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The Disease To Please Summary & Review – January 2023

Author: Harriet B. Braiker

Short Summary
The Disease to Please (2001) by Dr. Harriet B. Braiker is a groundbreaking book that explores the often debilitating condition known as People Pleasing Syndrome (PPS). It explains how feelings of fear, guilt, and anxiety can be triggered when we become overly focused on accommodating others at the expense of our own needs. Dr. Braiker helps readers identify the behaviors associated with PPS. He also provides practical solutions for breaking free from unhealthy habits. Such as chronic self-sacrifice or excessive neediness in relationships.
the disease to please
Source: amazon.com

The Disease to Please Detailed Summary

The Disease to Please is a book by Harriet B. Braiker, who examines this disease in his career as a psychologist and names it People Pleasing Syndrome (PPS). 

A people pleaser is associated with an overly feeling to make others happy and pleasing by letting themselves down and ending their needs. 

This book explores certain conditions and situations of people pleasers when they do not get approval or appreciation from others for whom they did everything. People pleasers who always put others’ priorities first and never get a word of appreciation from them make them feel guilty, disgraceful, shameful, responsible, and anxious.

The book reveals how one (a people pleaser) prefers others at the cost of living of one’s own need. Dr. Braiker helps readers identify their disease and associate it with PPS. Moreover, he comes up with phenomenal cures for this sickly disease, such as appreciation from a friend and the need for extra love in a relationship.

People Pleasers are Addicted to Approval 

The Disease to Please starts at an early age when you like to show care and be nice around everyone because it gives you appreciation and a reputation for being a well-behaved kid. 

Every time you notice a smiling face and admiring eyes, there is undoubtedly a burst of energy inside you that charges you up. The effort feels rewarded, and everything looks beautiful. And you feel happiest at the moment. 

People pleasing is an odd problem; at first glance, it may not even be seen as a problem. In fact, the phrase “People Pleaser” might seem more like a compliment that you proudly wear it as a badge of honor. 

After all, what’s wrong with trying to make others happy? 

Should not we all strive to please people we love or even those we like a lot? Undoubtedly, the world will be like a bed full of roses if there are more people pleasers, or wouldn’t it be? 

The truth is People Pleasing is a sweet psychological disease. It is a deep swamp that consumes you moment by moment, inch by inch. 

“In effect, niceness gives the other person permission—and even encouragement—to mistreat you.”

People pleasing is like you demanding a certain type of appreciation and behavior from others or yourself. From others, you expect them to approve of you and appreciate you with sweet words and care. Every day is new, and you must win approval from people around you. 

Since people are not obligated to appreciate you as they can not read your mind or if they can do, it is still up to them which words they choose. As a result, you set yourself up to feel angry, disappointed, and depressed. 

“While people-pleasers may think they excel at making others happy, their real talent lies in making themselves feel miserable and inadequate.”

Even if you succeed in pleasing everyone around you, it does not last long. It is like a leaky bucket; no matter how much water you pour into it, everything stays short.

Sooner or later, somebody gets disappointed with you, or someone does not care about you. It does not matter what you have done for them. 

Over the years, this never-ending chase has become exhausting, and this is the first time you have come to terms with the mental behavior of seeking approval.

Ten Commandments of People Pleasing

No matter how badly they want to say “NO,” a people pleaser ends up saying yes. There are ten commandments of people pleasing.

  1. A people pleaser always prefers what other wants, expect and need from them.
  2. He/Sh try to take good care of everyone around them whether they ask for help or not.
  3. They are good listeners and do their best to solve other problems.
  4. A people pleaser always places others before them.
  5. Being a people pleaser, he/she always agree with others’ request and needs something.
  6. Never hurt anyone’s feelings and emotions. 
  7. Will never deliberately disappoint or let down others
  8. Should never burden others with my own needs and problems.
  9. Being a people pleaser, he/she never shows any negative or down vibe to others.
  10. Always try your best to feel others’ superiority and please.

Seven Deadly Shoulds

When you are nice and take care of others, it prompts a feeling of getting appreciation and approval from others. Factually, this is okay when you do your best and give 100% to others. However, in the end, you do not get the cherishing and valuing it demotivates you and causes guilt and fear emotions. 

The seven deadly shoulds set you up to have negative feelings when they fail to meet them fully.

  1. Others should have appreciated me for what I have done for them.
  2. Others should approve and value me because of my hard work for them. 
  3. Others should never criticize or dispraise because I always do my best to meet up to their expectations. 
  4. Others should behave nicely and sweetly with me because I always treat them as unique and worthy.
  5. Other people should never let me feel guilty or hurt because I always treat them with respect.
  6. Others should never abandon and let me down because I make them need me. 
  7. Others should never show aggression and irritation towards me because I always would be one who avoids confrontation and anger.

Love at all Costs

It is OK to do everything for a man you want or love. But ensure this pleasing does not harm you or make you feel distressed in the end. 

In a healthy relationship, I need you because I love you is a feeling or emotion towards your partner. Conversely, in an unhealthy relationship, the words change, so the feeling is. Such as I love you because I need you shows how a person diminishes oneself value for making other (partner) please. 

To conclude, if you get a man who devalues you, threatens or turns down your intelligence, talent, and success every time, is not the perfect match for you. 

If a man truly loves you, he/she will change themselves for you and accept you for who you are. Help you to grow more. 

as a bookworm you may also be interested in:

It is okay not to be Nice

How do you feel when you prioritize others’ needs and problems at first and then no get a single word as a reward? Definitely worthless. You may doubt your existence and your personality. And in the end, you try to hide in a place where nobody gets to enter.

Adopt some new behaviors and attitudes to lessen your guilt and shame. It is entirely okay not to be nice every time. Get yourself some time and work on it. It is hard but can not be impossible. 

Nevertheless, the reward is too high if you prioritize your needs and value as a special person. 

Nice people can say NO

Accept the two words NO, which will give you the peace of mind you have been searching for so long. You are not supposed to always say Yes to things and statements you won’t have to do. Saying No does not make you cruel and brutal. 

It is noted that when you say yes to a thing, you badly say no makes you feel emotionally and physically exhausted and fatigued. 

About The Author

Harriet B. Braiker was an American psychologist, author, and professional speaker who specialized in the field of psychological health and empowerment. Her books underlined her strong belief that having a sense of control over one’s life was key to achieving mental wellness. Braiker is best known for her book The Type E Women as well as Who’s Pulling Your Strings? Her research focused primarily on understanding and treating people who suffer from depression or other psychological issues that are caused by feeling helpless or overwhelmed due to too much stress being placed upon them by meeting others’ expectations without ever achieving their own goals first. 

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