I know the pain of feeling insecure in intimate relationships, of being scared and unsure if I am “enough” for them. Living with constant relationship insecurity is a huge energy suck because it is accompanied by an overwhelming effort to mask the insecurity by over-giving, over-giving one’s time, attention, and energy.
I have also spent way too much time looking for and buying gifts as a way to feel valued by my romantic partners. It is a total over-giving of resources!
Underneath the habit of pleasing is neediness!
Does that sound familiar to you?
The way of the “Needy Pleaser” can be painful because they usually suffer in silence until they get upset with their partner. They consistently feel invalidated, disapproved of, and unmet…and this eventually leads to some kind of neurotic reaction.
Now for clarity, a Pleaser Guy may not actually be a card-carrying Nice Guy.
Nice Guys and Pleasers have plenty in common (and these can sometimes overlap), but a classic Nice Guy will rarely, if ever, rock the boat, and he makes his partner his emotional center.
The wounds that created these Nice Guy habits have usually been unaddressed for so long that it’s like having a wounded leg where we no longer recognize that we’re limping. The classic Nice Guy always puts others’ needs first and has very little access to his power to assert his own needs.
A Pleaser Guy will give and give and then can be prone to blowing up because his needs never feel fulfilled.
His core issue is ultimately neediness.
Because he’s living in perpetual insecurity, he can never reach fulfillment. As we know, fulfillment can’t come from outside of ourselves. As long as we have our blinders on to our underlying neediness, then we will continue to be covert pleasers, manipulating situations to get our needs met by others.
Again, there’s often overlap between Nice Guys and Pleaser Guys, but this is not always the case! I’ve seen plenty of nice guys who aren’t caught in the pleaser trap of neediness; they’re just afraid to assert themselves.
And, I’ve seen a lot of Pleaser Guys who aren’t afraid to assert themselves; they’re just extremely needy.
“Underneath this neediness is the wounded child archetype that longs for love, attention, and validation from his primary caretakers.”
How do I know if I’m a Needy Pleaser Guy?
-Do you keep your mouth shut and not speak your desire because you don’t want to appear needy…and then at some point get upset because YOUR needs aren’t being met?
-Are you over-generous with your time – i.e., available anytime they call you with something that needs to be done?
-Do you always offer to pay for everything?
-Do you get wound up like an overly processing Woody Allen type when your partner doesn’t praise you enough for the good job you’ve done on something?
These are some good indicators that you’re trapped in the habits of the Needy Pleaser.
Men with neediness/pleaser issues have lost access to their masculine core.
Needy pleasers can be uptight and high-strung, and they need to process their emotions a lot with their partners. When a man loses access to his breath and collapses, he loses his capacity to feel deeply into the quiet depth of his own heart AND feed himself the nurturing that he has been seeking externally.
When we lose access to our spacious masculine core, we revert to tactics that are easily seen and felt by our partners.
Do you think you can hide your neediness?
Sorry to break it to you brother, but it’s always there as the root energetic, you just may be blind to it. OR, you may know that you have a needy energetic but you harshly judge yourself for it, and that self-judgment just feeds your insecurity!
When you notice yourself in “pleasing mode,” ask yourself:
What am I feeling? (Are you collapsed, shut down, fearful, angry?)
What need is driving my pleaser? (Example: “I just want to be acknowledged.”)
What story is playing out in my head?
Is the “need to please” coming from negative self-judgments?
You have a choice to say “No” to your habit of collapsing in fear.
Try this instead:
Get present to any pain of neediness in your heart.
Practice circulating your emotions through your body (shame, fear, sadness) by using some kind of breath practice or movement activity.
Mindfully emote: Verbalize and freely express your emotions (preferably somewhere where you will not disturb others, like in your car or in nature).
Speak positive affirmations out loud: Speak out loud to yourself about your value and worth as a way of shifting your mood/mindset.
Practice saying “No” to your partner’s demands and to your own neediness: Use playfulness, heart, and depth (for advanced practice: say it from your balls!).
Breaking the habits of the “Needy Pleaser Guy” takes courage and warriorship, but the journey is worth it.
Through ongoing practice, you’ll experience your own authentic confidence. Your work is to seek to fill yourself without dependence on your intimate partner.
When neediness arises, PRACTICE, bring love to the little boy inside, speak to him and hold him in safety.
You will find that as you shift from a needy/pleasing posture in yourself, many of the things that frustrate you begin to melt away and transform.
Your ultimate practice is to learn to deeply relax into all that arises.
Here’s to practice!