Why “Not Caring” Is Hard

photo credit: Cristian Newman

photo credit: Cristian Newman

If you read through the comments section on Amazon for Mark Manson’s breakout hit, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k you will see that many of us spend too much time caring about what other people think of us.

We can’t help it.

“Caring too much” is in our DNA and Mark wittily explains why you should give less f**s and the power you gain in doing so.

But why do we care so much about what other people think about our lives anyway?

They, of course, are not and have not lived our experiences, shared our pain, or walked where we have been. Why do we care so much what other people think of us especially when the people we use to gauge our progress are just trying to get on with life, same as us?

I once heard a friend attribute her social media addiction to gauging whether her life has ended up better off than her exes and friends. Here again, the cycle of trying not to care but caring too much continues because we fail to realize that the human experience is a common experience.

No problem, situation, or shortfall is new under the sun, the Good Book says.

Manson argues that it's not that we should not care at all, that's called apathy, but that we should care or give f***s about the right things: family, our aspirations, community, love, our well-being.

Do we care too much out of boredom or the same reason we watch reality television -- for the drama and spectacle of it all? Do we care too much out of habit or because high school conditioned us for the daily practice?

Do we care too much about other people's opinions of us out of fear or because we have forgotten how to hear our voice? The voice that says we are unique in every way. The voice that whispers when we remember to find our breath.

I believe we are afraid to care less because we want to know if others can see the deepest fears we have about ourselves.

What if you owned your fears? Adressed them all? Lined them up one-by-one and laid waste to them like they do in karate movies. 

You would care less.