King Baby Syndrome


‘King Baby’ is a type of personality commonly associated with addicts. The King Baby mentality is driven by three motives – power, attention and pleasure. By being overly friendly and charming, we try to win friends. We may be clinging. We often try to control or dominate. Almost everything we do has strings attached and creates indebtedness to us. We fear rejection of our real selves, so we present a false, invented person to the world.  This protects us from being hurt. Each personality or game we invent is based on a false promise or myth.

Popular Me

Myth: If I am charming, attractive, magnetic, and the life of the party, you will want to be my friend.

Truth: By being all things to all people, we lose our true selves in the process.

The end of the game comes when others realize there is nothing behind the phony smiles.

Tyrant / Dictator

Myth: If you obey me and place yourself in my complete control, I will protect you from chaos.

Truth: If we believe we are born leaders capable of handling any crisis, we expect others to trustingly place themselves in our hands. Masters of sarcasm, we keep our subjects in place with cruel comments. The end of the game is when the “subjects” refuse to obey.

The Love Conqueror

Myth: I am irresistible to the opposite sex. Part of my attractiveness is my lack of respect for them. I expect love, attention, wealth, and power for the privilege of my company.

Truth: We are in deadly competition for center stage and are incapable of commitment to a relationship. The end of the game is when others recognize the shallowness of the conqueror.

Beautiful Me

Myth: Youthfulness, a beautiful body, and an attractive face are the essential qualities for me to be liked and accepted.

Truth: We have tried to get by on looks alone. The end of the game is when others tire of the child who requires continuous reassurance of his or her attractiveness.

The Entertainer

Myth: If I can entertain you with my music, my wit, or any other talent, you will worship and adore me.

Truth: We experience acceptance only if others rave about our talents and seek our company in order to be entertained. The game is up when others tire of always having to be a fan or realize we have no warm, human qualities to contribute to a relationship.

The Perfectionist

Myth: I am not worthwhile unless I succeed at being the best in what I do.

Truth: No one is always the best or the most successful, but we try to gain self-worth by specializing in doing certain things well. The end of the game comes either when we realize the futility of such high expectations or when others tire of our competitiveness.


Myth: If I am nice and sweet to everyone, they will like me.

Truth: Our fear of rejection causes us to constantly seek approval from everyone. The end of the game is when we realize we can’t make everyone happy or when others tire of our wishy-washy attitudes.

The Rebel

Myth: I must get my way or else. Rules are for other people. If you tell me not to do something, you are waving a red flag in my face and challenging me to do it.

Truth: We rebels usually get the consequences or punishment we deserve or ask for. The end of the game is when we weary of paying the price the outlaw must pay and abandon this behavior.

The Martyr

Myth: I deserve to suffer. I don’t count. Nobody understands. Poor me. I see your pity as an expression of love.

Truth: We confuse love with pity and believe sacrificing ourselves will protect us from abandonment. The end of the game is when we get tired of suffering and realize we deserve better.

The Dropout

Myth: If you won’t play the game my way, I won’t play the game at all.

Truth: Paralyzed by fear of failure and rejection, we attempt nothing and feel the world owes us. We are so discouraged and pessimistic, we give up before we even start. The end of the game comes when others get tired of providing a free ride.


Every one of these games began with some promise of success but slipped into frustration and failure. A King Baby’s life becomes a series of extreme highs and lows. New begin-nings are always followed by painful endings. These Babies become addicted to the thrill of success and, more importantly, to the pain of failure.

King Babies can’t stand the boredom of things going too well and will rock the boat or create a crisis. A life of turmoil clouds the issues their responsibility for failures. The chaos even keeps them from seeing their constantly lessened self-esteem. The fact that it is not fun anymore is lost in the total absence of any feelings. It’s predictable that the King Baby personality will be addicted to something. It is only a matter of time.


Addicted to a life of excess and driven by feelings of low self-worth, an immature person’s life is frustrating and unrewarding, but not necessarily fatal. But something happens to the chemically dependent person when the King Baby lifestyle and low self-worth are combined with the experience of getting high. This “something” can be a fatal combination.


That warm, comfortable, confident feeling of infancy – something we have been looking for all our lives – is captured again. The comforting, fear-dispelling effects of a chemical are exactly what our King Baby egos have been searching for. As the love affair with getting high takes over, all aspects of our lives progressively slip into more excessive, immature behavior.