Tuesday, August 14, 2018

5 Things I Learned from Reading the Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck

Suffer from overthinking? Anxiety? Getting angry too easily? Sick and tired of overly positive self-help books? The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck is the book for you. 

I just recently finished reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson and I loved it.  It wasn't filled with the typical unicorns and rainbows that comes along in a self-help book. There was profanity and some slight negativity. It was realistic. It acknowledges that bad stuff will happen, but the trick is to not focus on it because a lot of things, truthfully, aren't that important. It was a refreshing perspective from the typical self-help book.

There were 5 major insights that kind of made me think, "Whoa. I've never thought about it that way." And, I would like to share those insights with you. So, here are the 5 Things I Learned from Reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck.

1.) You have limited fucks to give.

Some of you guys may know this already, but you are going to die. With that being said, your life is limited and so is the number of fucks that you can give.

So, do you really want to stress so much about that person that is irrelevant in your life not liking you? Or, about how you're stuck in a traffic jam? I sure as hell don't, which is why I'm learning how to not get so frustrated about every little thing. Your fucks should be reserved for special occasions and situations, like a job interview, maintaining your relationships with people that are close to you, your future, etc.

2.) Not giving a fuck isn't about being indifferent.

I definitely believed this misconception that not giving a fuck is the same as being indifferent. And Manson makes a good point. There is only one certain type of people who don't feel anything about anything at all. And, that group of people is categorized as sociopaths.

Being a person who doesn't give a fuck is a person who carefully chooses what they care about. They are people that choose not to give a fuck about the smaller things that don't really affect them. The author isn't advocating you to be a sociopath. It's actually the opposite. He just wants you to focus your energy on the bigger things that actually do matter.

3.) "Finding yourself" limits your growth potential.

Mostly everyone is on a quest on trying to find themselves, but Manson believes that you shouldn't because you're going to stunt your growth potential. When you're finding yourself, you're more open to thoughts, concepts, new experiences, and listening to other people's point-of-view. When you decided that you "found yourself" you'll try to stay within the confines of the identity that you've settled yourself into.

Although I don't completely agree with it, it really stuck out to me because I thought it was an interesting concept. 

4.) Sometimes, just because it's someone else's fault, it doesn't mean it's not your responsibility. 

We tend to see things black and white when it comes to fault and responsibility. We think that just because something is our fault we need to take responsibility for it.

Like if you rear-end the car in front of you, you're legally obligated to take responsibility for it. Well, at least in Massachusetts, you are. Or, if you hurt your friend's feelings by saying something insensitive, you're responsible for apologizing to your friend.

But, there are some things that aren't your fault, but still your responsibility. For example, if someone that you loved broke up with you, they'd be at fault for you being sad, but you are responsible for how you feel. Your ex-partner is not responsible for your unhappiness, you are. You need to make the steps towards recovery. You shouldn't rely on your ex to help you feel better, or anyone for that matter. That's toxic.

Once you choose to take responsibility for your life, you'll realize how much more control you have. It's scary, but it also means that your life is not a complete product of your environment. You have control over your life, which means you can make it better if you want to.

5.) An unhealthy relationship includes someone who doesn't take responsibility and another person who takes too much responsibility.

In a healthy relationship, the people in that relationship take responsibility for their own lives.  But, in an unhealthy relationship, this is not the case. There's usually one person who doesn't take any responsibility for their life and wants their partner to solve their problems for them. The other person takes too much responsibility by being responsible for that other person's life, as well as, their own. 

This isn't just romantic relationships; it's friendships, family relationships, etc.

I'll use the example from the book to help you understand. If an overbearing mother thinks her son needs to get a job, she'll start applying for jobs for him instead of letting him take responsibility for it.

In that example, it's clearly black-and-white. The son should be applying for himself. But, not all situations in life are that black-and-white. Let me give you an example that may be a gray area for some people.

One partner has clinical depression and doesn't want to get help. The other person feels responsible to pull them out of their depression and try to make them "happy". This results in an extremely toxic relationship because it would be an endless endeavor since it's not really that person's responsibility, nor did the depressed person decide that they want to get better.

At best, the only things that the person who takes too much responsibility can really do are be there for the depressed person's journey and provide resources if the other person is not really receptive to getting help. Any more actions won't result in the outcome that they hope unless the depressed person takes responsibility and gets help.

I'm not saying that you can't help people when they're going on a difficult journey. Of course, be there and help them if you choose to. Just make sure you're not crossing the boundary of taking responsibility for their life, too.

Got any more insights or any more book suggestions? Share it in the comments below! If you liked this post, share it on Facebook, Twitter, and/or with a friend! 


  1. I agree with most of it. I think I should read the book itself- it seems like an interesting read.

  2. Yes! I recommend it! If you listen to the audiobook, it's so entertaining!

  3. I've been dying to read this book and your post definitely make me want to read it even more! Will let you know what I think after I read it

    1. Please do! Can't wait to know your thoughts!