On the surface, Pleasers look like the ultimate givers.
Highly attuned to others they read non –verbal cues, anticipate the needs of others and stay very busy trying to make everyone happy.
There is only one problem with their giving and that’s the pleaser’s motivation.
The impetus to their giving is to reduce their own anxiety and avoid conflict at all cost.
For this reason, the pleaser’s giving is a bit more self serving than it appears on the surface.
Many times pleasers have not really analyzed the reason for their giving.
Sometimes pleasers end up agreeing to a task or making a commitment to something they don’t even want to do because they have a difficult time saying “No.” In these situations Pleasers may have an undercurrent of resentment, but are not likely to show that resentment as it may cause conflict.
Avoiding conflict has a big price tag over the long haul.
Part of resolving anything is wading into the mess and addressing the problem.
Resentment builds over time when conflict is not resolved but rather brushed aside, avoided or appeased.
Middle aged pleasers are often really getting angry, often for the first time in their lives.
Learning to be angry, set boundaries, say “no” and move toward conflict instead of away from arguments are all growth goals from the pleaser. Giving for the pleaser becomes more balanced and genuine instead of self serving when these growth goals are addressed.
Pleasers have a very difficult time receiving much of anything. They are comfortable in the “need meeting” role and struggle to know what they want and need and rarely ask for anything except “peace”.
Why can’t everybody get along and be nice?
Self care is a problem for pleasers as it requires attention to one’s self, time set aside for rejuvenation and pleasers often see this as “selfish”. Since everyone else’s needs determine their schedules pleasers don’t have time for self care. Eventually resentment sets in and pleasers are often not aware how difficult it is for them to acknowledge and articulate their wants or needs.
One of the pleasers biggest growth goals is to learn to pay attention to their own needs, ask for help and be comfortable in the role of the receiver.
So here is a bit of homework for all you pleasers…..ask for something you want and need this week.
Make it a goal to clearly articulate and be specific about how someone else can give to you.
Give what is difficult for you to give.
Wade into conflict.
Be the one to bring up a problem.
Next week we will talk about vacillators.
Milan & Kay
Next Week: Vacillators as Givers and Receivers