A pleaser is someone who acts and talks in a way he thinks will give him love, appreciation and approval from another person. This makes his actions conditional and is – to a certain extent – manipulative behavior. In his excellent book “No more mister nice guy”, dr. Robert Glover explains that a pleaser is the archetypical nice guy. This nice guy will always do his best to make others like him. He is terrified of rejection and will go to great lengths to avoid conflict. Because of this, he finds it very difficult to set boundaries. He is afraid to speak up and be his unapologetic self. He does not have a healthy relationship with his anger, either suppressing it or exploding when he can’t hold it in any longer.
Pleasing behavior is very unsexy
Pleasing behavior is very unsexy. Even worse, if your primary goal is to win other people’s approval, you become fundamentally dishonest and unsafe for your sexual partner. In bed, pleasing behavior may look like this:
- You will do what you think she wants you to do, secretly or not so secretly wanting to get her approval, and out of fear of doing the wrong thing and upsetting her.
- When she says ‘no’ or responds negatively to something you do, you are ashamed of yourself and/or feel guilty of not having it done right, you become apologetic and try to make up for your ‘mistake’ as soon as possible.
These are big turnoffs for women. A woman does not want you to do what you think she wants. She wants you to do what turns you on. She wants you to get unapologetically horny on her, so she can feel your uncensored desire. She wants to have you in all your vulnerability and presence leading her while doing what feels right (and horny) to you. She does not want you to make half-assed guesses to what you think she might like, based on your ideas, former experiences, plans and expectations, or anything else that might be playing out in your head. She wants you to show up fully, and step up like a man, giving her your masculine gift of directive penetration, so that she can give you her feminine gift of receptive surrender. Perhaps she may lack the awareness or vocabulary to explain it to you like this. But intuitively this is what most women want, even though their minds may tell them otherwise out of fear of losing control.
One of the hardest 'nuts to crack'
As I explained before, pleasers have the tendency to make their actions conditional. They will do something for you, and expect something in return. This is one of the hardest ‘nuts to crack’, because pleasers in general regard themselves as generous and giving people, not wanting (or daring to ask, more likely) something in return for their actions. It can be too painful for them to accept that their actions may be as much about ‘getting’ (love, appreciation, approval) as giving and serving the other. But especially when it comes to sex, women are very sensitive to this kind of behaviour. Most women will almost always choose a passionate and rough lover, who is very clear in what he wants (her) and what he has to give (himself), over a lover who is afraid to show what he really wants and is indirectly seeking for her validation during the sexual play. What they fail to see however is that their pleasing behaviour makes them untrustworthy. Most women will intuit that the Nice Guy is not living his own truth, and that his providing for her is less about ‘giving’ and more about ‘getting’ than the Nice Guy is willing to admit or is even aware of.
The sooner the Nice Guy realizes that this pleasing behaviour makes them untrustworthy for their sexual partner the better. But giving up pleasing behaviour is, of course, easier said than done. It will take a tremendous lot of practice and courage to become aware and overwrite the conditioned responses of body and mind and to train yourself to behave differently. How to stop being a pleaser, and getting to grips with the Nice Guy syndrome most of us men in the west struggle with, is a very important aspect of not only becoming a great lover, but a confident, loving and strong man in general. It is a lifelong practice that requires awareness, courage and the willingness to drop the stories.
To gain a deeper understanding of pleasing behaviour in yourself and in others, I highly recommend you read Robert Glover’s book : “No more mister Nice Guy.” I also recommend women to read it, because there are also a lot of Nice Girls around, and they will recognize a lot in themselves when they read about their male counterparts.