Core Pattern: Pleaser + Pleaser

Core Patterns tend to manifest as predictable, cyclical behavior patterns. Below is the pattern common to relationships where both partners have the Pleaser love style.

1

Typical Behavior:

Pleasers try to avoid relationship anxiety by…

  • Being nice so others will stay close.
  • Avoiding conflict.
  • Minimizing or downplaying problems.
  • Being overly optimistic.
  • Being overly protective.
  • Staying hyper-vigilant about moods of others.
  • Feeling a need to “fix” the negative emotions of others.

2

Denial

We don’t have any problems…right? Right!”
Both partners will…

  • Collude to ignore the realities of pain, problems, and difficult emotions.
  • Be dishonest to avoid conflict
  • Reassure rather than listen!

3

Rejection Avoidance

Partners will try to avoid rejection by…

  • Giving and “performing” to what they believe are other’s expectations (and may therefore suffer from performance anxiety)
  • “Rescuing” others, preventing others from building tolerance for frustration
  • Saying “Yes” to too much, overcommitting themselves. Pleasers can’t say “no” or set boundaries

4

Tension Builds

The system breaks down when stress or difficulties can no longer be ignored or minimized. One spouse may start to feel, confront, or try facing reality while the other resists (trying to stay in the Pleaser role).

5

Crisis

The imbalance caused by the tension results in a crisis/conflict. Generally, the Pleaser couple will try to resolve this be returning to Pleaser natures at Step 1.

Repeat

Eventually, this cycle starts all over again or destroys the relationship.