Book review: The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck


TW: cis-dude saying creepy things re: men wearing “women’s” clothes and a woman’s body

I only got 37 minutes into the 5+ hour audiobook.

I like the premise, although the title is somewhat misleading. Author Mark Manson is suggesting that people choose what they give a fuck about. Instead of yelling at a cashier for not taking a $0.30 coupon, find something more important to worry about. We’re all going to die. Make life full and meaningful.

This is great advice for someone like me. I’m still anxious about a dude who honked at me three years ago for not speeding into a merging lane. (It’s a traffic intersection I can’t explain in words, but I was in the right. Trust me. I’ve been playing this over in my head for years).

From the half hour I listened to of this book, I got a new tool for my anxiety toolbox. When I get the rude cashier at Good Samaritan and she goes out of her way to imply I’m lacking intelligence, I’m going to shift my attention from hating her and plotting ways to never have to see her face again to thinking about how I’m going to use the new crafting supplies I’ve picked up in upcoming Stitching Hearts projects.

But not giving a fuck, according to Manson, is also about just doing things without caring too much about what people think, etc. “These moments of non-fuckery are the moments that most define our lives,” Manson wrote. I like this. This is sort of how I run my life. I don’t dwell on decisions. I dive into whatever seems the most fun, exciting and fulfilling.

I’ve known my husband a total of 11 months and I’ve already moved to another country to be with him. The moment I made that decision was a moment of non-fuckery. I didn’t think about logistics or finances. I’m now so homesick and so broke and really miss being able to work for money (still waiting on that green card!), but when I’m giggling so hard my stomach hurts and I’m about to fall off the couch, I know I made the right decision. A decision I never would have made if I’d taken the time to gather information and weight the options. This is also how I chose my post-secondary program, became a freelancer and got cats. All some of the best decisions of my life.

However, one of Manson’s examples of not giving a fuck is breaking up with your boyfriend because you caught him wearing your pantyhose one too many times. There are so many things wrong with this line. But, basically, this is something that someone should definitely not give a fuck about. Unless said boyfriend has been asked to not wear your tights for practical reasons like he’s stretching them out. I wish I’d just hit pause and moved on then. I’m a little ashamed to say I decided to keep giving this guy a shot.

But not long after this, Manson writes that we need to accept that we’ll never get to touch Jennifer Aniston’s tits. That’s where I bailed. Way to make the breast-harbouring readers super fucking uncomfortable, dude.

If anyone knows of a book that’s similar but missing out on the transphobic, objectifying bullshit, lemme know!