Say No, Stay Friends
4.3 (53 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
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Say No, Stay Friends

Protect yourself from abuse and avoid the shame of giving in. Stand up for yourself without being offensive.
4.3 (53 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
1,952 students enrolled
Last updated 5/2016
Price: Free
  • 43 mins on-demand video
  • 4 Articles
  • 4 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Recognize how NOT saying "no" is harmful
  • Recognize situations when saying "no" is better than NOT saying "no."
  • Identify situations where it is difficult for you to say "no."
  • See demonstrations of six gentle to tough skills for saying "no" and the principles that cause them to work.
  • Use the correct skills to say "no" to improve your life.
  • Enjoy greater confidence and better relationships by properly defending yourself from people who would take advantage of you.
View Curriculum
  • No prior skills or knowledge is required, and all needed information is contained within the course.
  • Students do best if they approach the course with humility and a desire to learn how to relate to other people in ways that are better than what they do now.

Saying “no” is a skill that improves personal health and the health of relationships at work, socially, and in the family. If you say “yes” when you should say “no,” you plant seeds of discontent that will grow into a nasty "weed patch" that will spoil the landscape of your life.

This course will quickly help you learn why it is difficult for you to say “no” and teach you how to say the powerful, tiny word “no” with confidence. The lively video sessions will help you learn quickly and efficiently. They are backed up by downloadable and linked resources so you will have all that you need to transform your life—to go from giving in to what others want to getting on with what you want.

This course was entirely developed and written by Richard Walters, PhD.  The course includes methods that he used during his career as a licensed psychologist and workshop leader where he saw many people experience great benefits from the principles and methods in this course.  Everything in the course was prepared by Dr. Walters but, because a neurological problem has robbed him of speech, he is assisted in delivery of the training by Dan Walters (the voice on lesson 5 and who appears in lessons 8 through 12) and by Greg Vonow (the narrator of lessons 1, 2, 4, and 6).  We all wish you well.

It is a precious privilege to have the opportunity to learn and grow in life skills.  Use the opportunity, and may you prosper!  

The course is one-hour, in short, easy to understand lessons, with a self-evaluation inventory and various downloadable guide sheets including "mini-posters" that can help you change habits you haven't been able to change--until now.

Let's get going!  I am ready to help you!

Rich Walters

Who is the target audience?
  • You can benefit from the instruction in this course if one or more of these situations is in your life: (1) You help people out but regret it later, (2) You do so much for others you can't take care of yourself as you want to, (3) You wonder if people think of you as foolish for letting them "walk all over you."
  • If you are consistently comfortable defending the boundaries around your own needs and desires, you probably do not need the course for yourself. However, you may learn how to teach other people how better to take care of themselves.
Compare to Other Confidence Courses
Curriculum For This Course
Saying "No" is a Necessary Life Skill
4 Lectures 10:38

Saying "No" is a valuable life skill. No one can live well without the skill.  This lecture describes the costs of NOT saying "no" and the benefits of saying "no" the right way.

Say No, Stay Friends

It may not be easy to say "no."  This will help you identify why it may be difficult for you to say "no" in some situations.

Why NOT Saying "No" Hurts So Much

This will help you pick out the situations that give you the most trouble, so that you can change what you need to change.  Be honest as you answer.  Do not look at page 2 until you are done with page 1.

Find Out How Well You Say "No" - an inventory

It may seem odd that we can have more freedom if we are inside a fence.  The "fence" represents a boundary that separates us from harm.  Think about how saying "no" can give you more freedom.

How Fences Increase Freedom
Why It Can Be Hard to Say "No"
2 Lectures 12:50

This lectures describes three types of obstacles that may make it difficult for you to say "no" when you need to. You will benefit yourself if you learn to avoid these obstacles or can make them smaller.

Three Obstacles to Saying "No"

This lecture introduces a type of internal conversation that can be very destructive to us because it can keep us from saying "no" when we need to.  These are called bogus beliefs because they are untrue.  They come to us pretending to be sensible, but they can hurt us.  Saying "no" begins by not saying "yes" for the wrong reason.

