Summary of The Art of Saying No

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  • Applicable
  • Bestseller
  • Well Structured
  • Concrete Examples


Are you a professional doormat? Do people constantly push you around to get you to help them? If so, what can you do? Turn to author Damon Zahariades, whose best-selling instruction manual gives you useful techniques for saying no. A self-described “recovering people pleaser,” Zahariades applies his real-world experience to this universal issue. He used to turn himself inside out, he maintains, to help his friends, family members and colleagues with any requests for assistance. Although he always offered his valuable time with a big smile, inside he would be miserable and feel like a sap. Zahariades explains why you should speak honestly and directly about what you want to do and don’t want to do. This includes saying no when appropriate. He asks readers to personally commit to applying his lessons about speaking up for themselves and not always giving in to never-ending requests. To learn to say no, begin by saying yes to Zahariades’s outlook and strategies. He promises that the more often you say no now, the less often you’ll need to say it in the future.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How to overcome the habitual, “learned behavior” of always saying yes;
  • Why the word “no” is so powerful; and
  • How to say no to others without feeling guilty.

About the Author

Lifestyle management expert Damon Zahariades has written several time-management and productivity books and produces the Art of Productivity blog.



Are You a “Go-To Person”?

Here’s a common dilemma: A friend asks you for help, and you comply. The 10 to 15 minutes of your time that your friend requested turns out to be closer to an hour. You feel good about helping, but you also feel bad: You could have used that time on important work that needed completing. Now, you’re further behind. And you might feel like a chump.

Soon afterward, another friend makes a similar request and, being “nice,” you lose another hour away from your work. Now, you’re even further behind. Unfortunately, this often becomes a pattern. In an effort to be kind, you assume the put-upon role of go-to person who always does favors for others. As a result, you may end up resenting the people who ask you for a hand. And you may be angry at yourself for giving up time you needed for yourself. Here’s a simple truth: Every time you say yes to someone else, you say no to yourself. Fortunately, there’s a productive way to get out of this predicament: Learn how to say no with poise, grace and tact – and without guilt.

Protect Your Time


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