The Good Girl Complex at the Root of Your Overworking

subconscious redesign Sep 30, 2021

Do you consider yourself the “Good Girl” or the “Cool Girl”?


Let’s look at how these narratives are playing into perfectionism, overworking, burnout, & hustle culture.


(Disclaimer: Now, you can identify as a man or NB and still experience these narratives but they are gendered in the way they have been instilled in us, which is why I am using these terms.)


First, let me be the first to say that both of these have played out in my life in various ways over the years, starting with the good girl complex.


This was the introduction to my cycle of neglecting myself and my body, and maybe you can relate.



The Good Girl: 


The “good girl” is always there for everyone else. She is determined to “get it right” always (hello perfectionism) and truly makes it mean something about her when she “fails”.


She feels like it’s all riding on her and she’s the only one who can really get the job done. She wants to make everyone else’s life easier - to prove herself or receive validation - and ends up neglecting herself in the process.


The Cool Girl: 


The “cool girl” complex is similar in the sense that once again, you are devaluing yourself and your own needs.


However, it plays out in a different way, where it has more to do with receiving rather than giving. The good girl wants to do it all to show she cares. The cool girl wants to show that she cares the least.


She wants to be characterized as low-maintenance even if that means she is incredibly unhappy, stressed, or burnout out, because showing that you need more than what you are given is weak.


Does the good girl or the cool girl resonate with you more?? Tell me in the comments!


Where these two narratives stem from: 


The “good girl” persona can show up for you if you experienced situations or trauma as a child where you suddenly had to take on more responsibility, received validation for doing (and doing things well), and/or keeping the peace by just putting her head down and doing the work.


Of course, if this is something you learned early on to receive praise or stay safe, then it will continue to be perpetuated in how you are working and resting today. Most likely, resting is really hard because you were never taught to be validated for doing "nothing". When it comes to work, you go above and beyond and do the most even if you are physically struggling just so that you can prove yourself again.


The "cool girl" persona stems from experiences or trauma where you were taught that needing things from other people was weak or even dangerous. Therefore, not caring or not showing you care is the safest way to protect yourself


The cool girl shows up for a lot of women especially in relationships, where they might be scared to ask for what they want or need out of fear of being too high-maintenance. You might be thinking, “I’m not scared to ask for what I want,” but trust me, this narrative is so deeply ingrained that it might be happening in the most subtle of ways. Here’s a really fantastic article if you are interested in reading more on this!


In work and rest, the cool girl takes on more and more without flinching and simply accepts that this is way things are.


It’s important to note that both of these personas tend to bottle things up because they are not taking care of themselves.


In my own personal experience, the narratives around taking care of everyone else to get that validation or not ruffle any feathers were the beginning of my fatigue cycle. And guess what the initial triggers were? Trauma and stress in my childhood. 


These personas might not seem “dangerous” but they can have massive effects on your ability to achieve what you want to achieve and to do it in a way that doesn’t include being in constant stress, hustling and potentially even burnout. 


If you’re ready to release the masculine narratives of work and create your Feminine Flow for working in alignment and with ease, click here to book a coaching consultation call so we can chat about what your next steps are!



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