The Disease to Please: Curing the People-pleasing Syndrome

Author(s): Harriet B. Braiker


When Oprah talks, people listen. That is exactly what happened to Dr. Harriet Braiker, a guest expert on Oprah Winfrey, when she was urged by Oprah herself to write a book on the very common yet very damaging problem that many of us suffer from, the "people-pleasing" disease.

In this book, Dr. Braiker, who has been a practicing psychologist for over twenty years, zeroes in on a stunningly common but very damaging problem many people suffer from. The brillance of this book is that Dr. Braiker shows the extent of the destruction this disease can cause and then in the most accessible and meaningful way possible provides clear, rational, and positive steps to rid oneself of this disease.

The typical "people pleaser" sees herself as a perennial "nice" person, whose resentment is concealed by her public "happy face". She gives of herself to others, sometimes to a fault. She rationalizes that her behavior is motivated by a desire to avoid hurting other people's feelings. She generally denies feeling angry herself, and will do almost anything to avoid conflict and confrontation. She wants and needs for everyone to like her. She believes that by fulfilling everyone's expectations of her, she can prevent their rejection or anger. What she doesn't know - but is about to learn - is the serious damage this behavior causes to herself, others, and to those relationships that mean the most to her.

The book's approach is modeled on that of effective short term therapy, with 3 phases:

  • The Click - A description of the "disease to please" syndrome with a "People Pleaser Quiz" for the reader to use to diagnose him/herself.

  • The Promise - This details what the outcome of the cure will be by transforming the "Click" of insight into the motivation to get better.

  • The Plan - A 3-Week Action Plan that will produce tangible, measurable rewards in the form of short-term milestones on the journey to longer-term and lasting results.


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New York Times Advice Bestseller and Featured on The Today Show 

"A fascinating book about a topic important to millions of women. If you struggle with where, when, and how to draw the line between your own desires and the demands of others, buy this book!" --Kay Redfield Jamison, bestselling author of An Unquiet Mind

Harriet B. Braiker Ph.D. was a bestselling author and practiced clinical psychologist and management consultant in Los Angeles. She was the author of several, highly successful popular psychology books.

Introduction Chapter 1: The Disease to Please Triangle: The Price of Nice Part One: People-Pleasing Mindsets Chapter 2: Toxic Thoughts Chapter 3: It's Okay Not to Be Nice Chapter 4: Putting Others First Chapter 5: There's More to You Than How Much You Do Chapter 6: Nice People Can Say "No" Part Two: People-Pleasing Habits Chapter 7: Learning to Please: Approval Addiction Chapter 8:Why Can't You Get Your Parents' Approval? Chapter 9: Love at All Costs Chapter 10: Romantic Addiction Part Three: People-Pleasing Feelings Chapter 11: Once More,Without Feelings Chapter 12: The Fear of Anger Chapter 13:Words Can Really Hurt You Chapter 14: How Far Would You Go to Avoid a Confrontation? Chapter 15: Small Steps, Big Changes The 21-Day Action Plan for Curing the Disease to Please A User's Guide to the 21-Day Action Plan Day 1: Don't Say "Yes"When You Want to Say "No" Day 2: The Broken Record Technique Day 3: The Counteroffer Day 4:What to Say If You Want to Say "No": The Sandwich Technique Day 5: The Reverse Sandwich Technique Day 6: Rewriting the Ten Commandments of People-Pleasing Day 7: Rewriting the Seven Deadly Shoulds Day 8: Taking Care of You Day 9: Talking Yourself Out of Approval Addiction Day 10: To Do or Not to Do, That Is the Question Day 11: Tag, You're It Day 12: It's Okay Not to Be Nice Day 13: The Anger Scale Day 14: The Relaxation Breath Day 15: Anger-Up Day 16: Anger-Down Day 17: TIME OUT Day 18: Stress Inoculation Day 19: Solve a Problem with a Friend, Not for a Friend Day 20: Correcting Faulty Assumptions Day 21: Celebrate Your Cure Epilogue: Some Final Thoughts

General Fields

  • : 9780071385640
  • : McGraw-Hill Education
  • : McGraw-Hill Education
  • : 0.463
  • : January 2002
  • : 228mm X 152mm X 21mm
  • : United States
  • : March 2010
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Harriet B. Braiker
  • : Paperback
  • : 1
  • : English
  • : 158.1
  • : 288
  • : illustrations