The overall mission of the Tao of Indifference is to get you to focus on what truly matters and to not sweat the small stuff.
However, the line between when to be indifferent and when to genuinely care is fine.
I’m all in favor of being indifferent to the trivial, but what you need to avoid is indifference that stems from a place of fear. Namely, feigned indifference .
Yes, I’m aware that I’m telling you that cognitive dissonance and indifference can be bad when in previous instances I’ve said that you can use these as tools. They are tools. You wouldn’t use a hammer in place of a saw though. It’s all about knowing what tools to use and when.
Here’s a great example:
I’m on a date with a girl who I’ll call CS. We have date plans and during that day I get some pretty bad news that really shook me, so naturally when we meet up I’m not in the best of moods.
I can write endlessly about not carrying negativity into a meeting but thats a post for another time.
So we meet and it’s awkward, mostly because I’m sullen. Instead of saying “Hey, I had a bad day today, let’s reschedule” I proceeded to go on a date when I really should have just stayed home.
When I realized that I not only couldn’t control my own mood at the time, but also couldn’t control the outcome of the date I turned to the one thing I could control: Feigned Indifference.
I wont get into the details of what happened but I will say that instead of addressing the issue behind my mood, I alluded to the fact that CS might want to end things, and I didn’t actually care if she did. It was aggressive feigned indifference in response to someone feeling uncomfortable, which made me uncomfortable, which made me fearful.
Here are some takeaways from my boneheadedness:
- Never, ever, act out of fear unless you’re actually in danger of being physically harmed. Scared you’re going to lose someone? Don’t get desperate because of that fear and push them away.
- Learn to be open and honest about what’s bothering you. If you’re dating someone or in a relationship with someone you should be able to communicate with them.
- If you’re in a bad mood before a date either resolve the issue first or don’t go on the date. Chances are, your bad mood has nothing to do with your date so why put them through your drama?
- and finally, never use indifference as a weapon, only ever as a tool.
- Never feign indifference when you truly care (especially when you should care)
Good Luck out there and remember, you can be indifferent, but care when it counts.