Book of the week: F*ck Feelings
A cuss-filled self-help book that helps you get past the whining
CliffsNotes: A psychiatrist from Harvard and his daughter, a comedy writer, tell you how to eject your emotions—those bossy little monsters with poor impulse control—from the driver’s seat and hand over the wheel to your calmer, more rational side. According to the good doc, sharing your feelings sets you up to expect immediate relief from whatever is bothering you, but when that doesn’t happen (because your situation still hasn’t changed), you become disappointed in addition to being miserable. This pity party is beginning to get crowded. The solution? Think, don’t feel, your way out of a bad situation. Accepting reality gives you a better chance of dealing with it. Plus, cursing generally helps.
Get a taste:
“… your primary goal is not to get rid of negative feelings and feel better, but to block them from controlling your behavior while you continue to act like a decent person.”
“Put doing good over feeling good, and you will get good results.”
“Working hard at managing love doesn’t mean becoming supremely unselfish and generous in a totally unconditional, nonjudgmental way; it means becoming very judgmental about what you can expect from people and yourself and putting conditions on whom you allow yourself to get close to, love be damned.”
Author 101: Dr Michael Bennet has two Harvard degrees and over three decades experience as a psychiatrist, so his advice is practical and goal-oriented. His daughter and writing partner, Sarah Bennet, is a comedy sketch writer and her contribution makes what would have been a heavy-handed book on facing reality more warm and readable.
ELLE Verdict: It feels liberating to say just the title of this book to yourself when you feel a dip in your mood. It’s like shrugging off a burden and helps you focus on putting one foot in front of the other. Feelings of inadequacy or guilt can slow us down without actually enriching our lives—it’s nice to be able to tell them where they get off. Of course, this is much harder to do if you have depressive tendencies and can’t really locate the off switch to your emotions. On the whole, while the tough-love approach may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it does have an energy to it that could help you make some big changes.
Similar reads: Other tough-love bestsellers you might appreciate include the F*ck It series by John C Parkin (who also runs F*ck It retreats), Leave A Cheater, Gain A Life by Tracy Schorn and that oldie but goodie, He’s Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo