Review: F*ck Feelings: One Shrink's Practical Advice for Managing All Life's Impossible Problems

F*ck Feelings: One Shrink's Practical Advice for Managing All Life's Impossible Problems F*ck Feelings: One Shrink's Practical Advice for Managing All Life's Impossible Problems by Michael I. Bennett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a lengthy book which could be very dry. Father and daughter team Michael and Sarah Bennett do a good job of balancing the dry and the funny. Each book is laid out with common problems. These common problems are analyzed and explained in common terminology which will resonate with many people. It gives examples of situations. All issues come with a person's desire, what realty will be and talking points on how to overcome these issues. I liked this format a lot because it is practical.

There are many things I liked about this book. I liked the points they made. Below are the ones I captured which I wanted to remember. What I really liked was the end of all these issues people can have, it comes down to, do you really need a therapist. The authors provide pros and cons including the chances of having insurance covering the therapy. What I liked most is how the authors explained there is no way to change other people who are "negatively" impacting you. The only thing you can do is change yourself. And that therapy is not a cure. Finding the root cause does not equate to an issue solved. And honestly, I liked the title of this book because really, F- feelings - grow a pair… Un-PC of me to say? Bite me.

But that doesn’t actually mean there’s a person, be it a parent, political figure, or pitcher, who’s responsible for our unhappiness. More often, the real source may be our personalities, our genes, or a lot of shit luck. (kindle loc. 1854-1856)

YES! I think this all the time but we run into people who do not like to take ownership of their own problems. It is always someone else who did it to them.

The sad irony is that social work often takes good people with the best of intentions, pairs them with bad people with terrible intentions, and best-case scenario, robs the good people of their faith in humanity as they realize they’ve been working very hard to help bad people do worse. (Kindle loc. 2361-2363)

I mentioned this once to a few social work friends. They didn't like my perspective. It is good to see I am not alone in this assessment.

The title of chapter five says it all for me. I loved it.

If people who suffer from anxiety are guilty of anything, it’s being born at the wrong time; there was a time when being hyperalert and quick to fear was the best way to keep from being eaten by a prehistoric megabear or stay prepared for an attack by a rival warlord. Alas, in today’s world, where megabears are long gone and rivals post all their moves in advance on Twitter, such hyperalertness is more of a burden than a gift. (kindle loc. 2649-2652)

Is it really being paranoid of they are really out to get you?

Probably my favourite phrase in the book - fuck assholes .

Contrary to everything you’ve heard from preachers, alcohol counselors, and characters in angel-themed TV programs, certain bad people can’t stop (Kindle loc. 4747-4749)

If you’re forced to live or deal with an Asshole every day, you’ll probably have strong feelings about them. This may prompt you to seek help from the appropriate professional. If that professional isn’t a hit man, you will be tempted to find a way to help said Asshole or, even better, get him help from a shrink. While many seem to believe that shrinks have a special technique for taming Assholes and getting them to see the light—Asshole whisperers, as it were—no one has such powers. Most people attempt to be Asshole screamers, which is even worse. The sooner you learn that all attempts to change Assholes are futile (at any volume), the sooner you’ll be able to live with Assholes in your day-to-day -- (Kindle loc. 4760-4765

Did I mention the authors are hilarious? Asshole whisperers… I need to use this phrase at work.

You might think that nobody would get close to an Asshole on purpose, but the problem is, Assholes are often attractive (just ask any dog, har har). Intense emotions are attractive, even when they’re ugly, and Assholes, like crazy people (and crazy women—see chapter 6), convey so much raw emotion that (a) it’s like living in your own personal telenovela, and (b) they seem like tragic victims. When they turn to us non-Assholes for help and shower us with praise, one can’t help but be sucked in. Assholes offer us a chance to step into their drama and play a role—hero, victim, unjustly accused, you name it—without the need for talent or a ticket. In addition, they’re naturally less inhibited by doubts and second thoughts than the rest of us so they speak with more confidence and conviction. Unfortunately, after initially being your best friend/indebted admirer, Assholes tend to graduate you to their enemies list (or at least force you to listen to their enemies list, the length of which should serve as a huge red flag). (Kindle loc. 4771-4778)

I believe this is why we now have this bloody word called "Frenemies".

Here’s how you can tell your trusted best friend is really an Asshole:
• All your reasonable efforts to swallow your anger and pride and reestablish communication after a disagreement have failed, or made things worse
• You realize all those bad people who hurt and betrayed your friend before she met you might not actually be so bad
• Her understanding of current events is all about what you did wrong, and not necessarily accurate or self-referential
• She’s prepared to say and do things that will harm her as well as you in order to get “justice,” usually of the biblical variety (wrath, hellfire, etc.). (Kindle loc. 4797-4803)

Note to self, thank goodness I have no assholes in my inner circle of friends.

That’s another good reason God created hard times—so we can find out who the Assholes are. (Kindle loc. 4826-4827)

I did mention they are funny, right?

Many people think therapy is a deeply emotional, somewhat spooky process whereby a compassionate, supportive Melfi/Gandalf hybrid therapist gets patients to recognize and experience painful thoughts, memories, and feelings. People assume this therapy gets at deeper reasons for emotional pain and irrational behavior and offers a more permanent and self-reliant solution to persistent unhappiness than just popping happy pills ever could. Unfortunately, therapy of that kind, like most treatments, is rarely a cure, sometimes totally ineffective, and frequently effective to a limited degree. In any case, insurers would rather pay for you to get a third arm attached to your back to better facilitate the scratching of your ass than cover any kind of frequent, endless, goalless therapy. (Kindle loc. 5269-5274)

Wow. Why don't more people know about this? And, it would be really nice to have a third arm, but not attached to my back because I like to sleep on my back.

As for getting at the root of issues, that’s nice when it happens, but it usually only happens in movies (that aren’t good) with results that are equally unrealistic. In real life, most problems have many causes and many of those causes can’t be changed, even with blinding insight or a good, snotty cry, so if you expect that treatment will provide solutions, you’ll feel like a failure. (Kindle loc. 5274-5277)

Which would explain why I haven't seen this work for some of the people I know.

As for meds, it’s always your choice to decide whether they’re necessary; if you think that shrinks can hold your nose and force pills down your throat, you’re mistaking them with veterinarians. Sometimes, the choice to try medication is simple; i.e., if your symptoms don’t let you get out of bed in spite of warm support and good coaching. It’s the same choice you would make for any chronic, severe medical problem, so don’t get moralistic and blame yourself for whatever decision you think is negative. (Kindle loc. 5339-5343)

But if I hold someone down and force them to take some pills, it is okay, right?

ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy) Insurance Friendly?: Surprisingly, yes BTPS: 9 (Was once low—it was tried for whatever ails you until the 1970s—but now very high.)   … A method for causing seizures in people who don’t have epilepsy, because seizures tend to clear up depression (as was probably discovered thousands of years ago). Only administered in hospitals under anesthesia.  -- (Kindle loc. 5450-5455)

Now this I totally did not expect. I was shocked by this (pun intended).

This book is recommended to readers interested those who are interested in views on therapy that goes against the current 1st world norms.

*provided by Edelweiss

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