Do you experience the tremendous need to make everyone happy? Are you terrified at the thought of hurting others or being rejected? In interpersonal dynamics, do you analyze and assess every interaction you have, and are you subsequently your own worst critic when it comes to making mistakes?
People-pleasers tend to struggle with anxiety and themes of control and perfectionism. They want to keep everyone satisfied, but they often sacrifice their needs and desires to (attempt to) achieve this impossible task.
Breaking this intricate pattern can be challenging, especially if you’ve taken on this role for a long time. However, learning to assert yourself and set healthy boundaries is essential for your well-being. Let’s get into the top books that can help you on your journey.
Does your people-pleasing habit seem innocent? Do you make excuses for it under the guise that you’re a kind and compassionate person?
This book explores the harmful myth that people-pleasing is just a benign non-issue. Dr. Braiker introduces her theory with a brief, revealing quiz to determine your people-pleasing style. Then, she offers practical steps for changing your thoughts and behaviors.
The book utilizes principles from cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to manage cycles related to anger, conflict resolution, romance, and fear in relationships. She also offers a 21-day action plan packed with exercises to help you improve your self-care and communication habits.
People-pleasing does have its benefits- usually for the other person. After all, everyone loves someone willing to do their dirty work! But if that person is you, you tend to feel violated, resentful, and disrespected.
Dr. Cohen blends real-world case examples and activities to help you better understand your people-pleasing. Her book aims to help you identify a stronger and more balanced sense of self- while still remaining a “good person.” You’ll learn how to transform yourself from feeling selfless to self-full and vanished to differentiated.
Do you find yourself obsessing over the problems of other people? Is your happiness contingent on someone else’s mood? If so, you may struggle with codependency, the term that Melody Beattie coined in 1986 after working through her own personal struggles with it.
This profound book is often considered a “classic” by psychotherapists. It provides a straightforward approach to untangling codependency through a combination of life stories, self-help exercises, and reflective guides.
Many people don’t realize the insidious impact of their codependency. This book helps you understand exactly how it may be adversely affecting both you and your loved ones.
Do you tend to let people “walk all over you?” Do you often say “yes” when you really mean “no” because you’re afraid of rejection or tension? If so, you probably need a boundary tune-up!
With over 2 million copies sold, this book has become a fantastic resource for people who struggle to identify and enforce their limits with other people. It will help you understand legitimate boundaries, coping when someone feels hurt by your boundaries, and managing your digital life in an effective and non-controlling way.
Boundaries are not selfish, and this book will help you better understand that concept. It blends a combination of real-world scenarios with reflective exercises and practical techniques that you can try today.
Assertiveness is hard, even when you know it’s important. Many of us choose to be overly nice as a method of “playing it safe.” Unfortunately, this pattern tends to backfire, as we often give in to the needs of others before considering our own.
Dr. Aziz, a clinical psychologist, is one of the world’s leading experts on social confidence, and he found his own roadmap for social freedom after battling extreme shyness and social anxiety. He explores this phenomenon through his influential book. He integrates both humor and vulnerability to teach readers how to say no, ask for what they want, and speak their mind in relationships.
Final Thoughts For People-Pleasers: Getting The Support You Need
People-pleasers often find themselves in frustrating cycles of weak or nonexistent boundaries and tumultuous relationships. Often, they give and give and give without receiving much in return. It’s both exhausting and toxic to your well-being.
People-pleasing can have roots tangled in with depression, anxiety, and trauma. While these books may help you start to break this cycle, therapy can provide you with professional guidance and coping skills to solidify your process.
Do you struggle with feeling unequal in your relationships? Do you want to transform your passive nature into a more assertive and confident demeanor? Do you want to learn how actually to speak your mind with confidence and grace?
No matter how long you’ve been struggling, therapy can help you develop a healthier self-esteem and a greater sense of boundaries. Reach out today and we'll get started.