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Book Freak 141: How to Say No
Four pieces of advice from "The Art of Saying NO" by Damon Zahariades
The Art of Saying NO, by Damon Zahariades is a guide to learning how to decline requests and set boundaries without feeling guilty. It explores the reasons why people struggle to say no, such as wanting to avoid conflict or disappointing others. The book provides practical strategies to say no with grace, such as being direct, taking ownership of your decision, offering alternatives, and setting rules to reject certain categories of requests. It also gives tips on how to say no in different situations, like to your boss, coworkers, or strangers. The goal is to prioritize your needs and reclaim your time and energy.
Here are four quotes from the book:
The root of disappointment
“Disappointment springs from unmet expectations.”
Prioritize your own needs
“One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned is that no one will protect my time or prioritize my needs as vigilantly as me. That’s understandable. Most people act out of self-interest; they naturally put their own priorities ahead of others’ priorities. But it means each of us is responsible for making sure our personal needs are met. No one is going to do it for us. Moreover, it’s important that we attend to our own needs before attending to the needs of others. This assertion may make you feel uncomfortable, particularly if you strive to be loving and giving in all that you do. But allowing your needs to remain unaddressed while you continuously cater to others is the path toward resentment and bitterness. It can even become a health issue if you run yourself ragged (I speak from experience).”
You can't control others' reactions
“Will some people consider you selfish when you say no to them? Of course. You can’t control that. And it’s worth noting, you’re not responsible for them feeling that way.”
Low self-esteem fuels people pleasing
“Burdened with a low self-image, we mistakenly believe our time is worth less than others’ time. We wrongly assume our goals and interests are inferior to other people’s goals and interests. We perceive our value to the world as somehow less than the value offered by those around us.”
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