Recognizing unhealthy submissive behavior

Do you submit to the will of others without realizing it?

Do you struggle to ask for what you want?

What does submissiveness really look like?

I don’t explicitly say how I feel. I want tacos. He wants subs. We eat subs. I say I’m fine, but I really want someone to ask me what’s wrong. I’m not interested in someone who is interested in me. But, to avoid awkwardness, I haven’t told them directly. I expect them to read the signs, which to me seem clear. My friend wants to date my ex. This makes me uncomfortable. I feel like I can’t say “no.”

What you want is just as valid as what someone else wants.

I struggle to say “no”, especially around certain people including my family, friends, and authority figures. I make decisions based on what is expected of me, because I feel pressured to do so.

Sometimes these decisions go against what I want for myself…

  • My parents want me to study law or medicine. I want to be an artist.
  • I feel pressured into starting a family even if I am not ready.
  • I got engaged after 2 years and married after 3, but ceremony was never important to me.
  • I dated boys, even though I was secretly crushing on Sara.
  • I performed sex acts I did not want because I felt pressured to please my partner.
  • I took ballet, instead of karate.
  • I went to graduate school instead of pursuing my own business.
  • I work in corporate America and I hate it.
  • I stayed near my hometown instead of moving away.
  • I married a good man with a stable income. But I am not in love.
  • I did drugs at a party because it was cool.
  • I was being polite and didn’t want to say “no”.
  • I have lived someone else’s life.


Submissiveness in the bedroom. Can you relate to these experiences?

  • My partner is not interested in learning how to satisfy me.
  • My partner thinks they satisfy me, but I never have an orgasm.
  • I’m afraid to tell my partner that I am unsatisfied. I don’t want to hurt them.
  • We don’t talk openly about what we like sexually.
  • My partner is always on top or directing me what to do.
  • I want to try new kinds of play (BDSM, Kink, Toys) but I’m afraid to bring it up. Will I be judged?
  • I don’t feel comfortable directing my partner in how to give me pleasure.
  • I want to have multiple orgasms but my partner always stops after one.
  • My male partner finishes first.

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