GURL Please: A reformed People pleasers guide to finding your voice
Gurl Please is a self-help book for “people pleasers,” and particularly people pleasers who are women. A “people pleaser” is generally defined in the book as someone who desperately wants to be liked and who is continually trying to keep the people around them happy. Author Katie Hulbert is, unsurprisingly, a self-confessed people pleaser (which she abbreviates to PP), and this book is both a recounting of how she personally liberated herself from her PP mindset and a compendium of tips on how to help you do the same. The book has several moments at which it provides space to list your own dreams, fears, etc., but most of this slim volume recounts Hulbert’s personal journey. Hulbert writes with an enthusiastic–almost giddy–voice, complete with emojis, cuss words, ALL CAPS, and slang (some of which is appropriated from black culture in ill-fitting ways). That writing style makes the book easy to move through and engage with. And, for all its breeziness, the book offers some very astute, very useful metaphors to help the reader concretely understand their thoughts and behaviors.
But now for the real question: for me as a known PP, did the book help? Yes and no. Yes, in that it reinforces a number of ideas and concepts I’ve already addressed in therapy–so the guidance it offers would seem to be solid and not just Hulbert’s unverified musings. I say it didn’t help, however, because reading about changing your thought and behavior patterns can only take you so far. Lasting change often needs more, and more prolonged, engagement. (So in that I suppose I’m being a little unfair to the book, given that my criticism applies to the genre as a whole.) But I did find the bubbly, exuberant writing style grating at times and somewhat unnatural at others–like she was, I hate to say it, trying too hard to be a “friend” and please the reader? But overall, particularly if you’re new to self-analysis, this book offers solid advice in a friendly and approachable way.
|Author||Katie Hulbert • Kat Dornez, Editor|
|Page Count||58 pages|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|