They do everything you want, your way — and that's NOT a good thing. Here's why ...
"People pleasers" — We all know them, some of us are even married to them and you'd think that loving a person who lives to please you is like winning the relationship jackpot.
What possible downside could there be to someone who's hardwired to make you (and others) happy, right? Well ... brace yourself.
If you're married to a "pleaser," you're aware that they:
- Agree to go somewhere they don't want to go, without objecting
- Tell you what they think you want to hear, just to make you happy
- Do what they think you want, in order to avoid conflict or disappointing you
- Say everything is "fine," when perhaps their behavior or attitude clearly demonstrates otherwise
So what's the danger in that?
Because the "Pleaser" is actually lying. Most of us don't think of it this way (because we're too busy enjoying getting our way all the time), but the reality is: Not telling you the real truth about things — facts, as well as their feelings — is lying.
You operate under the impression that you're building a life together; one that you both desire. But with a "Pleaser," you end up in the driver's seat while they passively take the back seat — they're always "just along for the ride" of their own life.
In some cases, "Pleasers" end up married and even becoming parents before they're ready to take on these roles because it's what's "expected" or what they think they're "supposed" to do. Sadly, I'm not exaggerating, I see it all the time with clients.
And invariably, as their everyday betrayals compound resulting in a life they never truly chose, very often "People Pleasers" end up having affairs.
Sometimes they "just" cheat, and sometimes they abruptly leave altogether; their discontent finally gets the best of them.
Because that is what really occurs — while the "Pleaser" is busy making you happy, they're stockpiling resentments — all the clear "evidence" of how you get your way, dismiss them, ignore their wishes and of how they "always" give in. Meanwhile, you may have no idea any of this is happening.
They quietly go along for this ride — seat belt strapped on in the back seat, until one day they just open the door and jump. They bail on the life you've built together because they've had enough of feeling unheard, unacknowledged and unappreciated.
Rather than express their feelings of dissatisfaction to you — because that would mean upsetting you or having conflict — or understanding their own role in how this imbalance came about, they just slide into the arms of another who listens, cares and is curious about getting to know them.
Like a drop of water landing on a dried out sponge, that touch of attention feels irresistible and intoxicating. Almost every "Pleaser" who cheats says the affair began "innocently."
So what's the solution?
Over time in a relationship, the "Pleaser" disappears. His or her thoughts, wishes, needs, desires or opinions fade from view and they inevitably become eclipsed by their partner.
When you've built a life for two upon a shaky foundation of polite lies and the happiness of one, it's only a matter of time before that relationship crumbles.
While there is no failsafe measure to protect against betrayal, when both partners show up every day — sharing the truth of who they really are — the risk is significantly minimized.
So the next time your partner easily yields (once again) and gives you your way, understand that is no relationship "victory." Instead, acknowledge and start responding to each other's separate and distinct needs.
Affirmation of both partners within the relationship keeps it fulfilling and partners are less likely to seek satisfaction elsewhere.