by Susan Newman PhD  

 On every one of the many time management training programmes that I have delivered – over 100 – when exploring personal learning objectives, someone says they want to learn how to ‘Say No’.  

So it’s a big issue.

The good news is that if you want to be able to say no (and keep your job) this book will assist.

The book asks ‘Are you overscheduled, overworked, overburdened?’ and offers the “No-How” needed to take back your life, helping you to

  • recognise when someone is manipulating you into saying “yes”
  • avoid being socially overcommitted and put an end to feelings of resentment, anger and guilt
  • get more enjoyment out of the time you make for friends and family
  • establish boundaries and be more focused and effective at work

The book has six chapters:-

  • Introduction – this covers the basics of saying no, and offers the ‘No Credo’
  • Part 1 – Saying no to friends
  • Part 2 – Saying no to family
  • Part 3 – Saying no at work
  • Part 4 – Saying no to really difficult people
  • Conclusion – this offers some ideas of how to put Saying No into practice

250 ways to say no

The 250 ways to say no are in the 4 parts. The format of each part is the same:-

  • Brief introduction
  • A number of scenarios that you may have to deal with, and how to deal with them.

An example from Part 1 –  Friends


“We’ll meet at your apartment at seven and leave from there

What’s going on here?

A brief description of an issue that is making you want to say no


What you could say –  “No. Let’s decide where we want to go and meet  there”


What to be aware of  – when you know the drill, don’t let history repeat  itself


Final Thoughts

I realised that in some situations I would find it easier to say no than others, and this is a useful insight to help to target the situations I need strategies to say no in.

The book is easy to read: clearly laid out, using every day language and the scenario approach means one can quickly find areas of relevance. It’s easy to dip into and revisit.



© Krista Powell Edwards 2021