The Placater Or People Pleaser
I know this role really well. It’s one of the roles I played. So I really did not have to google this one. According to Claudia Black, Phd, the placater typically demonstrates the following strengths:
The placater is caring, compassionate, empathic, good listener, sensitve to others, giving, and has a nice smile.
1. Caring, compassionate: I was the designated family care giver, having taken care of my mother during her final illness and having been a temporary caregiver for an aunt and the power of attorney for another. Above and beyond that, I also became the caretaker for everyone’s feelings except my own. As an adult, the ability to analyze everyone’s behavior and feelings rose almost to an art form. I am the placater.
2, Empathic: The Placater becomes the respository of everyone’s hurt feelings. In life, this can be beneficial. I wonder how many mental health professionals come from this type of background.
3. Good listener: I was once in a support group at the church I attended at the time. During the last meeting, we all talked about our strengths. Mine was the role of listener. How I hated that! Why couldn’t I leave that role just once! I don’t like being the placate.
4. Sensitive to others: Being sensitive to others can be a mixed bag. Sometimes losing ourselves in sensitivity to others can involve losing touch with one’s feelings, goals, and life desires.
5. Giving: Church committees and volunteer services probably abound with placaters whose greatest desire is to serve.
6. Has a nice smile: Since our primary goal in life is to be nice, that nice smile can become almost a permanent fixture.
Claudia Black defines the placater deficits as:
1. Inability to receive: Inability to receive, denies personal needs, high tolerance for inappropriate behavior, strong fear of anger or conflict, false guilt, anxious.
We become so accustomed to giving that we have difficulty being on the receiving end. The placater will tolerate the most dysfunctional behaviors all in an effort to deep the peace.
2. Denies personal needs: We become so adept at meeting others’ needs that we can’t identify our own let alone attempt to meet them.
3. High tolerance for inappropriate behavior. The placater can become attracted to and can tolerate unusual behaviors from others.
4. Strong fear of anger or conflict: I have memories of being terrified of the anger expressed by family members or friends. It felt like the world would collapse if anyone was upset with me.
5. False guilt: We placaters will make up something to feel guilty about if nothing exists to prompt guilt.
7. Anxious This can manisfest in dozens of ways from fear of heights to a fear of bridges, social phobias, and fear of going crazy.
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