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Top 10 Books on How to Stop Being A People Pleaser

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 You Are A People Pleaser

  1. You draw self-worth from the approval of others
  2. You feel uncomfortable when someone is mad at you
  3. You act like the people around you
  4. You say sorry often or accept fault when you aren’t to blame
  5. You pretend to agree with everyone even if you don’t
  6. You feel responsible for others emotions
  7. You don’t admit when your feelings are hurt
  8. You offer to help someone even when you are busy
  9. You just can’t say no
  10. You give with the goal of being liked

Top 10 Books That Will Help You Stop Being A People Pleaser

Here are 10 books that will guide you on how to stop being a people pleaser. These books have been rated highly by readers on Amazon.

1. Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life


Author: Henry Cloud and John Townsend 

Publication: April 1, 1992

Amazon Ratings: 4.7 out of 5

Henry discusses more on how to set boundaries. Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. In other words, boundaries define who we are and who we are not. Boundaries affect all areas of our lives: Physical boundaries help us determine who may touch us and under what circumstances, Mental boundaries give us the freedom to have our own thoughts and opinions, Emotional boundaries help us to deal with our own emotions and disengage from the harmful, manipulative emotions of others.

2. The Disease To Please: Curing the People-Pleasing Syndrome


Author: Harriet B. Braiker

Publication: February 13, 2002

Amazon Ratings: 4.6 out of 5

This addresses those who suffer from the Disease to Please. People who say “Yes” when they really want to say “No”. Dr. Harriet Braiker offers clear, positive, practical, and easily do-able steps toward recovery.

Begin with a simple but revealing quiz to discover what type of people-pleaser you are. Then learn how making even small changes to any single portion of the Disease to Please Triangle – involving your thoughts, feelings, and behavior – will cause a dramatic, positive, and long-lasting change to the overall syndrome.

3. Not Nice: Stop People Pleasing, Staying Silent, & Feeling Guilty… And Start Speaking Up, Saying No, Asking Boldly, And Unapologetically Being Yourself.


Author: Dr. Aziz Gazipura

Publication: October 25, 2017

Amazon Ratings: 4.6 out of 5 stars

Dr. Aziz Gazipura takes an incisive look at the concept of nice. Through his typical style, Dr. Aziz uses engaging stories, humor, and disarming vulnerability to cut through the nice conditioning and liberate the boldest, expressive, authentic version of you. You’ll discover how to: Easily say “no” when you want to and need to, Confidently and effectively ask for what you want, speak up more freely in all your relationships, eliminate feelings of guilt, anxiety, and worry about what others will think.

4. 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.

5. Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself.


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.

6. Anxious to Please


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.

7. 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.

8. When Pleasing You Is Killing Me (1)


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.

9. Love and art of saying No: Journey Out of Co-Dependence, People-Pleasing, And Over-Commitment


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.

10. People Pleaser’s Guide to Loving Others without Losing Yourself


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.

An elegant woman does not need to be a people pleaser. She is confident and therefore, does not need outside validation. Sometimes though, you might find yourself saying yes to everything and everyone. But, you can learn polite and elegant ways to say no.

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…or two!

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