Author Topic: How to "not care"?  (Read 3994 times)

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Amara

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How to "not care"?
« on: December 21, 2012, 06:51:43 PM »
In the "traveling pies" thread, the OP talked about the power of not caring. I could really use this in several areas of my life, the ability to truly not care. I don't want to cut off the people or the situations, but I would love to know how you achieve that "not caring" level while being polite and nice. How can I stop getting so upset?

otterwoman

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Re: How to "not care"?
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2012, 07:23:54 PM »
I'll ask myself how much 'topic' really effects my life. If it doesn't, then I can just let it go.

Example: my BFF has a louse for a husband. He doesn't work, belittles her when he can, spends them into debt. I care about her, and used to get upset on her behave. However, I have realized that she picked him and chooses to stay with him. So, now I don't care about it. It doesn't affect my life. I can listen to her complain and ask what she plans to do about it, but I am dettached.

bonyk

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Re: How to "not care"?
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2012, 07:34:46 PM »
I think it has to do with surrendering control.  In the post you mentioned, the OP realized that her SIL was throwing a hissy fit.  She also realized that there was nothing to do to stop it.  So why not eat pie and be happy? 

I have a situation in which I've stopped caring.  Basically, I now expect this person to be unreasonable and obnoxious, and I know I cannot change it.  So when they expected happens, I just nod my head and say, "Yeah, that seems about right."  Honestly, I've never been happier.

chibichan

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Re: How to "not care"?
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2012, 07:37:09 PM »
I do it asking myself these questions :

Does my getting upset over other people's behavior / situations ever change or help those behaviors / situations ? Usually , the answer is No .

Am I obligated to fix another person's bad behavior or situation ? Same answer .

If I accept that these people / situations are out of my control , what does caring do except upset me ? Usually nothing .

Do I want to care about this ?

At some point , I realized how powerless I was to "help" certain people . They certainly didn't think they needed any help . They thought they were perfectly fine , Thank-You-Very-Much .

The only thing they wanted to hear from me was " Of course , you are completely right ."

Anything less than that got me an endless lecture why I should see things their way .

There is nothing wrong with caring , but there are degrees of caring . I care about world hunger . I try to help where I can , but I will not be able to end it by myself  . I do not let this drive me to despair .

You can do this ! Resolve to make your life more peaceful . Caring is good . Caring about things you cannot change is futile .

The key to avoiding trouble is to learn to recognize it from a distance.

JenJay

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Re: How to "not care"?
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2012, 07:52:28 PM »
For me, it started with realizing that someone's bad behavior toward me wasn't a reflection of me, what I deserved, how anyone felt about me, etc., it just meant that the person had some issues and they were incapable of treating me kindly. I spent some time really thinking on that until I got to a place of "How sad for them. How lonely and unhappy they must feel. I'll make sure that never happens to me!" When you feel like something is being done to you it's very upsetting. When you realize it's about the weaknesses of the person who's doing it, it puts it into the right perspective.

Imagine the hurtful behavior as a pebble the person has thrown. It feels like they're throwing it AT you, right? Try imagining that they are a big, unhappy lake. You are standing on the shore. The pebble isn't thrown at you, it's dropped, and becomes just another pebble of unhappiness adding to the sandy bottom of their lake. It makes a ripple that laps at your feet, but that's all it is.

Sorry if that sounds kinda hokey. It helps me to visualize things like that.  ;)

Deetee

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Re: How to "not care"?
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2012, 08:29:08 PM »
I found it helps to think about things that I should care about. Not caring is great, but has to be directed towards something that is not important. I find that when I am busy with other things that I do and should care about, it's really easy to ignore stuff when I busy with important stuff.

Optimoose Prime

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Re: How to "not care"?
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2012, 08:42:14 PM »
I really can't tell you how to not care.  There comes a time or a situation where you are just tired of putting your energy into caring about whatever it is.

Lynn2000

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Re: How to "not care"?
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2012, 08:46:11 PM »
Interesting question. For me, it was something I had to willfully bring about and practice to achieve. Even now I wouldn't say I'm 100% perfect at not caring when I shouldn't, but I think I'm better at caring for a second, then letting it go. If you see the difference there.

My thing is, I'm kind of reserved, and I've had to work at expressing the emotions I want people to know about--like excitement at a gift, for example. I've found that if I speak and act on the outside like I feel something, I often eventually truly feel that way on the inside as well. So if the issue is, say, a friend keeps winding you up about the drama in her life but refuses to actually take healthy steps to end it--next time she talks to you about it, practice acting like you aren't that interested, and eventually you may find that you really aren't that interested, and can think about other strategies like changing the subject.

Also, I like to "take a step back" and think about how and why the person is telling me something. Like, are they just trying to get a reaction out of me? Are they trying to get attention or blow off steam? What do they want me to say/do in response? (And do I want to say/do that?) Once I had a co-worker who always told me about all this drama in her life, these bad boyfriends she kept having, and she relayed it so quietly that it took me a long time to realize she was a drama queen who wanted attention for these stories and bad choices--then one day I overheard her telling the same story to three different people, and feeding off each one's shocked reaction. Then I realized why she was really doing this, and I stopped showing or, eventually, feeling much interest in the troubles she brought on herself.
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MorgnsGrl

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Re: How to "not care"?
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2012, 09:03:49 PM »
For me, it started with realizing that someone's bad behavior toward me wasn't a reflection of me, what I deserved, how anyone felt about me, etc., it just meant that the person had some issues and they were incapable of treating me kindly. I spent some time really thinking on that until I got to a place of "How sad for them. How lonely and unhappy they must feel. I'll make sure that never happens to me!" When you feel like something is being done to you it's very upsetting. When you realize it's about the weaknesses of the person who's doing it, it puts it into the right perspective.

