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How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty: And Say Yes to More Time, and What Matters Most to You Paperback – February 13, 2001


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How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty: And Say Yes to More Time, and What Matters Most to You + When I Say No, I Feel Guilty + Too Nice for Your Own Good: How to Stop Making 9 Self-Sabotaging Mistakes
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; 1 edition (February 13, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767903803
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767903806
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #492,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Featuring an extremely promotable high concept, this effort to combine assertiveness training with the aims of the simplicity movement results in an occasionally useful, if unoriginal, self-help book. By saying "no"--with skill and sensitivity--to draining, unsatisfying activities, literary agent and public speaker Breitman and writer Hatch argue, readers will have time and energy for more important ones. After covering the principles behind graceful refusals (e.g., act from generosity; saying less is more), much of the book is devoted to scripts for dealing with a variety of sticky situations--from requests for loans to handling freeloaders, high-maintenance acquaintances, service and professional help--and preventive strategies, some of which are helpful while others could easily come off as insincere. A section on handling unreasonable work demands, such as overtime and extra assignments, does not seem especially realistic, although there is some thoughtful advice on delicate issues such as critiquing performance, dealing with requests for raises and turning down job applicants. Advice on following one's bliss and self-employment seem misplaced here, while suggestions about how to say no to spouses and children are adequate. Readers who want a thorough grounding in assertiveness techniques would benefit more from classics like When I Say No, I Feel Guilty, instead of this hodgepodge of excuses.$40,000 ad/promo.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

Advance praise for How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty:

"This book is the bible on how to say no and still be seen as a nice person. It can change your life forever."
--Jack Canfield, coauthor of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series

"It's a book to consult over and over again. I recommend it."
--John Gray, Ph.D., author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus

"Brilliant! This practical, powerful book will help you express what you really feel and want."
--Harold H. Bloomfield, M.D., author of Making Peace with Your Past

"This is a charming, intelligent, and practical guide to finding the great YES of life, by learning that NO is a complete sentence. Thoroughly enjoyable."
--Anne Lamott, author of Traveling Mercies

"A road map for opening up lots of needed space in our lives.  Out with the guilt, and in with a life that is ours again!"
--Janet Luhrs, author of The Simple Living Guide and Simple Loving

"How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty enables us to rid ourselves of needless guilt so we can live a richer, more fulfilling life."
--Dave Pelzer, author of A Child Called "It", The Lost Boy, and A Man Named Dave

"This book is wonderfully useful, doable, wise, and inspiring."
--Sue Bender, author of Plain and Simple and Everyday Sacred

"A must for anyone who wants to live a life of joy and ease, and feel good about it."
--Marcia Wieder, author of Making Your Dreams Come True

"The best book I ever read on setting boundaries. This is a must-read for everyone!"
--Sirah Vettese, Ph.D., author of What Happened to the Prince I Married?


From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

A friend told me he read this book 30 years ago and it changed his life.
Debbie the Librarian
Additionally, the writing is very good, and the authors have a weird sense of humor that makes their examples just delightful!
Paul Reed
The suggestions work and the time spent reading the book will come back ten-fold in new-found free time!
a reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Dreaming Kat on July 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
The book literally tells you *how* to say "no" nicely. It doesn't tell you when to say no, or why to say no, it tells you *how* to say no. It doesn't try to give you a moral compass, nor does it judge you or those around you. It doesn't tell you how to best handle the alcoholic in your life; it gives you complete sentences you can use in conversations with the person to make it clear that you don't want to participate (even just by your presence) in X, Y, or Z activities.

There are sections that promote "little white lies", but there are no situations offered where that's the only suggested method of handling it. There are also "preventative" techniques in most of the sections. While those techniques are generally avoidant, I can see how they can be useful for those who are just learning to be assertive and thus can not be assertive frequently.

I don't think there's anything all that groundbreaking in the book; it's literally a book of stock phrases in list format between short sections of motivational prose designed to give you the guts to say it. It can't give you a backbone, but if your in the process of getting one implanted, it can help you change your speech patterns to reflect this (and avoid transplant rejection). It may also help you fake having a backbone with those who aren't pushy.

This book is definitely for when you've already decided that "no" is what you want to say, but you can't actually come up with the words to do so. While the book is clearly by and for middle-middle and upper-middle class women, most of the stock phrases will work for anyone.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Paul Reed on June 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is packed with suggestions and guidance to help learn to stop doing things you don't want to do and start doing the things you do want to do. In a society as sick with codependence as ours is, it's not an easy thing to do -- we've got all kinds of bizarre notions about being polite, being aggreeable, etc. So it takes a lot of effort, learning, and practice to break free. This book shows you how. Additionally, the writing is very good, and the authors have a weird sense of humor that makes their examples just delightful!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Roy B. Mccammon on August 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you know you need to say no, but don't know how, this is the book for you. It literally gives you the words to string together to say no without appearing mean and hateful. Also there is a chapter on handling high maintenance people in your life.

But, if you don't know you should say no, this book won't help. If you know you should say no but don't want to, again there is no help. This book won't give you a backbone.
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65 of 84 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
Here's a simple quiz to determine if this book is for you. Answer Yes or No to the following 2 questions, which are situations used in the book.
Question #1 - You are asked to go out on a date with someone that you find unattractive and do not wish to go out with them. You should not just tell them No, but also tell them that you are seeing someone else to show "mercy" on them? Yes or No (The book refers to this as a "face savings" technique.)
Question #2 - Your 6 year old child likes chocolate covered cereal, but you want them to eat something more nutritious. When at the grocery store with your child you should avoid the cereal isle and come back to get cereal another time, thus avoiding the need to say no? Yes or No (The book refers to this as a "prevention" technique.)
If you answered Yes to either question, you will probably agree with the suggestions in this book. However, you are lacking a moral compass and/or are so spineless that a 6 year old can walk all over you. Face the fact that there probably isn't any book that will help you, and this one will only continue to feed your lack of character and self confidence.
If you answered No to both questions, you know more about "saying no" than you can get from this book. Buying this book would only infuriate you as it is filled with excuses, trickery and deceptions. All of which lead to the guilt that the book is supposed to help you avoid.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 9, 2000
Format: Audio Cassette
Thank you for this invaluable book! As someone who has always had trouble saying "no" in many different contexts because of fearing the stigma of being considered not a "nice person", your clear-headed and insightful advice has helped me to start creating time and energy for what I really want to do and not just automatically responding affirmatively to demands for my time, attention, etc. I especially appreciated the chapter on saying "no" to family and friends because that has always been a very complicated area for me. Great book!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Linda on June 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I attended a class that Patti Breitman and Connie Hatch gave in New York, and I just finished reading "How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty". This is a really valuable book, written by two people who are clearly committed to providing important infomation that can be used every day. The book is concise and practical, and is written in a supportive way. It is infused with a sense of ethics that is critical to the subject. It's often very difficult to say no, and to do it in a way that protects the feelings of everyone involved can be very tricky. The authors provide example after example of how to maneuver through this minefield. I highly recommend this book--it has value for virtually everyone, and is a thoughtful and caring gift. Midway through reading "How to Say No...", I gave several copies to some very appreciative friends and relatives. Thank you, Patti Breitman and Connie Hatch, for writing such an important book.
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