Siren Songs and Seductive Lies
Methods of Saying "No"
7 Lectures 19:21

Print these (in color, if possible), cut the apart, and put them where you will see them throughout the day.  DO YOURSELF A FAVOR, because these will help you remember that it is right, proper, and compassionate to others and to yourself to say "no" when you need to say "no/"

Mini-posters That Will Help You Lock in New Learning

This introduces the principles that make it possible to say "no" in such a way that it (1) protects you and at the same time (2) is respectful of the other person.

Strategies: Part One

This lecture, further discussion of the principles of how to say "no," shows that we must first know what we believe. Only after that, can we correctly decide what to do in such a way that we are consistent within ourselves and avoid unneeded complications. 

Strategies: Part Two

We talk with words, but we also communicate with hands, facial expression, the use of space, and many other ways, all of which we call nonverbal behavior.  It is as important as the words.

Nonverbal Behavior When Saying "No"

This illustrates six styles of saying "no."  The styles get more and more directive as they go along for a good reason.  A style that is directive may bring a "push-back" (resistance) from the person to whom you are saying "no."  This can damage the relationship.  Why take that chance?  Start with the more gentle style before you use a more directive style.

Six Styles of Saying "No"

The video is a summary that can mark the beginning of new freedom in your life.  Remember the tennis court at the top of the skyscraper and the lesson from the shark cage: fences keep good things in and bad things out. Choose your boundaries wisely.  

Watch Lecture 13.  With Udemy's great mashup feature, you do not need to download anything.

Keep the mini-posters (from Lecture 7) where they will remind you as you learn new habits.  Use resources in Lectures 14 and 15 to extend what you learn here.  Take the quiz and print a certificate as you celebrate the growing self-confidence that comes from saying "no" when you need to.

Udemy makes its courses available forever.  (Isn't that wonderful!)  Come back and refresh your memory whenever you want to!  Do your friends a favor by sending them to Udemy to improve their lives.  

Thanks for letting me be with you, and best wishes,

Rich Walters, PhD


As you listen to this audio file, follow the script as you listen.  Notice the change in the vocal characteristics of the person who is saying “no” as the level of directiveness increases.  Do not try to sound like one of these people—you should always be your natural self, except that when you say "no" it is essential for you to sound definite.  

Audio Demonstration: Trip to Vegas
More Helpful Resources
2 Lectures 05:40

This is optional, but recommended.  Truth always works, regardless of its location in time, place, or culture.  Think about it.  You will benefit as you grow in wisdom, for wisdom is the ultimate power.

Time-Tested Truth about Saying "No" (optional)

Some suggestions of worthwhile sources of this topic and closely related issues.

To Learn More

A good score on this quiz will show that you have mastered the knowledge and that you are now ready to use it skillfully.

Say No, Stay Friends
10 questions
About the Instructor
Dr. Richard Walters
4.4 Average rating
273 Reviews
14,604 Students
4 Courses
Human Relations Specialist

Rich Walters holds master’s degrees in business and counseling, and the PhD in counseling psychology (University of Georgia). He learned theories about distress such as anger and perfectionism during his training, but he learned the "real, where-the-rubber-meets-the-road" practical help that is in his courses from clinical experience as a licensed psychologist. Every strategy he recommends has worked time and again as a useful answer for a valued person. He has led hundreds of training sessions on anger, conflict management, and human relations skills in businesses and churches, has taught counselor education and psychology at para-professional, undergraduate, and graduate levels, and is the author of 24 books on counseling-related topics and life skills (published in nine countries). He recently retired as Vice-President for Academic Affairs at Oxford Graduate School. He is co-founder (with his wife, Dr Diana Walters) of the Center for Bold Action, a nonprofit that encourages and equips people to live joyfully and effectively for the betterment of their own and others' lives.