Author Topic: How to "not care"?  (Read 3899 times)

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weeblewobble

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Re: How to "not care"?
« Reply #30 on: December 23, 2012, 06:50:10 AM »
There are some things I do let bother me, i.e. the "Simplify Travel Plans?" thread where my brother creates chaos and I feel the need to bring the hammer down on his Loki-like butt. 

But when it comes to other people, like DH's sister, I stopped letting her bother me a while ago when I someone here suggested I try to observe her "from the outside" like a sociologist or Jane Goodall observing some strange, ill-behaved new species.  And since I'm a writer, I've found it also helps to "narrate" the scene in my head, as if I was writing about one of my sillier characters. It has actually helped me develop some story ideas.

Lynn2000

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Re: How to "not care"?
« Reply #31 on: December 28, 2012, 11:15:49 PM »
So many great ideas in this thread. I think it's important to realize that "not caring," or caring less, doesn't make you a bad person, or a not-nice person. There are lots of people who care a lot about things, and try to bring about change for the better in the world; but I think the secret to someone who is successful at that is they know where and how to focus their caring. They don't go around "caring" about every sob-story they hear, handing money to everyone who asks for it, trying to lift up people who don't want to be lifted. They use some savvy, instincts, personal boundaries, etc., and they focus their caring energies wisely, in places where it can truly do something good.

What's the story about the lottery winner who received a letter from a minister, saying God had told the minister this lottery winner would give money to the minister's church--and the winner was like, "Seems like God would've told me first." It's not because the lottery winner didn't care to help others, he just wanted to care in the right places, because if he gave money to everyone who asked, he wouldn't have money for the causes and people he really cared about.

My friend Amy has a job where she gives a lot of advice to young people who are kind of clueless sometimes, and she's really good at it. Sometimes she has to be a little pushy, because they think they know better and she can see how the mistakes they're making will drastically affect their futures. Not everyone is going to listen, but it's her job to try. This tends to spill over into other aspects of her life, though--her in-laws are really dysfunctional and it's been very difficult for her to try and "not care" about what they do, because her instinct is to help people, solve problems, fix things. And these people really don't want to be fixed or advised, and it's not her job to try anyway, and they all live far enough away that their bad decisions aren't really going to affect her unless she lets them emotionally. I think she feels like a bad person for not caring, for not wanting to care, but I think it's healthier for her, and means she can devote her caring energies to her job, and people who really want help.
~Lynn2000

Amara

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Re: How to "not care"?
« Reply #32 on: December 29, 2012, 12:53:32 PM »
Everyone's input here--and more is always welcome--is invaluable. I have bookmarked it, and often reread it, finding new wisdom here constantly. I'm still learning and probably always will be, but so many of you are not only wise but generous in sharing your wisdom. Thank you.

snowflake

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Re: How to "not care"?
« Reply #33 on: December 29, 2012, 04:14:38 PM »
I think I went through a period of "caring passively" (refusing to bow to certain tricks) before I stopped caring. 

And I can't say that I "don't care."  A certain relative of mine is threatening to die (again.)  This happens twice a year without fail.  I'm not buying a pricey plane ticket.  I'm not sending another expensive arrangement of flowers.  I'm not going to even call her because I'll just hear how I'm not hacking it at caring.  I'm sorry, but she has gotten all the death bed attention she is going to get from me.  For the past 20 years it has been a game to see whether I love her above everything in my life (including putting my job in jeopardy.)

She very well might really die.  Even if she didn't have about ten different serious health conditions, she's 90 now and could keel over just because.  If she does tomorrow, I won't feel relieved.  I'm going to cry.  I'm going to be sad about her because she did love me (not as much as herself, but she did love me once).  I'll also be sad that my other relatives are sad. 

I do care about her life.  I don't care about her threats.  And I'm glad I know the difference now!

PitBullMom

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Re: How to "not care"?
« Reply #34 on: December 30, 2012, 01:10:31 PM »
This makes me think about a situation going on right now at work. One of my coworkers is feeling taken advantage of and unappreciated. She feels that she isn't given the appropriate tools to do her job well and efficiently. On top of this, this is her part time job and she's working here to help us out. She has her own shop she works in full time and takes time out of her busy week to work with us a couple of days.

While I sympathize with her situation, I'm not in a position to do anything about it. So I said to her, "You are an adult. You can do what you want. Nothing in life is mandatory or required. If this situation isn't working for you, I don't think you should feel guilty for leaving."

All to often we get wrapped up in things we have to do. I think it's helpful to remind ourselves that there's absolutely nothing in this world we have to do. There are things we choose to do, and as a result, choose to do other things to make them happen, but nothing whatsoever is required of us.

I think this attitude keeps things into perspective and prevents me from involving myself in unnecessary drama and BS.
~PitBullMom

Don't breed or buy while homeless pets die.  Adopt your soul pet at your local animal shelter.

Lynn2000

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Re: How to "not care"?
« Reply #35 on: December 31, 2012, 11:10:09 PM »
A PP made an interesting remark about how some people take things very personally--if the bank teller seemed a little abrupt with them that morning, it must be because the teller was making some kind of unfair negative judgment about the customer, and is a jerk. It couldn't possibly be that it had nothing at all to do with the customer; it also couldn't be that it was a fair negative judgment, because the customer was asking for something unreasonable (though of course the teller ought to remain professional). Or that an objective observer might not have noticed any abruptness at all. I've seen this kind of thing before with people who are drama queens--well, that's how you become a drama queen, right, by making a big deal out of minor situations.

It can be hard to see patterns when you're in the middle of them; but as someone on the outside, it's easier to step back and say (if only to yourself), "Hmm, what are the odds that every time she goes to the bank or grocery store or library, she meets someone who's a jerk to her?" Once you conclude that either a) she's overdramatizing for attention or truly taking things personally in an inappropriate way; or b) doing things to elicit the "jerky" behavior herself, that's a big step in not caring so much about the latest drama story.

Like the girl who has a string of bad boyfriends. Yes, some people are truly unlucky. But, at least in the few situations I've seen, the girl tends to pick guys who show signs of being bad apples before they even start dating. It's like--the first time you told me he cheated on you, I felt really bad for you. When you tell me about it happening for the fourth time, and how you guys met when he cheated with you on his previous girlfriend, and how you knew before dating him that he'd cheated on other girlfriends... I really can't muster a lot of empathy for you there, except to be sad that you think so little of yourself.
~Lynn2000

heartmug

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Re: How to "not care"?
« Reply #36 on: January 02, 2013, 12:23:45 PM »
Great thread.  So many helpful hints.  This was my New Year's resolution, my gift to myself, to care less about certain family members.  These ones I enjoy being around, but I have noticed in the past 2 years it was me who always initiated contact.  I set up the meetings for dinner.  We would have dinner, have a blast, then the wife would say "That was so much fun!  Sorry it has to end.  We will call you to go see a movie (or something other suggestion)."  DH and I would say "That would be great!" and then nothing.

A couple of months would pass and again I initiate.  We have been invited to their house twice and both times it was for a gift giving situation with a lot of other people around.  We had little time to talk to them.

So I am sitting back and seeing if they really do want to spend time with us.  I am letting this go and it feels great.  It is their loss not mine.  I am now spending my time and energy on those who know the phone (and invitations) work  both ways.  I care about them but I don't care to spend this much time trying to track down time with them.
The trouble is not that the world is full of fools, it's just that lightening isn't distributed right.  - Mark Twain