Author: Mark Manson
ISBN: 13: 978-0062457714
APA Style Citation
Manson, M. (2016). The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. New York: Harper One.
Blog Contributor: Joseph Swope, PhD
Institution: Northwest High School
Despite the title, this book is a serious look at health, happiness, and the things that prevent those two. The book starts off with entertaining anecdotes and a style that makes you believe you are just hanging out with a guy whose has some wisdom to share. Ultimately, Manson gives the premise, that we all have only a certain amount of f*cks to give, so we need to be careful about whom and what we bequeath such a valuable commodity.
The tasteful, frat-boy style eventually gives way to deep concepts that are supported by psychological science. Manson does not necessarily split the philosophical atom, but he does approach the topics of stress and happiness from a point of view that is accessible to everyone and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny.
While always self-deprecating, Manson discusses that his pursuit and eventual achievement of many of his goals did not make him happy. He suggests the same is true for many of his readers. Manson methodically chronicles his greatest pains and admits that most of his suffering comes from his own actions.
This pain/happiness dichotomy is the crux of the book. He offers and supports the idea that avoiding pain and stress is impossible and thus will bring about more pain and stress. Similarly, pursuing happiness is a fool’s errand that will leave one never quite happy. With anecdotes, research, and humor, Manson backs up the simple yet powerful idea that happiness can only come from understanding the true nature of pain and stress.
Other Related Resources
Becker, Ernest (1997) The Denial of Death. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.
Baumeister, R, & Tierney, J. (2012) Will Power: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength. New York, NY: Penguin Books
Psychological Figures and Concepts
Fight, Flight or Freeze
General Adaptation Syndrome
Hierarchy of Needs
James-Lange Theory of Emotion
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder