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Please Others

 

Explanations > Motivation > Kahler's drivers > Please Others

Imperative | Identification | Benefits | Problems | Treatment | So what?

 

This is one of the five drivers originally identified in the field of Transactional Analysis by Taibi Kahler. Here are some simple and useful notes on it.

Imperative

  • I must make other people happy. I know that I have done this when they acknowledge and praise me.
  • Only others can tell me when I have done well. If they do not, I have failed.
  • Other people's happiness is more important than mine.

Identification

  • Ingratiating behavior, always seeking to please.
  • Always testing that people are happy and satisfied.
  • Smiling and friendly expression.
  • Frames everything as a question that invites approval.
  • Apologetic. Will say 'sorry' for almost anything and even just to fill space.

Benefits

  • Comfortable working with other people. Often well-liked and good company.
  • Sympathetic and concerned about others.

Problems

  • Anxious around others. Worrying too much as to how they are being perceived.
  • Always seeking approval. Finds positions of authority difficult.
  • Unable to say 'no' to any request.
  • Finds criticism particularly difficult when it implies they have not pleased others.
  • Worried when ignored. Easily offended (but unlikely to mention it).
  • Can get locked in mutual hugging patterns or competitive pleasing with other pleasers.

Treatment

  • Make pleasing themselves a criteria for pleasing you. Be happy when they are happy (but beware of getting in a mutual pleasing competition).
  • Help them accept criticism without feeling put down or a failure. Do not get angry with them.
  • Help them to see when pleasing others turns into dysfunctional subservience.
  • Encourage them to become self-sufficient and praise themselves.
  • Get them to indulge themselves now and again. Separate out some 'space for just me'.

So what?

Recognize these drivers in yourself and others and treat them accordingly.

See also

Ellis' Irrational Beliefs, Narcissistic Personality

 

Kahler, T. (1975). Drivers—The Key to the Process Script.  Transactional Analysis Journal, 5:3

 

http://www.kahlercommunications.com/

 

 

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