Avoider & Pleaser – Similarities & Differences

Special announcement!

The How We Love workbook is once again available as a separate book. If you prefer to have a workbook that has room to write your answers and thoughts as you go, this may be for you. The workbook is also still available in the back of the paperback version of How We Love.

You can get the workbook at the following sites:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=how+we+love+workbook

Also, we will be in Everett, WA on 5/17-5/18-2-13

On Friday night we will present a training for leaders and counselors who are familiar with the How We Love material and are interested in learning more about leading a How We Love group. The training will be from 6-9pm at New Life Foursquare church.

On Saturday, May 18 we will present a How We Love workshop from 9-4 at New Life Foursquare church. For more details and registration information, please visit: www.newlifecenter.org/howwelove or check under our “Events” tab.

Similarities and Differences between the Avoider and Pleaser

Are you an Avoider or Pleaser?
What are the similarities between the avoider and the pleaser? Neither style likes to deal with negative messy emotions. Pleasers don’t like conflict so they avoid difficult feelings. Avoiders have no training from childhood in how to enter into emotions and deal with feelings. To the avoider, feelings are a foreign language they don’t speak. If an avoider and pleaser marry they will likely report that they rarely fight. This is because each avoids problems as problems involve difficult emotions. Pleasers and avoiders both minimize bad news as they don’t have the skills to deal with challenging emotions.
How are these two styles different? Pleasers are more empathetic than avoiders and will try and indirectly “fix” and make things better. They want to alleviate suffering and make it go away by excusing, distracting, minimizing, and looking at the “bright side.” To the pleaser love equals rescuing others from having to experience difficult emotions or consequences. This style is the classic co-dependent who needs to be needed. Pleasers view consequences as unpleasant and will have difficultly letting a family member experience the negative consequences of their actions and choices. Rather than letting others learn from mistakes, pleasers rescue people from consequences.
Unlike pleasers, avoiders lack empathy and think every mistake should have a consequence because they put such high value on responsibility. While pleasers can be too soft, avoiders can be too harsh. Having received little grace and tenderness as kids, these are foreign concepts to avoiders. Avoiders show love by being responsible and doing tasks. While pleasers “fix” difficult emotions, avoiders dismiss difficult emotions by saying things like, “Settle down,” “Stop crying, it won’t change anything,” “Forget it and move forward.”
Both of these styles need to learn to identify feelings and explain their internal experiences. Pleasers need to develop boundaries and the emotion of anger. Avoiders need to learn to take their stress to people and learn to receive empathy so they can understand the value of comfort and the relief it can bring. The avoider has difficulty understanding or valuing comfort until they allow themselves to need.
Happy Mother’s Day