Book Review: The Nice Girl Syndrome


There are some books that you want to buy multiple copies so you can hand them out to people from time to time.  For me,  this book is one of them.

The Nice Girl Syndrome by Beverly Engel is a self help book that aims to help women break the nice girl habits taught to them by society and become a strong women who stands up for her rights and stops being taken advantage of. The book is marketed towards someone currently in an abusive relationship, but I found it very helpful without being in one.

I am not fond of books telling me what to do.  It is very rigid and cannot always be adapted to everyone’s lifestyle.  This book, fortunately, relies heavily on teaching and story telling.  Engel is very thorough in breaking down the false beliefs that many women have and why they have them.  She uses plenty of stories from her own counseling practice as well as the traumas of her own past to let us know that we are not alone.

She also shows us how to remedy these false beliefs and ways we can try to start acting like a strong woman.  Not all of the sections of the book applied to me, but I found myself reading every page because she explained people’s thought processes so plainly that I began to understand some of my friends’ puzzling behaviors.  I found myself wanting to photocopy those pages and pass them along.

One of the most interesting things that I learned is that women sometime cry or overeat out of anger.  Women are not allowed to express their anger in our society, but they still feel the emotion.  Some have found more acceptable ways to express the emotion through tears or food.  It has become so second nature that many women wouldn’t even know that they are angry.  They don’t know why they cry or why they eat.

This is certainly true for me.  That was a “Eureka!” moment for me.  I had so many things that I was angry about, but I wasn’t expressing them.  It was destroying me.  Since reading this book, I haven’t anger cried once and only anger binged once or twice. I can’t describe how much a relief it has been for me to stop those behaviors.  Sure, I’m learning to deal with new ones.  I have to learn to express my anger appropriately and I’m finding that is a challenge in its own right.

I strongly recommend this book for any woman who is struggling to find her own voice or doesn’t understand why things are happening to her.  It is such an easy read and has something for every aspect of the nice girl that I’m sure you will walk away with some worthwhile knowledge.

Interested and want to learn more? Check out the reviews on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.


One thought on “Book Review: The Nice Girl Syndrome

  1. Crying out of anger–YES. I’ve never heard anyone say it before, but I absolutely do that. The emotion has to come out somehow, and our society seems to think tears are more acceptable for women than rage.

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