Service-oriented people come from all walks of life and have various skills and knowledge to make them the partners that many crave. When you are a service submissive, demonstrating that you have a few key skills mastered can help strengthen the service dynamic. Anyone can learn to be a good service submissive, even if you don't feel you are a people pleaser, because the key traits are all ones that can be learned and refined.

Taking the steps required to better yourself is never easy, but with the skills we'll be talking about today, you'll not only be able to apply them to your relationships but your work and everyday life, no matter what you're doing. This is personal growth to make your service submission shine. When you take steps to improve yourself now, you'll be able to tackle a variety of service challenges and refine the services you wish to provide for your Dominant.

If you're new to service submission and would like to learn a bit more, our introductory article, Non-sexual Service and How You Can Add It To Your Dynamic, can help you figure out if service is something you want to explore. This article will continue the exploration by covering what key traits a service submissive can develop so that service is a more rewarding experience for everyone involved.

Take a Personal Inventory of Your Best Qualities

Wherever you are in submission or exploring service, it's a good practice to know what you have to offer and where your best qualities tend to focus. Since we are all unique and our relationships are no different, what we offer our Dominants will depend on what we can do to improve ourselves. Self-improvement is the best tool in your submission, and it is one that will help you achieve your dreams.

The key behaviors we'll be talking about today will be self-motivation, flexibility, the ability to accept criticism, honesty, and building a learning mindset. You don't have to master every quality. But having a working knowledge of all of them and understanding where you are with each will help you find places for growth, change, and refinement.

Deciding what kind of person you wish to aspire to be takes clarity of mind and a willingness to look carefully and honestly at yourself. Taking a personal inventory will help you identify where and how you want to grow. It's a great tool for self-assessment. On a sheet of paper, describe yourself in each key service behavior I mentioned above, right now. Focus on where you feel good about them and where you feel you struggle. Then think about where you'd want to be in that trait in the future. This assessment will be your guide to knowing which traits to focus your time and attention.

Here are the key traits of a service submissive in more detail. Remember, no matter how you described your current self in your personal inventory, you don't have to be perfect with any of them. There will always be room for personal improvement.


Self-motivation, in its simplest form, is the force that drives you to do things. You can be motivated by internal and external things, such as a desire to do something, love for someone, or the need for money. Usually, it is a result of multiple factors. Self-motivation for a service submissive helps with performing tasks without being watched, micromanaged, or in some cases, told to do something.

The ability to motivate yourself is an important skill. Self-motivation drives people to keep going even in the face of setbacks, take up opportunities, and show commitment to what they want to achieve. A service submissive who is self-motivated is goal-oriented. Often, they are a problem solver who is organized, efficient, and diligent in finishing the task at hand. Submissives who excel at self-motivation avoid distraction and show initiative to perform tasks, described as a 'readiness to serve.'

Knowing which motivation style your drive is attached to can help you in your service. People are motivated by different things: some are motivated by avoiding failure, and others by attaining success. People who are motivated by avoiding failure tend to be problem-solvers and are good at spotting issues and resolving them. Those that are motivated by results are good at goal-setting, which makes them good at setting priorities.

If you find you need to work on your self-motivation to improve your service, then creating a routine can help you accomplish your goals. When you have a task list that you need to perform daily, it can reinforce the initiative to complete your desired goals. When there are moments you hesitate to begin a task, remind yourself why the task is important. And then, do it, even for 5 minutes. Once you get started, it's a lot easier to continue than it is to abandon it. You'll be teaching yourself how to find the drive within you to accomplish anything and how to solve problems as they arise.


Flexibility is about being adaptable to change. A service submissive may be asked to change how they do something to accommodate the Dominant's wishes and being able to adapt to that change quickly is a skill that will make life so much easier. Most of us are a lot more resistant to change than we might perceive ourselves to be. If you are truly adaptable to change, you aren't rigid or stuck and are open to change and challenges.

Submissives who are flexible are more likely to handle change with grace and ease, not be thrown by the unexpected, and be a lot happier. They accept direction easily, making changes to comply with their Dominant's preferences even if the task is one that they've done one way for a long time. Service submissives can adjust on the fly if something comes up that needs their attention right away.

You can learn to be more flexible by practicing perseverance in your tasks. That means concentrating and disciplining yourself to complete the task at hand. When you focus on a task, you can make changes because your mind isn't on autopilot and doing it as you've done one hundred times before. A strong focus is driven by a sense of self-motivation, which can create robustness. As a result, you can be more adaptable because you cope better with setbacks and critique.

Learn to improvise. If you can be spontaneous, you can adapt to last-minute changes easily. Don't overthink or second-guess everything you do. Lastly, adopt a positive can-do attitude. It’s natural to want to resist change. You’ll need to learn to build up a positive response by literally changing your behavior next time you are faced with change. Respond enthusiastically to change even if you don't feel like doing so.


