photo if_oppo-1_72.jpg

To Appease or not to Appease
Is placating the answer?

By Merna Throne, M.S.

I thought this was a good topic to finally write about as I know so many people go through this mental dilemma, but they endure in silence and their relationships suffer from their need to fight about details that probably won’t matter in an hour. (Been there!) In my experience as a personal coach many, many clients bring this up and point out times they just do not want to do this. They feel or are called fake for doing so and if they try to talk it out they are called trouble or dramatic. Well it may seem like a dilemma, but it is more of a perspective thing. Now now…I am not saying just stuff your feelings and enjoy a pizza later, but rather strong communication skills that may keep you from embarrassment in the end. We all just need to brush up on a few skills and it starts with self. (NOT someone else…I know what you are thinking here :) - take only your own inventory) I know…I know…you are thinking it is much easier said than done until you are in the heat of the moment of choosing which path to take. Fight/disagree or Placate?

I know I have kicked around the topic of placating as some secret code everyone seems to know except you, so you are not alone. I researched the definition through a few online dictionaries and they were unanimous with the understanding of bringing peace, quiet, calm, or to soothe to a situation. In addition, to soothe or attempt to calm (an opponent) by conceding concessions, often at the expense of the belief. Often individuals do not realize they are igniting the situation by arguing as a right fighter. I have done this many times too, but learning to keep the fire out of conversation with integrity by diffusing the situation. It isn’t easy, but oooh so very possible. The right fighter may not realize how they are coming off either… because they feel they are right. It is not about right or wrong, but instead you are seeking resolution between two people. I promise it will feel much better afterwards than losing your temper. If this is you I am going offer you some skills to remember and the more you practice it they will become second nature. The fine line to not cross here is coming across that you are being patronizing and talking down to the person because this is another can of gasoline on that fire.

Placating or appeasing doesn’t mean you are being fake or phony when you know thyself and your self-esteem is stronger. Another one that may become confused by these terms and their actions are individuals who are people pleasers and this is a whole different topic that I will write about later on. They are someone who is afraid of saying no and often has a very low self-esteem. Just to keep this simple let’s move on to some skills to carry in your pocket to appease the situation, so you can fall back on them. The best way to practice in your head (while talking out-loud works best) is using past situations where you should have been the soother or appeaser…..That way you have your personal emotion involved because this is the gasoline as well.

Be the voice of reason, the comforter, and the appeaser. Think 555…. Will it matter in 5 minutes, will it matter in 5 hours, and will it matter in 5 weeks…Remember, it is not about being right, but rather being rational, mature, and grounded. These are the 5 keys for true resolution and a much stronger communication understanding and skill.

Be the Appeaser……

1. Listen to what is being said... No ego, just your heart.

2. Think before you speak, and acknowledge what they have said in a positive manner. Do not be patronizing either. This is a sure way to continue the fire to get hotter.

3. Think peace, calm, soothe. It will be okay because this might not be about you and things usually work out if we let them.

4. State the appeasement using the “I” starters. “I can see that this is hard to talk about and it is so understandable. Would it be OK if we take a minute here and have some coffee? Then we can both sit and relax a minute. It will be OK! We will figure it out together since this relationship means more to me than a disagreement.”

5. Let it go… See how the person responds and if needed, begin again with #1 with offering to come back another time to discuss. Ask if it would be OK with them too. Remember you are not the only one in this conversation.

In the end, it isn’t about being right or wrong, but about keeping your relationships on stronger ground and feeling personally accomplished by being an adult about it. Being the appeaser or placating someone isn’t about being fake, but rather finding a peaceful resolution to the topic at hand. If it is something that will not matter in the end…Be the peacemaker, soother, or a calming presence.

Mother Teresa says it best in a small writing that I came across awhile back. "People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten. Do good anyway. Give the world the best that you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway" - Mother Teresa. I hope this melts your heart and gives you goosebumps like it does to me each time I read it. If not, be mellow anyways.

You can role-play for practice and find the best personal guidance for a situation. Before you know it your communications skills will keep many potential hot disagreements from happening.

Be well,

Merna Throne, M.S.
Super Success Coach & Trainer™

Copyright © 2013 Merna Throne. All rights reserved.

Author's Bio: 

Merna Throne is The Inner Voice Vixen: "A Heart with an Edge!" who believes all our answers lie within us today!

She is an Author, and a Super Success Coach & (LifeStyle Coach) Trainer™. Even though her personal self-worth journey began in 1986, her career in the personal development industry as a LifeStyle Coach began in 2004. She has guided thousands of men and women to healthier ground in life and relationships with her work. Her mission is to assist you to tap into your personal power you were born with and catapult life starting with today!

Learn more at