The Pleaser often had a fearful parent or an angry critical parent. As children, pleasers try hard to “be good” to avoid criticism or to keep the fearful parent from getting anxious and worried. In some cases, pleasers are “good kids” to compensate for a difficult, rebellious or handicapped sibling. These kids don’t get comfort; rather, they end up giving comfort to the parent by appeasing the angry parent, or calming the fears of the worrying parent. Sometimes pleasers are required to take too much responsibility as kids and become a parent to siblings or even end up
taking the role of parenting childlike parents.

As adults, pleasers continue to monitor the moods of others and try hard to keep everyone happy. Over time they become resentful, because they give but don’t really know how to receive. The spouses of pleasers say, “My mate is too clingy and always wants me to be in a good mood. They are too nice, overcommitted and won’t stand up for themselves.”

The Pleaser

The Pleaser

From Parents

Fear-based nurturing. Parent is overprotective to relieve their own anxiety or parent is angry and critical. Child manages parental anger or anxiety by being good, requiring little. Parent may require the child to take care of them or function as a surrogate spouse. 

Pleaser Adult Intimacy

Wants connection to relieve anxiety about disapproval or rejection. May be fearful when alone. Gives and appeases to maintain connection and avoid rejection. Eventually burns out and resentment builds over time. Emotional caretaker of others. 


“If I give enough, I’ll be worth keeping around.” Looks for opportunities to give and expects little in return. Reads the moods of others to figure out what they want. “If I’m nice, others won’t be angry or critical.” 


To experience safety, harmony. Needs to be needed. ”If others are happy, I can relax. If I keep others close and happy, I won’t be abandoned.” 

Prominent Feeling

Anxious if apart or if others are critical, angry, or rejecting. Anger is undeveloped because it might create separation from others. Worries others are mad at them. 


When others detach, want space, or give silent treatment, anxiety is triggered. Interprets distance as a sign that others are angry or rejecting and their efforts of giving or appeasing are not sufficient or successful. 

Response to Stress

Freezes and loses words when others are angry. Then pursues, tries harder and gives more to calm their own anxiety, and win others approval once again.

The Pleaser – Awareness and Reflection Skills

What is Self-Awareness?

The ability to internally reflect, understand and evaluate inner responses and outward behaviors. Can communicate this awareness to others.

Pleaser’s Self Awareness
Others-focused since childhood, thus unaware of their own feelings and needs. Poor receiver. Often unaware of their own anxiety that drives their “fixing” behavior.

What is Others-Awareness?

The ability to reflect on, ask about and describe internal feelings, thoughts, and reactions of others. Able to put self in another’s shoes and see from their perspective.

Pleaser’s Others-Awareness
Indirect: attempts to read the thoughts, feelings, and non-verbal communication of others to determine if they are happy or unhappy. Asks indirect questions to “take emotional temperature.”

Comfort Level in Dealing with Negative/ Painful Emotions

The ability to control reactivity when recognizing and responding to negative emotions in self and others.

How Pleaser Deals with Negative Emotions
Gives and appeases to avoid dealing with negative emotions. Is “nice” to appease negative emotions in others and distract from negative emotions in self.

Still Have Some Questions?

Most people have similar questions about the results of their quiz. Here are some questions we are asked most often about love styles and quiz results.