The Nice Girl Syndrome: Stop Being Manipulated and Abused -- And Start Standing Up for Yourself
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The Nice Girl Syndrome: Stop Being Manipulated and Abused -- And Start Standing Up for Yourself

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  147 ratings  ·  38 reviews
How women can overcome the pressure to please others and feel free to be their true selvesAre you too nice for your own good? Do family members manipulate you? Do coworkers take advantage of you? If this sounds familiar, read "The Nice Girl Syndrome." In this breakthrough guide, renowned author and therapist Beverly Engel, who has helped thousands of women recognize and le...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published July 1st 2008 by John Wiley & Sons (first published June 20th 2008)
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I think the hardest thing about writing this review was figuring out why this book annoyed me so much for the subject matter it addressed. It should've been something I received well given the subject matter and its intents as a self-help book, but the more I read it, the more I ended up reading mixed messages within it.

I tend to pick up self-help/health/wellness guides at random in many different aspects - social wellness, spiritual wellness, physical and emotional wellness among a number of di...more
While this book uses extreme examples of what the dangers of being a Nice Girl are (physical, emotional, and sexual abuse), there are many things in it that are useful for women with milder versions of Nice Girl Syndrome. Nice, unfortunately, gets you nowhere. People will prey on you, manipulate you, and take advantage of you if they can, and this book gives some strategies for avoiding that.

A lot of the things in it seem to be common sense and common knowledge, but sometimes it's nice (no pun...more
Beverly Engel is my number one favorite authority on abuse and how to heal from it. This book has helped me to heal from some past experiences. I would recommend it to anyone who keeps finding themselves in abusive relationships.
Sep 29, 2010 Onthebrightside is currently reading it
This book was spot on! I am way too nice!
Now I am a little embarrassed that I was interested enough in reading this book. My intuition told me that this would be a book that would piss me off, but I did not want to dismiss it without giving it a shot. I am pleased to say my gut feelings were proven only partially right; I surprisingly was still able to get something out of this book. I finished this book with a surprising feeling of validation, empowerment, and eagerness to use the new skills I read in here.

I am indisputably a Nice Gir...more
I liked this book. Although I'm not an extreme as depicted in this book, given the fact that I was raised in an abusive environment with selfish family members and a mysoginist community, I had a lot of trouble growing up. I felt extrememely repressed and literally inside a cage tied with eavy chains to the ground.
Making me feel bad for who I was or what I liked or for standing up for myself, was the central technique applied usually in rainsing girls, not only at home but also in school. I fau...more
This is an OK book, but the author comes off as defensively reacting to some major hurt from a male. I understand about being assertive and standing up for yourself, but fully half of the book seems to be aimed at males and how they "take advantage" of females in one way or another. This is the impression given in the book and a viewpoint I don't agree with. I think this book could have been more effective if it dealt with a more open range of situations, rather than just domestic relationships....more
Jun 08, 2010 Sandy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Sandy by: Mary Smart
Excellent read, but I wish it was addressed to men also - entitled, The Nice Person Syndrome. Easy reading with practical exercises to move out of being compliant and manipulated into being essentially who you are: strong, confident, competent and courageous.
Oct 24, 2008 Cyndi rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Women
Shelves: psychology
I think this book should be required reading for all women. It is direct and concise and easy to read so even people who don't like to read much will not have a difficult time getting through it. If I had a daughter, I would ABSOLUTELY insist that she read this book.
Gail Miller
I am so excited to learn so much about why at 54 I cannot break being the nice girl when situations happen where I don't feel like being nice. Learning about what type of style you have good and bad of communicating in certain situations, what all is behind becoming nice, what beliefs you have that are so hard to break and are false. I think the most important thing that will help me is learning that fear is behind all "nice" reactions, is so important to learning more about what fear patterns a...more
Oct 17, 2011 Gabrielle marked it as to-read
This book gave me insight on issues that I had and it helped me become a stronger woman.
Why do I keep reading self help books? All they ever do is make me mad.
A must-read for all of the 'nice' girls out there!
Jun 15, 2009 Joy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Joy by: new books @ the library
Love it! It's like therapy!
Before reading this I knew I was nice but not that I had the nice girl syndrome...which according to this book I have quite a severe version of. Once I was diagnosed it was time to learn how to do something about it. I could relate to a very large proportion of this book, however, as extreme niceness is a massive part of my personality I thought there's no way I could change it. I discovered it's not to change a person from being nice it's to give a nice girl some backbone... something that I do...more
Rebecca Johnson
Okay, so first things first, I am not a nice girl. I know a few and I may have been one at some point...but along the way I have had the privilege of having very strong women role models and they have paved the way. I have also had the benefit of having male mentors who have a very good grasp on women and how to leverage their individual and unique strengths. With that said, this book did have some great tips and suggestions and could certainly serve as a refresher on how to be an effective comm...more
Reading this book was rather like sitting down with an older, wiser and more experienced woman, being taken by the hand and told ‘now my dear, it’s like this….’ The author’s long and rich experience in counselling women (and with her own life experiences) has qualified her to really describe how women can so easily disempower themselves; and how to remedy the situation if you feel you fit into one of the ‘nice girl’ types she describes.