Every relationship we have is based on truth. It is the highest-valued quality in society. When you lie to another, it is a sign that you do not value the relationship with them. D/s relationships can not function if there isn't an open, transparent exchange between the people involved.

A service submissive who values honesty is calm and relaxed because they have nothing to hide. They are quick to open up about feelings and are comfortable with who they are. Honest submissives will own up to mistakes and address issues as soon as they come up. They are not afraid to talk to their Dominant because they've learned how to nurture an open exchange with them.

It is possible to learn how to be more honest, but it requires courage and a desire to change. First, be honest with yourself and acknowledge and accept both the good and bad characteristics of who you believe you are. Pay close attention to your feelings. Feeling discomfort or unease can happen when you aren't honest, even with yourself. Be honest with others about how you are feeling. This is one area that is quite difficult. To be open and honest in these situations makes us vulnerable, but can be so very freeing when we go beyond that discomfort.

Don't say yes when you mean no. It helps to be honest about what you do and don't want to do. When you don't honor what you want, you're not honest with yourself. Taking 100% responsibility for your words and actions is also key to honesty. When you are honest with yourself about your feelings and mindful of your words' truth, your actions will reflect this.

Willingness to Accept Criticism

Constructive advice is intended to help a situation or improve your service to your Dominant. When you can take critique in stride and learn from it to perform service better, your life will feel a lot less stressful.

A service submissive that is open to accepting criticism is cooperative and open-minded. They can easily integrate criticism to make improvements and changes to their service without a negative attitude. They don't get upset or only focus on the critical aspects of the information but use it to better themselves and the services they wish to provide.

You can also learn to accept criticism a bit easier. First, listen respectfully. You can't fully comprehend what someone is saying if you allow your emotions to get heated and jump into the conversation to deal with the negative points instead of waiting to hear what the person is truly saying. Be sure you understand what is being shared by asking questions and making comments to confirm you understand.

This isn't the time to accept blame or responsibility. Don't become defensive. We all want to excel in the services we provide our Dominants. We can be embarrassed or sometimes feel guilty or ashamed when they notice a problem or mistake we have made. That's why it can be difficult to come across as one to accept criticism.

It helps to realize that you have a valuable opportunity to learn from the negative outcome to be a better submissive. Learning about yourself as a submissive is going to involve making mistakes and accepting criticism. What we should try to do is accept you will make mistakes and then grow above them. It will require you to make changes, which can be scary. You need to see the goal and reach for it bravely. Follow up with positive action. When you learn and assimilate constructive advice, you show your Dominant that you are open to change and are willing to work hard to make improvements.

Lastly, admit when you need help or are struggling with a task. Your Dominant is more than willing to provide assistance or answer questions to help you do a better job in service. Then be ready to act on that information, if applicable.

A Learning Mindset

A drive to learn is about picking up new skills and knowledge to expand your skillset whenever the opportunity arises. It's important to continue learning and refining the services you currently offer and those you wish to learn. Smart submissives find ways to grow and develop in any situation. They embrace an always-learning mentality.

A service submissive with an active learning mindset is engaged in every step of the service process. They are quick to suggest refinements and are open to adding or changing services when requested. They will also search for resources, tools, and courses of study to improve their services and themselves as submissives.

If you'd like to learn how to have a learning mindset start with having a goal in mind. With so many possible avenues for growth and improvement, it can feel overwhelming to select one. But consider what you hope to achieve and then outline the steps it will take to get there.

Then make learning a habit. Do a little each day. Read a book, research a skill online, or take a course. The digital era provides a wealth of opportunities to study and practice many different topics entirely online. Or, find a group of people wishing to learn the same thing. You can benefit from sharing knowledge and experiences that motivate you to keep going. After reflecting on what you've learned and practicing it, you can further reinforce your comprehension by attempting to explain it to someone else. When you share what you've learned with others you increase your understanding of the topic. You can then recall it easier to apply it to your service effectively.

Learning should be a fun activity, and you might want to reward yourself for picking up new skills. It can be as simple as making a learning chart and adding a gold star sticker for every lesson you complete. And if something becomes difficult to learn or feels like a waste of time, take a break from it and choose something else. Your interests will ebb and flow, and your education in new skills should follow that. You can always come back to what you were learning later.

Finally, use what you have learned immediately. You learn best by doing. It’s important to perform tasks that use what you learned. It will create new associations in your brain and reinforce your memory so that you can retain what you’ve learned. Look for ways to practice your new skills as soon and as often as possible.

It is rewarding to your relationship when you've adopted the skills necessary to make your service a valuable asset. It also provides personal fulfillment beyond what can be found in submission. Explore these key traits to see where you can begin your journey to better service. Don't let weaknesses in any of them intimidate you; just start where you are now, and through your efforts you will see change and growth. You're on your way to better yourself for life and increase your happiness.

If you’d like to track your own progress in developing your key service submissive traits, join the Submissive Society for $10 and pick up the workbook developed for this topic. It will help you pinpoint where you should begin and give you a tracker to help you stay accountable for your personal development.