The complacent personality is not a clinical category, but it is often the expression of psychological difficulties. The people involved are usually very pleasant and welcomed in the environments in which they operate, but at the same time, they pay a high price, even if they don’t realize it.
What defines the complacent personality is over conditioning. The external gaze predominates when it comes to making decisions. These people subordinate what they think, want or feel to the satisfaction of a need: to gain the sympathy of others.
In the complacent personality, the feeling of responsibility trumps the well-being of others. That is, the idea that they must seek the welfare of others, otherwise they feel guilt or fear. The point is, they are able to ignore their own needs to accomplish this task. This is where the problem lies.
The complacent personality
A complacent personality is formed during childhood and in a context where family conflict predominates. The root is usually found in a narcissistic father or a controlling mother (also narcissist).
These parents instilled the idea that they were always right and generally silenced the views of the child. They were extremely unstable, with sudden, inexplicable outbursts of anger. They could even be violent during these episodes, and the child did not know what to expect with them.
It is also possible that in the genesis of the complacent personality, in addition to what has already been described, other harmful situations were recurrent. Here are some examples :
- Parents addicted. They generate unpredictable situations that cause fear and a sense of threat in their children.
- Too rigid rules and disproportionate penalties for transgressions.
- Very confrontational and possibly violent relationship between the parents.
- A parent with a histrionic personality (dramatic outbursts and staged physical or emotional pain).
- Depressed or anxious parent.
In all these cases, the child has undoubtedly learned to be a mediator or a moderating factor of the situation. He also learned to be afraid and not to speak up.
The traits of the complacent personality
At the heart of the complacent personality is the fear of conflict, rejection and abandonment. The actions of the person are conditioned by this fear. That is why she seeks the well-being of others regardless of personal cost. The main traits of the complacent personality are:
- Fear of conflict. The people involved are able to give in, even on very relevant aspects, in order to prevent others from being upset or a situation becoming explosive.
- Focus on the needs of others. They don’t question or take a critical look at the needs of others, but rush to meet them.
- Tendency to blame. Reaffirming yourself at some point or claiming something for yourself causes a strong sense of guilt.
- Continuously in doubt. Usually, she doesn’t know how to handle problematic situations. They doubt their feelings and their ability to cope with difficulties.
- Perfectionism. They try to do everything very well. Basically, they avoid the possibility of being reprimanded for an error or an oversight.
- Low self-esteem. They only feel good if they have the approval of others.
- Hypersensitivity. The perception of rejection or contempt of others hurts them.
Some guidelines for change
It is common for a person with a complacent personality not to realize that they have a problem. It seems “normal” to him to sneak around the world trying not to disturb anyone. In fact, you can see a virtue in it, for many will approve and praise the peaceful character and this submission.
The hardest part for these types of people is understanding where the line lies between being empathetic and giving up being yourself to please others. To find this limit, they must reassess the relationship they have with themselves .
They must learn to practice a form of “healthy selfishness”. Sometimes they cannot do it on their own and need professional help to do so. In any case, they deserve to give themselves the opportunity to be.