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King Baby

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Are you a “King Baby”?

We may recognize our powerlessness in Step One but simply refuse to accept it.  Our need for control prevents us from committing to the act of surrender, as ego interferes and immaturity demands that control be retained in our hands.

The King Baby mentality insists that we direct our lives and control our wills – that we are the only ones who know what's best for us.


What is a King Baby?

As babies all our needs are met – we are the centre of the universe and we are cared for just because we exist.  Whenever we shout, our demands are met: our wishes are all-important.

As we grow up, we should begin to develop more mature and appropriate coping skills.

Addicts, however, often don’t develop these skills and King Baby remains, always trying to recapture the total contentment of every need and want being met.


  • Become angry at/afraid of authority – attempt to work them against each other to get own way;
  • Approval-seeking (lose identity in process);
  • Good first impression, poor follow-through;
  • Difficulty accepting criticism: become threatened and angry;
  • Extremist behaviour;
  • Self-rejecting and self-alienating;
  • Rarely satisfied;
  • Immobilised by anger/frustration;
  • Often lonely (even when surrounded by people);
  • Chronic complaining;
  • Blame others;
  • Feel unappreciated and ‘don’t fit in’;
  • Perceive everyone else as selfish;
  • Live in the past and fearful of future
  • Fear of failure/rejection: won’t try new things;
  • Obsessed with materialism;


It’s a self-defeating behaviour

The King Baby attitude is ultimately self-defeating and stems from constant negativity toward ourselves:

  • Comparing ourselves to others
  • Feeling worthless
  • Negative reinforcement
  • Self-pity & victim mentality

This results in an obsession with external factors:

  • Materialism
  • Vanity
  • Entitled
  • Attention-seeking

However, no amount of external affirmation (love, status, money) will ever be enough.  What we seek will never be found as the problem lies within us.  Only once we discover and accept who we are and develop our true identities, can we begin to let go of the King Baby attitude.


King Baby in recovery

  • Getting into recovery, we are aware of many of our defects and threats to our recoveries.
  • King Baby thrives on self-will: ‘I am right; you are wrong’.
  • King Baby acts as its own higher power, not wanting to relinquish control, believing that it is the only person capable of making the right decisions.
  • This must be challenged as it will sabotage your recovery process.


How to Change

  • Self- Confrontation
  • Changing perspective
  • Facing fact and reality
  • Developing a lifestyle of amends and humility
  • Giving of ourselves for the sake of others (Step 12)

By Craig Bilton

Adult Centre Manager

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