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How to Say No*

A Good Start

I am a person who has a hard time saying no on a variety of levels, and I have come to the point where I realize I need to change this to improve my quality of life—which is why this book appealed to me. It is a relatively short, well-organized read that focuses on the people-pleasing aspects of saying no. I wished the author had also explored this concept a little deeper, as we sometimes have to say no to something, not someone. But for what this book has, it is actually a decent guide to saying no to others when it is appropriate—without hurting their feelings or making you feel guilty. In the early sections, the author preframes the concepts to come by looking at why we are afraid to say no to others. He follows this with two chapters on assertiveness, what we can gain from it and how to become more so. Two chapters follow about how to phrase your no so that others won’t be hurt or offended and so that you won’t feel bad about doing so. He ends the book—in a section he calls a bonus but really seems to be a true part of the book—giving examples of how to say no with different types of people and in different situations. Too many of his examples rely upon using family, specifically children, as your reason to say no; he should have given multiple examples in each section, particularly giving examples for people for whom immediate family concerns, or children, may not be the pressing issue. That said, if you have trouble saying no to people, I think you will find value in this book.