘But the moment you stop acting like the good girl, you are abandoned and have absolutely no family or friends left. Like me.’
Concluding her post on Good Girl syndrome, Dr Suglani left a positive message.
She noted: ‘It’s essential to remember that our worth is not determined by how much we please others, but by our ability to authentically express our true selves.’
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