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The Disease to Please: Curing the People-Pleasing Syndrome

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  306 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
What's wrong with being a people pleaser? Plenty!

People pleasers are not just nice people who go overboard trying to make everyone happy. Those who suffer from the Disease to Please are people who say "Yes" when they really want to say "No." For them, the uncontrollable need for the elusive approval of others is an addiction. Their debilitating fears of anger and confronta
Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 6th 2002 by McGraw-Hill Education (first published December 8th 2000)
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Nov 12, 2007 Jill rated it it was amazing
This book changed my life. I would recommend it to any who grew up Catholic & Guilty.
Oct 15, 2011 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As I'm reading this, I'm looking around at friends and family, colleagues and acquaintances and seeing the patterns that pop up in this book. It's really interesting: from overworking yourself to an inability to find your own self worth, to separating who you ARE from what you DO. I'm still waiting to see where it takes me and to see if I ever quite get the 'fix'.

OK after the fact: I liked it and found it helpful. Braiker did get around to helpful hints to break the self-destructive cycle. She a
Dec 21, 2014 Jonathan rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: people pleasers: you know who you are!
Recommended to Jonathan by: my coworker
Shelves: self-help
Oh wow, I can't believe I even tried to read this, but I do have to say it came at the recommendation of a highly credible source. I can't say I regret reading it, but I'm happy to not have to deal with the author's unrelenting insistence that all the nice people in the world are suffering from some kind of pathological sickness in need of purification, or healing, or burning at the stake, or whatever. It's not all bad though, as I liked the idea of renewing our ownership of the word 'no', not n ...more
Oct 02, 2010 Kristen is currently reading it
The author, Harriet Braiker, anchors this "disease to please" phenomenon in early childhood problems, such as guilt or low self-esteem, and shows how it harms adult relationships, including those at work. Although she emphasizes interpersonal relationships off the job, executives, managers and employees at all levels will still find her book helpful in life and in work. Braiker describes three primary manifestations (compulsive behavior, distorted thinking, and avoidance of negative feelings) of ...more
Jan 31, 2008 Irene rated it it was amazing
This book is excellent for people who 'please' too much. 'Pleasing' could be going along with something you really don't like, doing too much for others, etc. It explains the different types of pleasing, reasons why we do it and how to overcome it. It can help make any relationship you have become more intimate. There are many little questionnaires to determine if the chapter pertains to you or not. Apparently, Dr. Braiker was on Oprah and the Today show. I just happened to stumble across the bo ...more
Oct 07, 2015 Emily rated it really liked it
Recommended to me by a mentor. A lot of reading it felt like "durr a durr" things, but there were quite a few "aha" moments. Not only were there great examples laid out to make those "aha" moments happen, but there's good ways/steps to help reduce the negative thoughts that turn quickly into actions... And habits. It helped me remember I was in control of my life that had gotten away from me. If you have anxiety or newly formed anxiety due to out-of-your-control situations, I think we all could ...more
Feb 04, 2012 Zan rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Though written with an audience of pathological people-pleasers seeking a cure in mind, The Disease to Please is not only useful to those suffering from what Harriet Braiker calls a "dysfunctional personality type", but to anyone who thinks their parent, spouse, romantic partner, or friend might be unhealthily subverting their own needs and desires to those of others. Informative, frank, and engagingly-written, The Disease to Please is an insightful and illuminating snapshot of a particular kind ...more
May 30, 2008 Angela rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: women in general
Recommended to Angela by: Neli Rogers
Shelves: non-fiction
This book has great ideas for people who say "yes" and become overloaded in their lives. Dan told me I don't have this problem, and while I'm not in the "high-risk" category, I do sometimes say "yes" to things right away even when I don't want to do it. The book gives great examples about the dangers of doing too much and gives effective strategies of how to say no. Are you a people pleaser? You know who you are, and you should read this book!
Jun 14, 2015 Lisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology, self-help
Overall, I think this book does a good job describing the people pleasing dynamic. I wish it had not made this dynamic sound like a primarily female issue, however. I have seen plenty of men who struggle with this behavior and women who can fall into the controlling and abusive behaviors described in the book.
Jun 12, 2015 Alexander rated it liked it
Read this on recommendation from someone I really admire professionally. It is mostly aimed at women (particularly mothers), but it has some strong content that transcends personal and professional relationships. Surprisingly, the final section, which is supposed to be a 21 day rollout of behavior change and was the section I had planned on skipping, was the most impactful part for me.
Oct 11, 2014 Aliya rated it really liked it
Shelves: learned-a-lot
I was a people pleaser and would have panic attacks and actually have health problems from trying to please who don't even care about me. Once I realized that, I am able to breathe and focus on what is important to me, which is my health and disease ( multiple sclerosis ) and my family. Best book ever!
Faisal Alburek
May 08, 2014 Faisal Alburek rated it it was amazing
This book is exactly what I was looking for. The author was talking as if she was talking about my condition and what I should do. The only minor drawback is that despite that book is aimed for both male and female audience, the author focused her examples from female perceptive and rarely mentioned male related cases. Other than that, this book really helped me to see the light.
Sep 05, 2008 Stacy rated it it was amazing
I'll admit it - I'm a People Pleaser. But thanks to this book, I'm recovering. I won't go far in the other direction, but I'm working on not completely sacrificing my own needs for others in an unhealthy way. It's tragic this author is no longer with us.
May 07, 2013 Chris rated it liked it
I gave up, not because it wasn't good, but because I wasn't in a self-esteem mood. Will try again some other time.
Deanna Gibbons
Mar 15, 2012 Deanna Gibbons rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, am I really learning a ton about myself. Can't wait to get to the section on how to make changes in my life.
Heather Moselle
Feb 11, 2013 Heather Moselle rated it really liked it
I've read this book at different points in my life. It basically deals with our need to please others and the idea that this is driven by control issues and a need for perfection.
Aug 31, 2008 Christi is currently reading it
Just started reading this book after a co-worker recommended it. Barely into it because I have NO time to read! (sacrifice some computer time? no never! ha)
Une lecture très utile pour les bonnes pâtes dans mon genre. L'auteur nous donne des billes pour arrêter de se mettre en 4 à tout va.
Ronald Roschnafsky
Ronald Roschnafsky rated it it was amazing
Sep 27, 2015
Hailey rated it it was amazing
Apr 22, 2015
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Apr 13, 2015
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Nov 22, 2013
Jean Eiler
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Jun 03, 2015
Cyrena rated it it was amazing
Jul 30, 2016
Veronica Mullet
Veronica Mullet rated it it was amazing
Mar 07, 2016
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Nov 06, 2015
Michael Connolly
Michael Connolly rated it liked it
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Michael Connolly
Michael Connolly rated it liked it
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Nov 25, 2012
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Dr. Braiker was a practicing clinical psychologist and management consultant in Los Angeles/Beverly Hills and Pasadena, California, for more than 25 years. The author of many highly successful popular psychology books, she also authored numerous scholarly award-winning research books and other academic publications. Dr. Braiker was an internationally recognized authority on stress and women's issu ...more
More about Harriet B. Braiker...

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“Holding on to conditional beliefs about how people should behave toward you because of all you do for them will only set you up to feel disappointment, anger, and resentment to people in particular as well as disillusionment about others in general” 3 likes
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