I wish I had had this book in my early teens – it could hav...more
This book has a set of effective suggestions for the so very many of us who hold ourselves to a higher standard than all of those around us, and who are, therefore, often used by others.

Beverly Engel uses examples of women who were abused and offers suggestions for how to escape from or avoid an abusive situation (all the while without blaming those who are abused for the actions of the abusers), and how to become more empowered. The book offers suggested affirmations and ways to feel and intern...more
Saying "I don't mean to victim blame but..." doesn't cut it. I also found the tone condescending and I was more pissed off than inspired reading this book.
Ann Busbey
I saw so much of myself in this book, although I have never been physically abused. Being raised an Italian Catholic female, I was taught to be selfless and to serve the needs of others. This has not served me well and I'm working hard at overcoming my "natural" tendencies. My challenge - don't let the pendulum swing too far in the other direction.

While I didn't agree with everything, this book has some useful exercises and advice for making changes and for not feeling guilty about standing up...more
Great book with much helpful advice on how to stop putting everyone else's needs before your own and stop accepting sorry's over and over again from people that don't deserve to be in one's life. A great read for anyone who needs some motivation to start a new and leave behind what no longer serves their soul.
Rika - (The Unpretentious Reader)
I scored 20 out of 23 in the questionnaire.. I'm quite shocked and horrified by myself right now =(
This is a good self-help book for any lady who has been abused or trampled upon in relationships. I even found the advice helpful for women who are too nice and giving in relationships period. It goes from figuring out where this niceness comes from to remedying it to friends and family. I really appreciated the book being a social worker as it helped me become more assertive.
Jill Smith
Sep 15, 2014 Jill Smith is currently reading it
this book will be on the currently reading as I'm reading it in between other books
Tara Calaby
This ties in quite well with a lot of DBT/Borderline stuff, and I felt like it was quite good to read as a way of reiterating some of the DBT content. It's definitely told from a feminist point of view, which is good, but rape and/or abuse survivors might be triggered by some of the content.
As a recovering nice girl this book really hit home. Through case studies and down to earth prose the author explains how being a nice girl can lead to heartache, depression and downright abuse. I found the book inspiring and full of practical advice and wisdom.
Encourages thought provoking self examination.
Easy to read, light-hearted in many parts, like having a girl-to-girl
chat over coffee, offers interesting insight into our behaviours and
opportunities to create action plans for change.
Francie Shoemaker
I get the point, but I like to be nice, not phony but truly nice, if I can. Things go more smoothly if people are nice. Maybe that`s the clue, if more people were nice we wouldn't have to be aggressive and obnoxious.
So many times I am prepared to say yes without thinking about the cost it has on me. I am working on changing my thought process to include what is best for me. This book, so far, is right on target!
Liz Cuillard
Apr 24, 2009 Liz Cuillard is currently reading it
Ok so looking at the title of this book makes it sound like my husband beats me or something! But it's more than that, it's a book the teaches women how to stand up for themselves. So far it's great!
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