Imagine the hurtful behavior as a pebble the person has thrown. It feels like they're throwing it AT you, right? Try imagining that they are a big, unhappy lake. You are standing on the shore. The pebble isn't thrown at you, it's dropped, and becomes just another pebble of unhappiness adding to the sandy bottom of their lake. It makes a ripple that laps at your feet, but that's all it is.

Sorry if that sounds kinda hokey. It helps me to visualize things like that.  ;)

I just wanted to say I think this is awesome advice, and if I have any sense I'll print it out and carry it around with me as a reminder.  :D

guihong

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Re: How to "not care"?
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2012, 10:27:38 PM »
For want of a better word, it's not that you stop caring, but you don't allow other people and their actions to ruin your serenity.  You can care, and even love someone who does destructive things, but refuse to allow them to spoil your peace.  Even if they don't do anything directly to you, by caring and loving too much and getting out of balance, you're not being loving to yourself.

More than once on this board, I've heard the advice to "watch who gets to live rent-free in your mind". 

What brings me peace (well, I get upset, but I come back to this) is the realization that my emotional reaction won't change the situation.  That it's presuming that I have so much control over other people that I can change anyone else other than myself.  And, nobody is doing something "to me"; they're choosing to act from wherever they are.



yokozbornak

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Re: How to "not care"?
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2012, 10:35:20 PM »
I have learned that I can't care about another person's situation more than they do.  That has helped me stopped putting emotional energy into people who can't or won't change their situation.  That has meant that I have had to leave some people behind (i.e. cutting them off) because they will dump their problems on me if I'm around.  It also means that I am not watching them self destruct in front of my eyes which is very freeing. It's not that I don't care about the person, but I can't do for them what they aren't willing to do for themselves.  I can love them, but I can't take responsibility for their actions.

I also think there are toxic people (like the SIL in the pie thread) who thrive on drama, and you can't feed the drama llama (especially pie!).  You seriously can't care what someone like that thinks or does because it just adds fuel to the fire.  I always say you can't reason with crazy. 

PastryGoddess

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Re: How to "not care"?
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2012, 10:35:37 PM »
Its not about the "caring" for me, its about the energy.  I simply refuse to put energy towards people or situations that I can't change or that don't directly involve me.

As you go along it gets easier, but at first I had to consciously redirect my thoughts away from the situation/person that was causing me so much stress.  If it was something that I should care about, I would have to confront it and deal with it.  But usually I found myself a lot happier and less stressed once I stopped focusing on the issue/person.

JennJenn68

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Re: How to "not care"?
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2012, 10:38:33 PM »
For me, it generally means that someone has crossed The Line.  Once it's crossed, there's no going back.  When I was younger, The Line was miles and miles away.  Now that I'm in my forties, The Line is very close to me, sometimes only inches away, and I've decided that there are certain people that, in the words of Ria Parkinson from "Butterflies", "must go".  Oddly enough, some of those people I'm still able to interact with, on occasion--I just never believe a single word they say, and keep my mouth shut and keep my own counsel. 

It helps to remember that if a toxic person sees you react badly (anger or hurt), that person has "won", at least in his or her own mind.  The key, I find, is to never let it show.  The more practice one gets at hiding anger and feelings of hurt, the more they seem to just drain away until one is left with a vague feeling of, "What a piece of work that person is.  Why did I ever get worked up about him/her?".

Oh, and one of the other things I decided?  Other people are responsible for their own situations.  I might think that someone is being treated abominably by or being taken advantage of by someone who should not be doing so--but I always remember that nobody can take advantage of me without my tacit permission, and the same is true of other human beings.

I guess I sound cold.  I'm not; I just limit the pool of those who are allowed to draw on me now.  Until I made these changes, I was being sucked dry by every passing leech.  Now I have so much more energy for the people and things that really count!
« Last Edit: December 21, 2012, 10:40:11 PM by JennJenn68 »

Silversurfer

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Re: How to "not care"?
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2012, 11:04:34 PM »
There is a blurb under a goddess card (i think its Ishtar from memory) that i have sticky taped to my monitor at work.
It says "Love your self enough to say no to others demands on your time and energy".

This is what i tell my self when i know i need to to not care about a situation. It sounds selfish, but you have to look after yourself to keep happy - including exercise, eating etc, but also inculding who and what you worry about (or spend your time and energy on).

So when i am faced with a situation, i often think if i need to care about it or not. Sounds harsh, but works!

Millionaire Maria

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Re: How to "not care"?
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2012, 03:24:29 AM »
A while ago I heard somewhere that the person who cares the least has the most power in the relationship. When I heard that, I realized that that was the philosophy that I had been using all along. I don't want to give up my power, so I simply choose to care less. That doesn't mean that I don't care at all, but it does mean that I'm not willing to invest more in anything than the other person is. So if a friend doesn't care enough to demand that her boyfriend treats her well, I don't care either. If my mother doesn't care to respect my role as a mother, I don't care for either her role as my mother, or her roll as grandmother. If the waiter at the restaurant doesn't care to give good enough service for a tip, I don't care to give him one. It may sound callous, but I have found that it's the only way of protecting myself from other people's manipulation.

There are so many people out there that manage to get others to provide for them, either monetarily, emotionally, or otherwise, by making you feel guilty about their problems. Meanwhile, if you were to examine the situation, you'd realize that their own level of give a darn is far lower than it should be. Don't be taken in. You should always make sure that you care less about someone else's problems than they do.
People everywhere enjoy believing in things they know are not true. It spares them the ordeal of thinking for themselves and taking responsibility for what they know. –Brooks Atkinson