So here’s something that I’m genuinely concerned about.
I’m concerned about how this impacts my life, as well as the lives of those I care about.
I think, to an extent, I even care about how this will impact you even if I don’t know you.
Because somehow, we’re all connected. But this connectedness won’t do any good if we simply don’t care about it.
What I’m talking about is exactly this lack of care.
As in, trying to keep people and things at arm’s length. Our aspirations to be cool about all things. Trying to seem as if we don’t care at all.
But I think, deep down, we all do.
We care. We care about things that matter to us, like our relationships, we present ourselves out in the world, and how we are perceived.
Even the most nonchalant, ‘it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks of me’ type person still cares just a tiny bit.
But I can only speak for myself.
What I’ve noticed in my own life is this conflict within me: to care, or not to care?
That is the real question.
Unfortunately, I can say that in my life I have chosen to fall on the side of not caring.
Because you know how it is. There is a certain way that I’m trying to keep up. I want to seem like I don’t need certain people (when I actually do) or that I don’t care what they think (when I do) or that I will be perfectly fine without others (which may be true, but not immediately).
In the interest of not being vulnerable, I choose to keep a cool edge. I don’t say what I’m actually thinking. And instead, I proclaim with pseudo-confidence that I don’t need the help or support.
It wasn’t until I recently spoke to a friend and (subtly) called them out for being too cool that I realized the error in my own ways.
I realized that the biggest reason why I keep this facade of coolness is because I don’t want to get hurt.
That’s one of my biggest fears, to be quite honest.
And I don’t think anyone actually likes getting hurt. It’s just human nature.
So what do I do as a coping mechanism? I pretend like nothing matters. That I don’t care. And that regardless of what you say or do, it won’t make a difference.
Because I think deep down inside, the mantra of ‘fake it ’til you make it’ rings true. Or at least, I hope so. I keep this up with the hope that I’ll fake it enough times so that I can feel absolutely nothing and be absolutely okay with it.
But the more I think about it, what good does that do anyone?
Sure, I can see how this might help to prevent me from getting hurt. If I don’t care, then what does it matter?
But the irony is that I do care.
I care about a lot of things, and while some people may say that I care a little too much, the reality is that caring about things is a huge part of me.
Oftentimes, I say that I don’t care so that I can avoid the outcome if someone says that they don’t reciprocate my feelings or need my help or want me in their life.
Protecting myself, however, has definitely come at the expense of true connection.
So, how can we remain connected with each other if we don’t care about anything?
I can’t force you to care about things that you don’t care about.
And to be clear, I don’t care about every single thing. But there are definitely things that I should give a little more care to that I try to avoid showing any attachment or affection for.
But by opening up and taking the time to create these connections, I think we’ll start to see a change in our relationships.
Because caring, and showing other people that we truly do care about them, can make a difference in the way that we relate to each other and work with each other.