The Disease to Please | Harriet B. Braiker

Summary of: The Disease to Please: Curing the People-Pleasing Syndrome
By: Harriet B. Braiker


Are you constantly yearning to please others, neglecting your own well-being in the process? ‘The Disease to Please’ by Harriet B. Braiker identifies the people-pleasing syndrome and delves into its underlying causes, which often stem from compulsive behavior, distorted thinking, or a desire to shun negative feelings. With its 21-day action plan, the book equips readers with the tools they need to overcome this malady and restore balance in their lives. Discover the three types of people pleasers and their interconnected traits, and explore the importance of changing mindsets, breaking habits, and managing inner conflicts to cure this all-too-common ailment.

Overcoming Pleasing Distress

Discover the root cause of your people-pleasing tendencies and overcome them with a 21-day action plan. In “The Disease to Please,” author Harriet B. Braiker explains how the need to please can result from distorted thinking, compulsive behavior, or the desire to avoid negative emotions. By identifying which category you fall under, you can begin to make changes to overcome the problem. Braiker argues that the belief in the power of niceness is a remnant of childhood magical thinking and that true inner happiness can only be found by prioritizing one’s own needs.

Breaking Free from People-Pleasing

People-pleasing behavior is a serious psychological issue that can be broken down into three categories: thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. These traits are interconnected, and changes in any of the sides can affect the overall behavior of the people-pleasing syndrome. People-pleasers are motivated by distorted thinking that being nice will prevent rejection. They can also be driven by habitual behavior and, sometimes, the fear of anger and confrontation. Being a people-pleaser is not as great as it seems because people-pleasers ignore their own needs and may overextend to meet others’ needs. Ultimately, people pleasing behavior is a form of addiction that controls an individual’s need for approval and compromises their identity as “nice” people. Breaking these habits requires reworking an individual’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Overcoming People-Pleasing Syndrome

If you’re always trying to please others, you may be trapped in a self-defeating cycle that leads to depression, anxiety, and guilt. The book explores the three major causes of this people-pleasing mindset, habits, and feelings. People pleasers tend to be perfectionists who seek the approval of others and deny their own needs. They hold onto faulty ‘should’ statements, harbor negative thoughts, and engage in childlike ‘magical’ thinking. To break free from this cycle, people pleasers must strive for balance between giving and receiving, recognize their own self-worth, and seek pleasurable experiences and relaxation. With small changes in thinking, acting, and feeling, people pleasers can overcome their Disease to Please and find true happiness and fulfillment.

Overcoming a People-Pleasing Addiction

Do you have a strong desire to please others and gain their approval? This behavior can quickly turn into a people-pleasing addiction, where you constantly seek approval and avoid disapproval. To break this cycle, you must address your thoughts, behaviors, and feelings. Remember that it’s impossible to please everyone and that your self-acceptance is the most important approval you need. Saying “no” and setting boundaries is also crucial in avoiding falling back into the people-pleasing habit. With practice, you can relearn healthier behaviors that allow you to be true to yourself while still maintaining healthy relationships.

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