The Art of Saying No

The Art Of Saying No book cover

Book Highlights

Title: The Art of Saying No

Author: Damon Zahariades

Genre: Self-Help

Pages: 172 Pages

Difficulty Level:  Easy

The Art of Saying No: Book Review

Do you go out of your way to help other people? Do you find joy or gain something out of it? Maybe some appreciation or perhaps some extra attention. All is okay until here, but do your personal goals suffer because of this? Does stopping your work altogether to extend a helping hand look like the kind of thing you would do? My dear friend, you might be suffering from people-pleasing syndrome. And let me tell you: it’s not good.

Don’t worry. I have the perfect book recommendation for you, “The Art of Saying No” by Damon Zahariades.
The Art of Saying No has many examples and experiences of authors suggesting various ways to decline other people’s requests to not come across as rude or offensive.

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It is a 170-page read on tackling one of the prominent reasons causing the lack of time for yourself, the habit of always saying ‘Yes’ to others. The book covers topics such as why we struggle to say no and an in-depth analysis of various factors leading up to it. Apart from that, The Art Of Saying No covers different strategies for being able to decline other people’s requests with respect so that they don’t take it personally.

It strategically explains setting up your boundaries and showing the requestor that they have their priorities to cater to. The Art Of Saying No does a magnificent job of reminding the readers to realign their priorities in life, and while some may label it as ‘selfish,’ it is fitting to look out for yourself. If you don’t find the time and energy to look out for yourself: who else will?
Helping others is meaningful, and you must do it, but The Art Of Saying No sums up beautifully that it should never be at the expense of your happiness and goals.

If you feel that other people devour a lot of your time dedicated to your projects, then this book is a well-suited book for you, and it can reduce many problems you might be facing.

The Art of Saying No: Book Summary

  1. Prioritize your own goals and tasks over others.
  2. Going the extra mile to help someone by affecting your own schedule and time does not help you in the long run.
  3. Saying no to people is one of the most important skills you can develop. It frees you to pursue your own interests, both personal and professional. To that end, it’ll boost your productivity, improve your relationships, and fill you with a sense of confident calm that may seem alien to you at this moment.

Who Should Read It?

Those who find less time for themselves because of being swamped by other people’s request should give this book a read and look for the suggestions to implement in their life.

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The Art of Saying No: Top Quotes

  • Self-care isn’t selfish. It’s necessary.
  • If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will. – Greg McKeown
  • The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.” – Warren Buffett

The Art of Saying No Notes

1: The People Pleasing Habit​

  • Habit of pleasing people and putting others before your needs causes a lot of problem and reduces your chances to achieve your objectives and goals in life.
  • Some people have this innate need to satisfy other people to grab attention, causing various psychological problems when anything goes wrong.
  • Learning to say no allows you to focus on your priorities and being conscious of your own goals

2: Reasons we struggle to say no.

  • We Want to Avoid Offending People
  • We Want to Avoid Disappointing People
  • Avoid Seeming Selfish 
  • Desire to Help Others 
  • We Struggle with Low Self-Esteem 
  • Fear Missing Out on Opportunities 
  • We Want to Appear Valuable 
  • We Develop the People-Pleasing Habit

3: Strategies for Saying No

  • Be Direct and Straightforward: Do not twist your statements when somebody asks for help. If you are not in a position to help them, tell them directly.

  • Don’t Stall for more Time: If you do not have the time to help the requestor, do not stall his request by telling them to ask later or wait some time. This will lead to dissatisfaction among the requestors.

  • Replace ‘No’ with another word: No carries some angle of negativity with it. You can use some other statement denying the requestor without saying no to them.

    • I can’t commit to you right now as I am busy in my XYZ project.
    • I’d like to help you, but I am swamped in a high priority project right now.
  • Resist The Urge to Offer Excuses: Do not make excuses for not doing the tasks. If you don’t want to do it, tell them. Unwanted excuses harm you more than you think. It creates an image of non-dependable personality.

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  • Ask The Requestor to Follow Up Later: If you cannot help the person right now but feel that after a certain time there is a possibility to help them. Tell them that. Ask them to come after a certain time if they still hadn’t found the solution and if you are free by then, you would help.

  • Avoid Lying About Your Availability: Do not lie about your availability to do any task. It gets spiral into unwanted situations. Directly point out that you will not do it because of this x y z reason.

  • Offer An Alternative: When you are requested for help and are unable, you can offer someone else who could help the person. This way you won’t leave the other person hanging out to dry and maybe that person is better suited for that request.

  • Describe your lack of bandwidth: This works best when you have a lot at your plate for the whole day. You can refer to your to-do list and tell them that there is no space that you can accommodate their request.

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