Love Styles – Are You a Pleaser?

As a Burbank Marriage Counselor, Jousline Savra helps couples based on How We Love. Are you that good girl or that great guy in the relationship who is giving a lot, but is feeling anxious a lot. Are you worried about your image or worried what others think of you? This blog is for you.

In this relationship blog, you will learn about the Pleaser love style. Do you remember growing up experiencing a lot of anxiety; feelings nervous, anxious, or on edge for whatever reason? Did you grow up with an overprotective parent who worried a lot and gave you messages that you always have to be careful in what you did? Did you get messages from your parent; stay close to me, that the world is a scary place but you will be okay if you only stay close to me? Did your family face challenges with one of the family members which led to conflicts and tension, and as you grew up, constantly feeling anxious and fearful of their arguments etc? Sometimes an angry or a critical parent can also give a similar message when you had to be a good boy or a good girl. Read on to find out more!

Continuing our series on the 6 types of love styles, according to Milan and Kay Yerkovich this week’s post will focus on another of the love styles we can develop. The Pleaser love style is one of the five unhealthy love styles that we develop due to the atmosphere in which we are raised as children. If you’d like to see what love style you have developed, you can find the Love Style Quiz on the Yerkovich’s site, How We Love.

Pleaser Love Style Defined

The Pleaser love style is characterized by the following traits and personality characteristics:

  • You do everything you can to “be good” and “do good” to please others.
  • You were the “good kid” growing up.
  • You often deny yourself, or your thoughts and opinions, for the sake of putting others first.
  • You do everything you can to avoid conflict.
  • You sometimes lie or hide things in order to “keep the peace.”
  • You continually monitor the moods and emotions of those around you, so you can keep everyone as happy and conflict-free as possible.
  • You sometimes feel anxious and uncomfortable when others try to serve you or do things to please you.
  • You either have difficulty making decisions, or frequently defer to the decisions others make.
  • You have difficulty saying “No” and often overcommit or overtax yourself and your resources.
  • You are uncomfortable setting boundaries, as you fear offending someone with them.
  • You feel rejected if others feel the need for some space or time alone.

As we said last week, you can actually have or develop more than one love style. So, if you recognize yourself or common behaviors in this definition, you may only have some of the Pleaser love style characteristics. That’s alright. We all can display small amounts of all six love styles. However, if you find yourself agreeing with the majority of these definitions, then it’s probably safe to say that you are a Pleaser, and have developed a dominant Pleaser love style. That does not mean that you have to stay a Pleaser forever. It just means that now you know where you can begin to change from an unhealthy Pleaser love style, to a healthy Secure love style.

The Pleaser Love Style Background
The Pleaser love style develops, as do all love styles, in our childhood. Attachment theory teaches us that the atmosphere of our childhood home affects the way we develop and function in relationships as adults. The Pleaser love style comes from a home that has at least one parent with one or more of the following characteristics: overly protective, overly critical, easily angered. Because of the nature of the parent, the child learns to please the parent at all costs. It’s better for everyone when the parent is happy and content. The old adage “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” truly, and sadly, applies in these homes.

The Pleaser Love Style and Therapy
You CAN break free of the Pleaser love style with the help of a therapist. If you come to me for therapy for overcoming your Pleaser love style, moving to acquiring a Secure love style, some of the things we will work on include:

  • Learning to say “No” without guilt or anxiety
  • Learning to care for yourself and put your needs before those of others
  • Learning to recognize when your “helping” or “doing” is actually helpful, and when it is either unnecessary or even harmful
  • Learning to express your thoughts, needs, and opinions without anxiety, fear of rejection, or stress

You don’t have to go through life living in someone else’s shadow, or constantly denying your own desires. You can learn to overcome your need to please all the time, at all costs. Contact Jousline Savra today if you’d like to start on your journey toward healthy, happy relationships. For in-depth therapeutic work on your lovestyle, you can schedule an appointment by clicking the upper button on the right side of this page,