I think you can tell. But I am so exhausted by presenting a façade of interest, enthusiasm, and conformity to the rest of the world.
I want to feel empowered to feel free to be myself and live my best life. So I thought it would be useful to define what I mean when I talk about caring less:
This might sound selfish, and it is. I will admit that.
But it also creates a better world for everyone around you.
You’ll stop worrying about all the things you have to do and start focusing on the things you want to do. You’ll be happier and more genial at work; your colleagues and clients will benefit. You’ll be better rested and more fun around friends. You might spend more time with your family – or you might spend less, making those moments you do share all the more precious.
And you’ll have more time, energy, and/or money to devote to living your best life.
I know this to be true. I vividly remember always being in a shitty mood when coming back from work, where I ‘had’ been forced to participate in after work drinks, donate £20 of my hard earned currency to a said Gail, because she decided to raise money for a cause I did not truthfully care about and then have to eat lunch yet again at Pret. I used to take all this frustration out on people who I actually cared about, which in hindsight was not right at all.
So please listen when I say that the shame and guilt you feel when you’re trying so hard not to care, is usually not because you are wrong not to care. It’s because you’re worried about what other people might think about your decision
And guess what? You have no control over what other people think.
For crying out loud, you have a hard enough time figuring out what you think! Believing that you have control over what other people think – and wasting your cares on that pursuit is futile. It is a recipe for failure on a grand scale.
You may be thinking; “I can’t possibly stop worrying about what other people think. It’s programmed into my DNA!” Well, sorry to break it to you: our DNA can only take us so far. In order to live our best life, we are going to have to ‘hack the system’.
In my opinion, there are two reasons why we tend to care about what other people think: one, because we don’t want to be a bad person, and two, because we don’t want to look like a bad person.
You should, of course, continue to care about what other people think as it pertains to their feelings (i.e., are you going to actively hurt those feelings by not caring about the situation at hand?). But be honest – you know full well when you’re hurting someone’s feelings. What I’m saying is, you don’t have to care about what other people think when it comes to their opinions.
Does that make sense?
Ok, look at it this way: As humans, we have every right to politely disagree with or not share someone else’s opinion. This is a passive stance. It’s not hurting anybody and it’s entirely defensible. And it’s honest, which saves you from having to remember a lie! So it’s a win-win situation the way I see it.
But I know we all know those people who can’t stop caring about you not caring. You can be as honest and polite as the day is long and they just don’t get it. They can’t stop themselves from arguing with you, coaxing you, and trying to change your mind. Whatever it is that you don’t care about, it is so important to them that they can’t accept your difference of opinion. They won’t be swayed by honest or politeness. These people are begging for confrontation. It’s like they want their feelings hurt.
In cases like these, you have to consider the long-term drain on your budget (i.e. time, energy, and/or money). It may actually be beneficial to be/look like a bad person if it means it can put an end to this conversation and future said conversations once and for all. Of course, don’t be an arsehole, would never encourage that but what I am tying to say is consider people’s feelings separate from their opinions.
Little by little you will begin to notice the difference in your life as a result.
As I said in my previous post over the last two years I would say I stopped caring about small things that annoyed me. I RSVP’d “no” to a couple of catch-up dinners. I unfriended some truly irritating people on Facebook. I refused to suffer through another pointless conversation, for fear of not being liked. And little by little, I started feeling better. Less burdened. More peaceful. I hung up on telemarketers, I said no to a weekend trip with people I couldn’t hold more than fifteen minutes, conversation with, I stopped watching season 4 of House of Cards after only two episodes because it stopped making sense. I was becoming my true self; able to focus more on people and things that actually sparked joy. I actually liked this person now.
And it may take a little getting used to, but not caring about people’s opinions of you is something that’s certainly worth pursuing, to live a glorious life 🙂
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