Book review: F*ck Feelings: One Shrink’s Practical Advice for Managing All Life’s Impossible Problems, by Michael I. Bennett, MD and Sarah Bennett

In this brilliantly sensible and funny book, a Harvard-educated shrink and his comedy-writing daughter reveal that the real f-words in life are “feelings” and “fairness.” While most self-help books are about your feelings and fulfilling your wildest dreams, F*ck Feelings will show you how to find a new kind of freedom by getting your head out of your ass and yourself onto the right path toward realistic goals and feasible results. F*ck Feelings is the last self-help book you will ever need! (Goodreads)

Ah, see how promising this book was going to be? This was going to be a different self-help book. This was not going to be those lame ass self-help book you have been tricked to read. Oh no, you won’t be tricked into reading a self-help book when you read this book. Why? Because look at how no-nonsense the book title is. Look at how the book is not speaking to you in the condescending shrink tone like the other self-help book. Oh how this book was a promising book.

But, of course, once a self-help book, will always be a self-help book.

Behind the no-nonsense crap the book’s language is, behind the cuss words that made the book seems like a fun and easy to read kind of book, behind all those glittering promises that this was going to be a different self-help book than the other self-help book; this was still the exact same and carbon copy of all the other self-help book out there.

What this book is good at is one thing; good marketing. Imagine a situation where you’re feeling incredibly blue/gloomy/sad/depressed etc. and you just want to get out of the rut, then you see this book somewhere. With its blinding yellow cover, and the attractive title, and the promise of the practical advice for managing life’s impossible problems; now why wouldn’t you give this book a try? After all the countless annoying self-help books that you’ve read before this, this books seems like your hail Mary book. This was the book that was going to save you. Then you read the introduction part, and you just knew it that this was the book; the promised book for all your life’s impossible problems.

But, see, it’s not. It’s all just good marketing. You read the first few chapters and you’re nodding your head thinking that, yep ’tis book is my jam ’cause it’s full of cuss words and whatever. But the thing is, as you progress with the book, the cuss words are getting less and less, and the condescending tone of typical self-help book starts to emerge. The language now turns into the know-it all ones. Like it knows how to fix your problem, any of your problem, and if you still can’t, maybe because you’re not trying hard enough.

See, another thing about this book apart from its good marketing is that this book promotes acceptance. It tells you to accept the things you can change and to move on forward from there, as oppose to spending the rest of your entire life trying to change the unchangeable things. While this is a good advice (it really is, I was not being sarcastic about it), I don’t think I need to read the whole entire book about it. Because, as interesting as the chapter classifications are, every single thing says the exact same thing just with a bit of twist here and there. Every single examples being said always be answered with something about accepting that things are beyond your control, that sometimes you are not responsible for the shits in your life, and what you can be in control is how you move forward from the shits. Well, it don’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out.

Although, to be completely fair, most people in their darkest times almost always failed to notice the simple truth that for most of the time, all the shitty things in your life can happen out of your control. But, hey, if we’re being petty about everything, I stand by my judgement that this book is not that different from other self-help book and that basically this was all just good marketing.

Oh wait, you think that this book is still different from the others? Because it speaks simply? Yeah, sure. You’re right on that one. But after three chapters in and the whole entire content of the books uses the same formula (and basically is just saying the same thing), you are as bored as you would be when you’re reading other self-help book. It started with a monologue about something, then it gets into some examples, followed by some pep talk on how to overcome the said example problems, and closed it all with a letter on how to overcome it. Over and over and over again, that is the whole content of the book. See if you’re not tempted to end the book before it actually is over.

To be fair, I don’t think a self-help book is something that you would be reading like you would to a novel or any other type of books. I guess self-help book is something that you read like you would read a yellow pages book; you open the table of contents, look for which section that would help you and stick to that chapter only.

So, all in all it was not a bad book. It was pretty enjoyable and I gain some interesting bit from it, but I really wouldn’t be recommending this book freely. Give this book a try if you’re going through a rough patch, but just stick to the specific chapters that correspond to your problem only; or you would lose sight of what the book is trying to say (like it did to me).

Rating: ⭐️⭐️☆☆☆

Title: F*ck Feelings: One Shrink’s Practical Advice for Managing All Life’s Impossible Problems

Author: Michael I. Bennett MD and Sarah Bennett

Genre: Nonfiction, Psychology, Self-help

Goodreads link


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