Mini-Series: Part 3 - The Hero

Mini-Series: Part 3 - The Hero

Ah, "the Hero". When we speak of archetypes, similar indeed to the savior complex. 

As a point of summary, we have discussed Martyrs and Victims already. The point in looking at archetypes is looking at the unhealthy version of legitimate roles. Discussing archetypes is not to talk about or take away from those times when people truly are victims, martyrs and heroes. This is about the versions of those situations where we are trying to meet legitimate needs for love and belonging in unhealthy ways. They are attempts coming out of insecurity, dysfunctional habits and truly, desires to please and be loved. 

The Victim experiences the world as against him or her and themselves as powerless to create their world.

The Martyr focuses on giving to others at their own expense and builds resentment for not being appreciated for their sacrifice.

The Hero is constantly on a mission to rescue, save, fix, advise, pay for, swoop in and save. This sounds so dramatic but truly happens in smaller ways all the time.

I can't write this without telling my RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) hero story. 

As a young lady growing up in Canada I was not alone in having the casual fantasy of being rescued by a handsome, strong Mountie. (You read a few of the right novels ...) 

So, many years ago I worked for a couple of years in fraud prevention and had the opportunity to go to my provincial headquarters and meet with a big strong RCMP officer. He gallantly offered to carry my briefcase and I thought to myself: "Heck, this is as good as it's going to get for this fantasy, so, yes, of course!!!" I thoroughly enjoyed the moment. The absolute best part, and what makes this memorable for me is that my "hero" proceeded to drop my hard briefcase minutes later, spewing the contents all over the hallway. 

It was classic. What we offer others when we embrace a hero complex is not real. It's not realistic and it's fragile!

Consider the person who is compelled to tell stories all the time that they are featured in as the one who did great things. How about the person who gets stuff done and swoops in when things are falling apart and gets things fixed. All the patterns that go with these archetypes, including the hero have healthy versions and live on a continuum. Again, we can all move into the unhealthy version so easily.

Love this Harry Potter quote, it really gets at the core of the hero complex:

"This isn't a criticism, Harry! But you do... sort of... I mean — don't you think you've got a bit of a — saving people thing?"

Hermione, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

What does being the hero do for us?

  • Obviously, we get kudos for fixing, saving, paying, etc. 
  • We build bonds and connection, form friendships and get "liked"
  • We can feel good about ourselves because of all the nice things we do
  • Sometimes we can even work our way to a promotion with this pattern

What does it cost us?

  • We live not knowing if people love us for what we do for them or for who we are at our core
  • As a pattern we get locked in to this role and it's hard to let others help us or give to us
  • When practiced often we become isolated - not because we have no friends but because we don't know who our real friends are or because we have not allowed ourselves those friendships at all
  • It puts enormous pressure on us to stay in this role

So, how do we move away from hero?

  • Be slower to jump in - other people are capable too and letting others carry their weight is likely a better gift to give them in the long run!
  • Practice actually needing help and support and voice specific things to people you trust to flesh out your relationship in to a healthier, balanced, two-way friendship
  • Find ways to be more of a team player - ask questions instead of providing solutions
  • Start practicing invisible heroism where you do great things but no one knows

Thanks for joining me in this mini-series!

Until Next Week,


(note: If you are having problems viewing some of our images, click "view this email in your browser", at the top right of this email)

14 comments (Add your own)

1. wrote:

Wed, March 14, 2018 @ 6:11 AM

2. wrote:
Hurrah, that's what I was exploring for, what a data!
present here at this website, thanks admin of this website.

Mon, May 6, 2019 @ 3:41 AM

3. wrote:
This post will help the internet users for building up
new blog or even a weblog from start to end.

Fri, May 10, 2019 @ 9:47 AM

4. wrote:
Good day! This is my first visit to your blog!
We are a group of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche.
Your blog provided us valuable information to work on. You have done a wonderful

Sat, June 1, 2019 @ 7:21 AM

5. wrote:
My brother recommended I may like this blog. He used to be entirely right.
This submit truly made my day. You cann't consider just how a lot time I had spent for this info!


Mon, June 3, 2019 @ 2:36 PM

6. wrote:
Your means of describing all in this post is truly fastidious, every
one be able to simply understand it, Thanks a lot.

Tue, June 4, 2019 @ 3:01 PM

7. wrote:
bookmarked!!, I like your web site!

Fri, June 7, 2019 @ 5:13 AM

8. wrote:
It's awesome to pay a quick visit this website and reading the views of all mates on the topic of
this article, while I am also eager of getting knowledge.

Fri, June 21, 2019 @ 11:52 PM

9. wrote:
It is appropriate time to make some plans for the long
run and it is time to be happy. I have learn this submit and if
I may I desire to recommend you few interesting things or advice.
Maybe you could write subsequent articles regarding this article.

I desire to read more things about it!

Wed, July 10, 2019 @ 8:47 PM

10. wrote:
Thanks for sharing your thoughts about how to get help in windows 10.

Wed, July 17, 2019 @ 2:44 AM

11. wrote:
I am not sure where you're getting your info,
but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.
Thanks for excellent info I was looking for this information for my mission.

Thu, July 25, 2019 @ 6:14 AM

12. wrote:
I'll immediately take hold of your rss feed as I can't find your email subscription link or e-newsletter
service. Do you have any? Please permit me know so that I may just subscribe.


Tue, September 3, 2019 @ 10:19 PM

13. wrote:
fantastic issues altogether, you simply gained a brand new reader.
What might you suggest about your submit that you just made some days ago?
Any sure?

Wed, October 9, 2019 @ 1:57 AM

14. wrote:
Hi colleagues, how is all, and what you wish for to say on the topic of this paragraph,
in my view its truly amazing for me.

Fri, October 11, 2019 @ 3:03 AM

Add a New Comment


Comment Guidelines: No HTML is allowed. Off-topic or inappropriate comments will be edited or deleted. Thanks.

Events Calendar