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Anxious to Please

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Anxious to Please

7 Revolutionary Practices for the Chronically Nice


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

They say you can`t be too rich or too thin – but you can be too nice. Replace anxiety with confidence and compassion.

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Editorial Rating



  • Applicable
  • For Beginners


Sure, it’s good to be nice, but you may be "too nice." If you are clingy, care too much what others think of you and minimize the bad personalities of the people around you, then your niceness may be hurting you. Authors James Rapson and Craig English recommend seven practices that will put you on the road to a more balanced emotional life - many of these approaches will be familiar to readers who have engaged in any sort of meditation or self-awareness exercises. Lists, sidebars and quotes make the book’s ideas easily accessible - although integrating these practices into your daily life will require some work. getAbstract recommends this book to self-help beginners who are tired of having sand kicked in their faces and wish to develop their tranquility and strength of character.


You Can Be Too Nice

"Chronically nice" people actually suffer from feelings of pervasive guilt and lack of self-regard. They crave attention and recognition - so much so that they settle for any notice they receive and continue to be nice even to callous or insulting people. Chronic niceness is not so nice after all, since it originates from chronic anxiety.

Nice peoples’ problems begin within their relationships with their parents. Instead of a strong, healthy childhood emotional bond, or "secure attachment," they experienced an "anxious attachment," in which they did not get enough of the love and nurturing they needed. The modern era’s consumer culture, dual careers and lack of family networks to help tend children put enormous pressure on parents. Poorly supported mothers and absent fathers raise anxiously attached children. As adults, they keep looking for approval. To gain it, they feel they must suppress their negative feelings such as hostility, anger and desperate need.

In contrast, the "transforming person" is on a path from a continual state of anxiety to emotional health. To become a transforming person you must recognize that the anxiety in your ...

About the Authors

James Rapson is an educator, workshop leader and clinical member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, with expertise in marriage and family counseling. Craig English is a fiction and nonfiction author, workshop leader and founder of the Commoners writing group. He is a professional actor with experience in teaching.

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    S. H. 4 weeks ago
    Very superficial and kind of condescending, niceness does not automatically equal anxiety. Waste of time and resources.