Do you have a friend who refuses to offer an opinion, but then complains when a decision is made?
- “Where do you want to go for lunch?”
- “I don’t care.”
- “Okay, how about Mexican?”
- “I don’t like Mexican”
- “Then maybe Thai?”
- “Ewe, no.”
Hmm, thought you didn’t care.
Indifference impoverishes relationships and fuels apathy.
Indifference imperceptibly undermines our self-respect and festers silently until we no longer have an opinion of our own.
“It doesn’t matter.”
Indifference sucks joy out of life.
“I don’t care.”
“I don’t care.” These are three of the saddest words ever strung together in a sentence.
It does matter, you do care. You just don’t want to express an opinion. Maybe you worry you might offend someone. Maybe you worry about alienating yourself. What if you offer up an option and it’s shot down? Or even worse, what if your suggestion is accepted and then the other person doesn’t like their meal?
Indifference ignores your own value or the value of someone else.
Perhaps you are being flexible, just going with the flow, cooperating. No. We are negating ourselves, failing to recognize our own worth, devaluing our importance. Indifference hurts.
I wonder what fuels this indifference. Social media drivel? Political correctness? Social isolation? Too much affluence? Social uncertainty? Entitlement? I truly don’t know.
I do know that it takes courage to voice an opinion that is unpopular.
I once defended abstinence as a choice that should be included in a discussion with teens about safe sex. I was singled out as unrealistic – teens are going to have sex, so they need to learn how to protect themselves from infection and/or prevent an unplanned pregnancy. Hmm. Abstinence does both of those. Surely it could be included in the discussion. I digress.
Indifference, what can be done about it?
The opposite of indifference is caring. “I do care.” What if it’s okay to express your opinion? “I’d prefer a burger for lunch.” It doesn’t mean you are right and they are wrong. What if it’s okay for the other person to have their own opinion too? It doesn’t mean you have to be stubborn and insist upon burgers with your vegan friends.
Express your opinion. Let people get to know you a little bit better. Maybe they get to know the authentic you. Take a risk. Be brave.
Enrich your life – replace indifference with caring. Give yourself permission to express your opinion. Have the courage to be you! The authentic you.
And authenticity goes a long way to making the world a better place.