Book Review: F*ck No: How to Stop Saying Yes

Book cover: F*ck no! by Sarah Knight

F*ck No is written by Sarah Knight, who is also the author of The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck. This book covers a variety of situations, including social, work, partner, and family, and helps you to get more comfortable saying no to others’ demands.

The book includes a variety of fun diagrams in the style you might scrawl on a piece of paper, such as a flow sheet that covers things you must/should/do feel guilty about, and a quadrant diagram with answers plotted on axes ranging from polite to impolite and dishonest to honest. There are also plenty of examples of ways to say no for a wide variety of different situations.

The author identifies several different kinds of people who tend to say yes, such as the people pleaser, the overachiever, the FOMO‘er, and the pushover. There’s even a multiple-choice quiz to help you determine which type you are.

The book covers “the gates of hell no” and setting boundaries. Sheep are used as a metaphor representing your time, energy, and money (and I certainly love me some sheep of the animal variety, although not of the human sheeple variety).

The author points out that even insincere apologies can be useful as lube to decrease the friction for all involved. That is the essence of the Canadian hyper-use of “sorry.” It’s not so much insincere as it’s intended to be a social lubricant, regardless of whether there’s any actual apology intended.

There are instructions for the look that keeps small talkers at bay, which is totally up my alley. That look would come in particularly handy on an airplane when you’re stuck in the inhumane middle seat between two talkers who both happen to be manspreaders… (Okay, maybe I’m getting a little carried away with myself.)

She also ponders the situations in which laying out fuck bucks may or may not be called for. I would suggest that some things are better off being thrown in the fuck-it bucket rather than wasting fuck bucks on.

the fuck-it bucket: blue bucket filled with dead fish

Plus the author is all for saying that no, you are absolutely not okay. Preach, sister!

While the book is written in a playful tone, the advice is actually very good. Saying no is something most of us struggle with, yet we should do it more often. This book is a great source of ideas, plus it will make you laugh at the same time.

F*ck No is available on Amazon (affiliate link).

I received a reviewer copy of this book from NetGalley.

You can find my other book reviews here, including a review of the author’s book Calm the F*ck Down.

29 thoughts on “Book Review: F*ck No: How to Stop Saying Yes”

  1. This sounds like something I totally need to read! I’ve recently been getting better at saying no, but I feel like this book would help me get more comfortable with it. I’m adding it to my ‘to be read’ list!

      1. 😂 I really learned it the hard way but I’m getting better at it. I wonder who I would be in the quiz. I apply for people pleaser, part time doormat with a pinch of pushover.

          1. Thanks! No wonder I’m exhausted it’s just such a busy occupation. There are simply not enough hours in a day. How can I take a shower or do something? 🤣

  2. It’s a problem for me as well and I’m not sure why. Can I blame my mom? Lol. People accept when I have to work or visit family, but wanting to write or simply recharge isn’t “good enough.” So, now I have to lie at the last minute & say I’m not feeling well. I don’t like to do that, but it’s just easier.

  3. I have started practicing saying no recently, but I am SO awkward and unskilled at it. It sounds like this book would help! And I suspect I would either be a people-pleaser or pushover according to the quiz hehe

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