PLACATER Family Role (Part 2)


PREVIOUS: Placater Role #1

⬅️ “The ups and downs of a serial placater”



Placater’s ACTIONS / STYLE
Virginia Satir suggested that 50% of people typically use defense. They say YES, no matter what they really feel or want
• Similar to Hero, sometimes the clown, but more passive & people-pleasing. Talk in an ingratiating way, won’t disagree or stand up for themselves, overly grateful, apologize for things that are not their fault…. a ‘yes man’, even agreeing with anyone’s criticism of them
• May use humor as a diversion from pain & rage, but it’s not their primary style. Mainly they worry & fret, nurture & support, listen & console.  Entire self-concept is based on what they can provide for others

• are hypersensitive to others & can be the life of the party. Grateful that anyone talks to them at all
• can be the life of the party, syrupy, martyr-ish & boot-lickingtoo sweet
• are likely to be complemented, get positive attention & draw sympathy for their long-suffering
• rarely focus on concrete changes that would make life better for themselves
• not much use in times of crisis or emotional distress, not very helpful when someone has a big problem that needs solving
• hard to resolve conflicts with them because of an intense need to avoid confrontations
• they respect the context of a situation & other people’s views, but not their own

Body Position (From V. Satir)
Use kinesthetic style. This stance says “Please don’t hurt me”, especially good for situations such as giving bad news or asking for something. It says ‘please don’t be upset or take offense’ – a request for someone to stay calm.
• If standing, they hunch shoulders, look down, smiling, not sexy
• Usually present image of being on one knee, a bit wobbly, head bent way back looking up, eyes strained, eyebrows raised as for a question or only in the middle as in pleading.  One hand is reaching out, palm face-up in a begging gesture

Energetic Description (by Dr. Bulbrook)
Placaters (Ps) damage their energy field by pleading, sucking-up & having weak or no limits – anyone can walk all over them. Keep on giving beyond what’s appropriate, hoping to be accepted & fit in, so are easily taken advantage of. When challenged, will easily back down.

Potential harmful impact: at first, people on the receiving end may be pleased. butannoyed at placater over time become annoyed & then pull away, as Ps can be too wishy-washy, not giving an opinion when asked, or not expressing needs

• ALSO – Placating aims to evoke guilt, by saying ‘poor me, I can’t help it’, as an indirect form of Blaming, but without forceful language or gestures.
It shifts responsibility for mistakes or flaws (ever so diplomatically so they’ll still be liked), leaving people feeling resentful but not able to confront them.  Ultimately, they’re not much fun to be around

Reacting TO a Placater (via NLP)
Using a Blamer stance will turn the tables on them, triggering their guilt, which can stop the ‘game’ & possibly balance the Ps view of self, others, & context
• but  – Blaming may just be a reaction to their wimpy-ness – wanting to dominate, control or punish them – which they tolerate & accept, possibly making the Blamer feel even more guilty
• Also – Blaming may do nothing more than create a stronger Placating response, if they feel too intimidated

• gain self-esteem without having to depend on being used, or on others’ good gracesgood listener
• learn healthy ways to to rest, relax & enjoy
• find an appropriate outlet for negotiating skills & get paid
• find ways to help others without short-changing themselves

Caring, compassionate, empathic, quiet, good listener, sensitive to others, able to give, nice smile
Positive Use: Ps play ‘softball’ in negotiations which is usually seen as weak, but can sometimes be a useful strategy: when playing with small children, when diplomacy is needed (what do you give a 200 lb gorilla? anything he wants) or to give the appearance of weakness when in danger

NEXT : Scapegoat role #1

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