Book Review – F*ck No by Sarah Knight

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This book can be found here on Goodreads and here on Amazon

This e-book was provided for review via Netgalley for an honest review

This book covers the following topics – Non-Fiction / Self-Help

Publisher’s release date: 31 Dec 2019

How does someone get better at saying “No?” Why would you want to be better at saying no? According to Sarah Knight and her successful series of books that tackle everything from not giving a f*ck to putting oneself first, there is a myriad of tricks and practices everyone who has problems with saying no can learn out of the safety of their lounge.

How is this book written for the audience?

Sarah Knight has made a successful career out of helping people face their fears and shortcomings, and she continues this stride with her latest book, F*ck No!: How to Stop Saying Yes When You Can’t, You Shouldn’t, or You Just Don’t Want To. Sarah is a TED speaker and a New York Times bestselling author. So what makes it so easy for some of us to say no, and why is it so hard for others? Sarah speaks from personal experience as a full-time corporate book editor who got tired of giving authors lousy news daily. Ask yourself if you have ever been the person that always has to please everyone? Or the push-over that always caves when they should stand their ground? Or even the overachiever that takes on way too much work for minimal reward or none at all? If you can relate to any of these scenarios, you will benefit greatly from reading this book.

Some of the highlights of this book included the following advice that Sarah offers unapologetically to the reader:

– Building real, applicable boundaries for yourself and those people in your life you find it hard to say no to. These people can be family members, friends, bosses or colleagues. It doesn’t matter because Sarah’s advice can be moulded around to fit with any relationship that you have.
– Having personal policies that help you to apply the boundaries you’ve created to real-world situations.
– Dealing with those people that won’t take “no” for an answer and how to continue being in control when you don’t feel in control
– Dealing with the guilt of saying “no” in a responsible way that can come in many shapes and forms
– Approaching the “fall out” or consequences of saying “no” and working to move beyond these limitations

The language used – is it simple enough to understand for the everyday reader?

One of the essential concepts in Sarah’s book is that not all situations and examples will be something you can relate to. This book is structured in such a way that you can skip and re-read sections that are relevant to you and your life. After all, this book is all about improving yourself, and only you know where that improvement needs to be applied.

As an example, I’ll use my own experience here – I don’t have a single problem with telling telemarketers “no” or telling door-to-door sellers “no, but thank you!” But some people might. Sarah has thought about her material extensively, and I do mean that this book is extremely comprehensive and covers just about every situation you could imagine and then some. So again, you can pick up this book and apply what you’ve learned to Sarah’s material – look at the chapters you want to look at and ignore the rest. Or, if you’re a completionist (like I tend to be), read the entire book and apply only what you know to be relevant when required. It is that simple.

That said, however, the language used in this book may be a little “blunt” for some readers. Not all readers will appreciate the way Sarah uses certain words (mostly slang and swear words) in her writing. So this book won’t appeal to everyone. But I enjoyed the stripped-down nature of the book, and its rawness made it easier for me to feel comfortable reading about difficult situations. I prefer the no-nonsense approach.

What can be gained from the book – does it educate the reader?

I didn’t choose to review this book because of any particular need that I had other than I wanted to read it because I thought the subject matter would be interesting. And I also appreciate the way that Sarah approaches her material. But the further into this book I progressed the more I began to realise that this book is addressing experiences I have had. I remember feeling like I couldn’t breathe or like I was choking because of the pressure other people in my life were putting onto me. I remember the horrible feeling that crept over me whenever I said “yes” to a person I didn’t like. I remember how annoyed and disgusted with myself I felt because I had given into the guilt, yet again. I am one of the people that Sarah has spent a considerable chunk of her career trying to reach out to. Perhaps something subconsciously was telling me I needed to read this book. Maybe the experience can be the same for you too. This book could be a revelation or could provide clarity into your shortcomings or even deeper than that.

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