Book review: Fuck No by Sarah Knight

I was sent a copy of this book for review purposes and all thoughts are my own. This post features affiliate links

At the start of the year, I shared ten reasons why you need the No Fucks Given Guides in your life, based on the first four titles in the collection (there are also two journals). I’m so pleased that a fifth book has just been released, called Fuck No: How to stop saying yes, when you can’t, you shouldn’t, or you just don’t want to. Sounds like a fantastic life lesson, ready to help you take on 2020 in sweary style, right?

Fuck No by Sarah Knight - book review

As is to be expected when it comes to self-help titles from the ultimate ‘anti-guru’, it’s equal parts helpful and hilarious, packed with puns, alliteration, quizzes and flow charts. I fucking love a quiz, as noted in my review of Get Your Shit Together, when I found out that I’m a Simon (a perfectionist that takes on too much). Fuck No takes it one step further, helping you discover what kind of Yes Man you are: People Pleaser, Pushover, Over-achiever, or FOMOer. Turns out I’m a People Pleasing Pushover. And now I can address it!

What I love about Fuck No is the sheer volume of examples. Its predecessors are packed with advice but sometimes you need someone to put the actual words in your mouth for you. There’s an example for everything here, and several I can apply to situations I’ve already struggled with. When I first started reading it on the commute, I pulled it out at work and shared it with colleagues who were intrigued. I think this copy might get passed around a bit.

The No Fucks Given Guides are welcome reminders that it’s ok to put yourself first. With Fuck No, Knight addresses the most epic of ‘nobstacles’: guilt – it’s a ‘giant obstacle to setting and enforcing boundaries and saying no’. It’s easy to feel that you’re letting people down by not doing someone a favour at work, or choosing to stay at home and relax at the end of a long week rather than going out and being sociable. But Knight suggests weighing up which option is worse: telling someone you don’t want to do the thing they want you to do, or doing something you don’t want to do. When you really weigh up the options, it turns out you win most, if not all, of the time. So start saying (fuck) no more often – and guilt-free.

There’s also a fantastic section on consent which I’d love to see as a separate blog post to easily share across social.

What do you need to learn to say “fuck no” to?

1 thought on “Book review: Fuck No by Sarah Knight”

  1. My girlfriend, Lily, called me and said she was going to be a kinder, gentler Lily this year. That she was changing the tone of her voice and the way she spoke to people and had been practicing this. I asked her why and she said that she seems to offend a lot of people, etc. I told her she (because we are in our 60’s and have been friends since we were about 7), she is one of the most selfless people I know. She gives of herself and her resources all the time. So when she said she was trying to change…I laughed. But then she continued and stated that maybe she’s ok the way she is and it’s others they may have some issues. She stepped into a bookstore and after looking for some self help books, (by the way, she is a psychologist very good one). She saw the book…Fuck No. She said it is great and she is going to recommend it to me. Now, that is my story and I am sticking to it. Can’t wait to read it.

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