People-pleasing is the act of trying hard to make others happy or seeking validation from people. People pleasers will often go out of their way to please someone, even if it means taking their own valuable time or resources away from them. People pleasers often act the way they do because of their insecurities and lack of self-esteem. Fortunately, anyone can learn how to stop being a people pleaser.
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10 Signs of A People Pleaser
- You draw self-worth from the approval of others
- You feel uncomfortable when someone is mad at you
- You act like the people around you
- You say sorry often or accept fault when you aren’t to blame
- You pretend to agree with everyone even if you don’t
- You feel responsible for others emotions
- You don’t admit when your feelings are hurt
- You offer to help someone even when you are busy
- You just can’t say no
- You give with the goal of being liked
It feels great to hear people say that they like you because they know you will do anything for them. So you keep taking on every request asked of you, even when you don’t want to. And when you say no to a request you feel guilty. Whatever the case may be, the danger of being a people-pleaser is that it can leave you feeling emotionally drained, stressed, and burned out.
It’s not exactly easy to stop being a people pleaser because it’s hard to disagree with others. According to research, when you disagree with someone it elevates your cognitive dissonance, a distortion between your values and the actions you want to take.
Here are a few books that may help you understand what is a pleaser personality, why people-pleasing is bad, and how to stop being a people pleaser but still be nice.
Top 7 Books That Will Help You Stop Being A People Pleaser
1. When It’s Never About You: The People-Pleaser’s Guide to Reclaiming Your Health, Happiness and Personal Freedom.
Author: Ilene S. Cohen Ph.D. // Publication: October 22, 2017
Amazon Ratings: 4.6 out of 5 stars
Dr. Ilene offers a wonderful, accessible, and practical guide for anyone who is looking to take charge of their life, and shed the guilt and exhaustion of pleasing and looking for others’ approval. As a family therapist, she gives readers an understanding of family systems and how to view your own role in your family and intimate relationships.
Author: Melody Beattie // Publication: June 10, 2009
Amazon Ratings: 4.7 out of 5 stars
In her book, Melody Beattie writes about codependency, a pattern of trying to control or change someone who repeatedly makes trouble for themselves and others, and who usually is manipulating and controlling others as well. The problem is often part of an addictive or depressive syndrome or both; the solution she offers is to work extra hard at clarifying each person’s boundaries, keeping everyone’s responsibilities separated, and becoming obsessive about looking after one’s own interests in the face of demands to do otherwise.
Author: James Rapson and Craig English // Publication: March 13, 2020
Amazon Ratings: 4.6 out of 5
Anxious to Please reveals the primary psychological cause of Chronic Niceness-Anxious Attachment. It goes further to present seven powerful practices designed to bring about: resilient self-esteem; a happier and calmer emotional life; a reality-based optimism for the future; fulfilling sex; and satisfying relationships. In short, this books explains why you have people-pleasing tendencies and what you can do to overcome this behavior. It will help you to self-reflect and by understanding yourself you’r able to have self-compassion and also the ability to empathize with people in your life.
4. Stop People Pleasing: Be Assertive, Stop Caring What Others Think, Beat Your Guilt, & Stop Being a Pushover (Be Confident and Fearless Book 1).
Author: Patrick King // Publication: August 19, 2018
Amazon Ratings: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Stop People Pleasing is a frank look at people-pleasing tendencies – where they come from, how they manifest, and exactly what to do about them. Most importantly, the book emphasizes real, actionable tactics to change your relationship with yourself and others. the author is a recovering people-pleaser, so you can be sure that there is a real understanding of your struggles. Ultimately, you will learn the deep origins of your need to please, and how to set healthy boundaries.
Author: Dr. Les Carter // Publication: July 22, 2018
Amazon Ratings: 4.7 out of 5
Dr. Carter will recount how real-life pleasers developed relationship boundaries by incorporating assertiveness skills, ceasing unnecessary defensiveness, and setting aside false guilt for inner trust. Readers will be inspired to set their own pace in life, as opposed to letting the controller call the shots.
Author: Amy Susanna Copeland // Publication: February 18, 2019
Amazon Ratings: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Love & the Art of Saying No takes the reader through the author’s story, articulates the lessons learned, and offers opportunities to “Practice Your Art” through reflection and encouragement. If you’ve ever felt taken advantage of, taken for granted, or overwhelmed with the weight of your responsibilities, it may be time to learn that sometimes saying “No” is the most loving thing you can do.
Author: Mike Bechtle // Publication: January 19, 2021
Amazon Ratings: 4.9 out of 5
Dr. Mike Bechtle shows you how to stop letting your fears of rejection, criticism, invisibility, or inadequacy drive your actions and start rebuilding your sense of self-worth from the inside out. When you do, you’ll discover that what you once thought of as a struggle is one of your greatest strengths.
Are you a people pleaser and have trouble saying no? Are you tortured by the idea that someone might not like you? These books will help you to stop people-pleasing. Grab yourself a copy!