Thursday, September 24, 2009

"The Power of No: How to Keep Blowhards and Bozos at Bay" by Beth Wareham

Description from
"The terrible yes years. You know them well: You're suckered into working late and often, unflattering haircuts and poodle perms, back-fat-exposing blouses, too small jeans, treacherous friendships, and dudes who kiss like a Saint Bernard…all because you couldn't use that one little word…that one little word with so much power…N-O.
Unlike "please respect my boundaries," N-O has teeth. It says jump back! Stand down! Mess-with-me-at-your-peril! It can be delivered like a whisper or spat out like a curse. N-O is perfect for every relationship, from cubicle to corner office, backyard to bedroom, dry cleaner to grocery store. Worn on your hip and drawn in one smooth action, NO lets you say, "I don't have time for this nonsense. I am making a great life here."
The perfect book for anyone who has ever been passed over for a promotion, dated jerks, married a disaster, suffered too many fools, or just needed more time alone, The Power of No will teach you how to manage what you don't want and get what you do. "

Review and my thoughts:
When I was at the library on Monday, not needing any new books for myself (I was there to return some books on CD that I listen to in the car with my children and pick out some new ones to listen to) I wandered through the new books section. When I was about to cross the threshold I almost said no to myself but now I'm glad I didn't. This book jumped out at me because of the big "NO" on the cover. Right now I feel like we are in fundraiser hell, every week one of the schools or organizations my children belong to send something new home for us to order from and try to sell to our friends. I hate asking people to buy overpriced stuff and was looking for help at saying no without feeling guilty about it. I want to say no not just to fundraisers, but to the multiple requests I get to volunteer my time to work a consession stand at football or chair a committee for the PTA or shelve books at the library etc.

I wish I had had some of this advice in college and when I was dating because I wasted so much time waiting for a call or wondering if I was going to hear from a guy. My best semester in college was the one where I didn't date anyone seriously and just had fun on my own terms when I wanted to.

Saying no is so hard for me. Not so much to my children, I tell them no all the time if it fits the situation, but when asked to volunteer my time or do something extra I feel like I often say yes when what I really want to say is no. One of the tips I am definitely going to incorporate into my life is saying that I need to think about it before giving an answer.

Some parts of the book dragged a bit, like she was repeating the same thing too much but if you're reading the book it is most likely because you need to get hit over the head a bit with the need to use the word no when appropriate. I agree that sometimes in order to not have someone else get annoyed at me or probably out of a misguided fear that I won't be liked anymore I say yes to things I don't want to do. Then the person I'm mad at is myself, wouldn't it be better tolet someone else be annoyed rather than being mad at myself?

Hopefully I'm starting down the right path to reserve more time for me for what I want to do rather than saying yes to chores that won't be anywhere near as fulfilling.

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