ap·a·thy [ap-uh-thee] noun, plural ap·a·thies.
1. absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement.
2. lack of interest in or concern for things that others find moving or exciting.
The concept of selective apathy is very simple, but amazing difficult to implement for many. If you look at the comments on the YouTube channel, people are quoting the Bible, situations and other point to similar ideas, yet people still have a hard time being a little more apathetic. There are a lot of situations that it just helps tremendously to be that way.
For example, let’s say you have a friend who is constantly back and forth with their significant other? Many of us want to offer advice, other perspectives, etc. In the beginning this is fine, but if they continue to come to you with their issues (especially when you only get the bad and no update), no matter how far apart the events are, if they haven’t taken your advice or considered what you’ve said, stop! Stop caring about that aspect of their life. They obviously don’t want your view and just want to vent. There is nothing wrong with listening to a friend vent. To me, it’s your duty as friend, but it’s also their duty to respect and contemplate what you say. That’s a two way street. If they keep complaining, stop them. Cut them off and tell them explicitly you don’t want to hear it. You can do it more subtly, but that may come off the wrong way and cause a problem. Both methods can cause a rift, but you can better assess any situation you personally find yourself in. Either way, you are not obligated to care about every aspect of your friends (or anybody’s) life. It can’t be done safely.
In helping people, I have to find a fine balance between caring and not. If I’m only objective in my views, I become too cold and unemphatic/unsympathetic to the situation I’m helping the person with. If I care too much, I become emotionally drained, and even sometimes run the risk of caring more than my client about the outcome. Many people don’t understand what it means to truly help people. It’s a very emotional task. Anyone can give “advice,” type some words on a forum and call it “help,” but when you’re really helping people, you have no choice but to become emotionally involved on some level. Can I help without caring? Yes, but I also won’t have many clients. To do so is to forget that I’m dealing with people who are emotional living creatures, and not just a “situation” “someone” has.
OPM – Other People’s Money
Another common situation is when someone is having money problems but contrarily tells (whether on purpose or inadvertently) me they’re going on some type of trip or spend it on some random item. At this point I start to cut off the caring because obviously their priorities are out of order (and my time is probably being wasted if they’re not paying me). No matter how they emotionally justify their purchase, it doesn’t matter. They don’t care enough to see the problem or how they’re not helping the situation.
If you have boyfriend/girlfriend/wife/husband, the rules still apply. If they continue to do things that don’t make sense, stop caring about the outcome if what they’re doing does not affect you. Maybe they can’t figure out what they want to do with themselves in a particular area of their life. One minute they want this and the next moment that. Just stop caring and support whatever they do (or don’t). You can’t care about all areas of anyone’s life, nor do you have the power to dictate to them in every area. If you did, it would technically be slavery, but then what happens to your personal life if you’re dictating every action they make? Remember, only care about things you have control over.
The list of situations go on and on. To not care about an aspect of someone is not the same as not caring about that person in general. Trust me, that they don’t care about every aspect of your life. That is merely a belief believe you hold. Stop and think about it, do you really care about every aspect of anyone’s life…in the world? I highly doubt it. That means worrying about the soap they use, the way they comb their hair, the length of time and pressure they brush their teeth, how they walk, how many times they wipe after #2, the positions they choose during s-, you get my point. If you do, you’re are a control freak that needs to be checked into an institution as that is dangerous and you’re definitely not minding your own business.
Throughout the week, in every situation you find yourself, think about what is happening, if you have control over the outcome and how you feel about the each item. Tell yourself out loud or to yourself “Don’t care.” Or ask yourself “why do I care about this” and “Should I care if I can’t do anything about it?” If you complain about a situation, that’s caring too much as complaining usually indicates that you can’t do anything about the situation. If you don’t have control, just shut up.
When your stop caring about objects that don’t merit your emotional energy, you can divert your now freed up emotions and put them to better use. This could be your relationship, children, friends, yourself(!), hobbies, etc. Trust me when I say it won’t be easy at first, but the reward is well worth it. Watch your stress levels dramatically drop. Your energy level will also increase because it’s not being used up in unnecessary emotions.
Care less to care more.