Polly, the Pleaser

Polly, the Pleaser

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For Organizations | Positive Intelligence About | Positive Intelligence

Life has been busy and eventful, and I'm glad to be back resuming our exploration of the Positive Intelligence Self-Saboteurs Personas.

Starting with the Pleaser Saboteur. This particular saboteur is fascinating because, on the surface, it doesn't seem like it could be a problem. However, like all negative thought pattern personas (saboteurs) we develop, it harms us much more than it helps us.

What is the Pleaser Saboteur?

The Pleaser saboteur indirectly tries to gain acceptance and affection by helping, pleasing, rescuing, or flattering others. It's driven by a strong need to be liked by people and often loses sight of its own needs, leading to resentment as a result. Let's explore its dark side characteristics:

1. Strong need to be liked: Pleasers go out of their way to earn acceptance by helping and pleasing others. They want to be seen as helpful and kind, but this can lead to overcommitment and exhaustion.

2. Frequent reassurance: Pleasers constantly seek reassurance from others about their acceptance and affection. They crave validation and approval.

3. Indirect expression of needs: Instead of expressing their own needs openly and directly, Pleasers manipulate situations so that people feel obligated to reciprocate care. They struggle with assertiveness.

4. Resentment: Despite their efforts to please others, Pleasers often feel resentful when their own needs are overlooked or taken for granted.

It's essential to recognize these behaviors because they can harm our well-being and relationships. But fear not! There's a strength side to the Pleaser that shines brightly once we learn how to defeat its dark side.

For those with a strong Pleaser saboteur, their underlying strengths include being:

- Empathetic

- Loving and giving

- Tuned into others' feelings and needs

- Emotionally self-aware

-Able to cultivate a high level of emotional intelligence

Remember that understanding our saboteurs allows us to build mental fitness and activate our Sage—the part of us that handles challenges with clarity, calmness, and positive emotions. So, let's learn how to surf the waves of life better by taming the Pleaser within! 🌊🌟

# The Pleaser Saboteur: Tame the Pleaser by Balancing Kindness and Self-Care

In our journey toward mental fitness, we encounter various saboteurs—those inner voices that generate negative emotions and hinder our progress. One such saboteur is the Pleaser. Let's explore how the Pleaser operates, its impact, and strategies to overcome its influence.

Meet Polly: The Pleaser

Polly is a wonderful person. Warm, caring, and deeply empathetic, she's always there for others. At work, she's the first to offer help to her co-workers. At home, she takes on more than her fair share of chores and caregiving. Friends and family know they can rely on her.

But here's the catch: Polly rarely considers her own needs or wants. She believes that others should reciprocate the same level of support she provides. Unfortunately, they don't always do so. As a result, Polly's needs go unmet, leaving her feeling resentful.

The Pleaser Pattern

The Pleaser saboteur is rooted in core strengths like Empathy and Sensitivity, developed from a young age. As a child, Polly received praise for her loving and helpful nature. She internalized these traits as habits, often overusing them.

The Pleaser's fear centers around not being loved or appreciated by those around them. This fear drives Polly to continually please others, even at the expense of her own well-being.

The Cycle of Resentment

Every once in a while, Polly reaches a breaking point. All her efforts to please others feel unfair when she realizes no one reciprocates in kind. She becomes deeply frustrated and temporarily stops putting herself out for others. Eventually, she forgives those around her but privately considers them selfish compared to herself.

And so, the cycle continues: Pleasing ➡️ Resentment ➡️ Forgiveness ➡️ Repeat.

Overcoming the Pleaser Saboteur

1.     Awareness and Labeling

To conquer the Pleaser saboteur, Polly must first recognize it when it arises. She can label her thoughts and emotions as "Pleaser" when they surface. Awareness allows her to distance herself from these patterns.

2.  Strengthening Sage Powers

Polly's Sage—the wise part of her mind—can handle challenges with clarity and calmness. By activating Sage powers (Empathize, Explore, Innovate, Navigate, Activate), she can shift away from Pleaser tendencies.

3. Mindfulness Meditation (PQ Reps)

Similar to mindfulness practices, Polly can observe her Pleaser patterns without judgment. Giving these patterns names weakens their grip on her mind. Doing PQ reps, or small moments of sensory awareness first, also helps a lot. Try deep breathing for 30 seconds, or feeling an object, looking closely at something, or feeling the warmth of your coffee cup.


As Polly learns to balance kindness toward others with self-care, she'll break free from the Pleaser cycle. Mental fitness coaching using Positive Intelligence (PQ) helps individuals like Polly build resilience against saboteurs, build sage powers, and cultivate lasting well-being.

Remember: You can't defeat an adversary you don't see, or one that pretends to be your friend. Learning to identify, label and tame our inner saboteurs makes life so much better!

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