A Deeper Look at the Comfort Personality.

Sue is a stay-at-home mom, so she doesn’t work outside her home. When I asked how she spent her time on a typical day, she just mentioned play groups for her and Alex, or social time with her friends when Alex is in school. She didn’t mention house responsibilities, even though I know she has a large 5-bedroom home.

So, I asked her when she did the laundry, the vacuuming, and all the other chores that are always waiting. Sue frowned. Well, she said, she fixes “dinner,” mostly macaroni and cheese, or something similar, maybe 3 or 4 times a week. The other nights they either go out or order in.

She keeps the kitchen counter clean, “because it bothers her” when it’s messy. She vacuums once a week, “because her mom notices the lint when Sue doesn’t vacuum.” But, she’ll only do the bathrooms if they get really grungy or her husband, Chuck, complains. She doesn’t dust; she just hates dusting. And, definitely, nothing outside in the yard; they have a lawn service for that.

She really emphasized; she never gets into anything that has to do with money, like balancing her checkbook or even talking to Chuck about bills. Talking about money scares her.

When I asked why she didn’t take on some of these responsibilities so that Chuck doesn’t have to do so much, she said, simply, “I don’t want to.” Sue grew up believing that she didn’t have to do anything she didn’t want to do, whether it was about chores, managing money, maintaining her car, paying for her college expenses, or anything else.

She grew this belief because, in early childhood, she saw how responsible her mom behaved about their home. She decided unconsciously that it looked like too much work. Instead she adopted her dad’s personality style and worked hard at school like her dad did in his job. The rest of her life she devoted to fun and pleasure, also like her dad.

As a result, she’s missing the practical living skills that are normally learned between ages 5 and 13 years old. Now, because she has a lot of defenses against these “work” skills, she’s having a difficult time. Even though she knows she should want to learn them, she just doesn’t.

How’s her husband doing with this situation? He’s chronically angry about it, but he goes ahead and takes care of everything she doesn’t. He’s a really, really responsible guy. He’s an exaggerated Pleaser.

Sue also said that she has another unshakeable belief. She believes her husband should “take care of her” because that’s what her father did. And, since Chuck doesn’t want to rock their relationship boat, he does.


The Comfort personality type always has the belief that “someone else will do it,” whatever “it” is. If this is you, is this who you want to be? Is this idea a positive in your life? Or, does it hold you or your relationships back? Think about it. On the other hand, maybe you’re with someone who owns this belief. Is it good for you to be with this person?

Big Thoughts In This Article.

1. Comfort people are passive people. When adults are passive they feel less capable to handle life and its demands.

2. Passiveness, like activeness, is set in childhood. Passive children resist responsibility, both in relationships and in practical life.

3. When children or young adults avoid responsibility, they miss out on learning the skills they need to take them through a good adult life.

4. Passive people often manipulate others to get their needs met since they don’t have the skills to do it themselves.

5. These manipulations can be simple or very sophisticate/subtle.

6. Be active yourself and choose to be around activity when you can. It’s healthier.

My best to you until next time,


Author's Bio: 

Joan Chamberlain is an author, therapist, and life coach with over 30 years of experience helping adults, couples, and teens. She has a Bachelor's degree in Business and Finance, a Bachelor's in education, and a Masters in individuals, couples, and family counseling. Her book, Smart Relationships, has helped many people achieve the self-awareness needed to see themselves honestly. Its wisdom has helped them work toward improving their relationships with themselves, their friends, and their families.

To learn more about the ideas and concepts presented in her articles, please peruse her website: