I believe that there are two layers to hidden motives. One is conscious and you are totally aware of this desire. The other is unconscious and it is a hidden motive that is often driven by insecurities. I’m going to mainly discuss the conscious hidden motives. The most common hidden motive for me is for the sake of harmony. There are many instances when I will do things and just “play along” to avoid conflict or drama.
My main motive is usually to be nice and caring to others, but sometimes the hidden motive underneath it all is just to avoid drama and preserve harmony. So if someone asks me to do something, I will usually do it to be nice, but sometimes I’m doing it just to make sure there isn’t conflict if I say no.
Another example is if there are two people fighting, I’m naturally not going to take sides, and I’m still going to try to be nice to both of them, but an ulterior motive is for the preservation of harmony and to make sure I’m on good terms with both of them.
Another important example I can think of is when I accept video projects. I usually say yes because I enjoy to make films and gain experience and knowledge, but my hidden motive to saying yes is to avoid people hating me or being upset, as I want to gain some sort of recognition or approval from doing this project.
There are many more personal hidden motives such as people-pleasing that I really don’t want to get into, but there is a deep hidden motive led by insecurity in that. Most of the conscious hidden motives are to fit in or to preserve harmony, as it is something that I feel is really important for me to maintain with others.