By Laura Lifshitz
There’s this popular book out there called The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson that is on everyone’s lips, and it’s not just because of the provocative title.
It’s the reality that so many of us care about everything—what people think. How we stack up to other people. How we handle tough times. How we manage stress. We care, care and care so hard and often, we are left depleted by caring and fretting over stuff that we cannot change.
While I haven’t read this book, my first thought was how it was interesting a man wrote this. I say this only because women seem to care so much more about what others think than men do, albeit I’ve done no scientific research to back up that fact.
I can just say with my own honesty that I’ve spent a lot of time in my life caring and giving so many f*cks and often about people and things that I shouldn’t have blinked twice about that it is a vital life lesson to learn not to give an F.
It’s hard. I am sensitive. I am emotional and passionate. I love people. I like people to like me. But as I’ve gotten older, I have learned how important it is to stop caring about what I cannot change and not worry about what others think about me as much.
As the saying goes: What others think of you is none of your business.
This is not something I have mastered, but this is something I have gotten better at over time. By caring less about BS I cannot control or caring less about what Jane, Jill or whoever thinks what about me, I have become a happier person. Here are just a few reasons this little vital life lesson has made me happier.
1. You Can’t Force People to Like You or Participate in Your Life
You can’t make your weird cousin love the crap out of you. You can’t make your flaky friend a reliable narrator. You can’t make your distant dad a loving dude.
You cannot force people to like you or be in your life as you want them to be, so stop caring about it.
It is out of your hands.
Just like the sky is blue and the grass is green, your weird cousin or distant dad is how he or she is because that’s how that person was made.
You can’t make someone different. You can’t force someone to cheerlead you on. You can’t make someone be who you need him or her to be.
By learning to not give a f*ck, it helped me realize that I have to accept how people are, for who they are, no matter what my needs are.
2. Worrying Won’t Change the Outcome
Oh lordy, am I guilty of worrying over the small crap!
You can worry until the cows come home and give five million f*cks, and stuff may still stink.
OR, everything can turn out okay and you just earned yourself about five million wrinkles and gray hairs. Congrats. I bet your hairstylist and local plastic surgeon are grateful, but you aren’t.
Worry all you want but, life is going to happen.
Instead of worrying, be proactive and do what you can and for what you cannot control, learn to accept that. It is hard—I never said it wasn’t!—but by practicing this, you will feel happier and less stressed. I promise.
3. Not Everyone Is for You
High school is over. Popularity contest votes were tabulated like way, way, waaay back in the day.
Not everyone is going to like you. Not everyone is meant to be your friend. Not every date or potential love interest is meant to like you, last or stick around.
That’s ok because the good news is…drumroll please…
There are people out there that love you! That stick around! That find you intriguing and funny.
Let’s face it: Do you like everyone you meet? Most likely, no. So, the next time someone doesn’t seem to love you or a date rejects you, remind yourself of this fact.
Not everyone is for you and that’s ok. When you know this internally, you will be happier and care a lot less about the “losers” that don’t like you.
4. You Can Plan All You Want & Crap May Happen Anyway
I am the queen of planning, but life still bites me in my butt.
You can plan for anything and everything and care until you are blue in the face, but life will still happen. If you know this and accept that bad stuff is going to happen, you will handle the bad crap with more grace, strength and serenity. Granted, it’s ok to lose it every now and then, but wouldn’t you be happier if you could just tell yourself:
Hey self: bad shit happens. Ok. I’ll deal.
Yes, you’d be much happier!
The reality is that giving a million f*cks about everything has only caused me grief. It’s not that you should go around being some passive, non-empathetic robot, but that you should learn to care less about what you cannot change and accept that some situations and people just are what/who they are, and that is ok! By doing this, you will be happier and less stressed. And a reminder—it’s a life lesson I have to remind myself of often, so it’s okay if you start to care and give way too many craps about stuff or people you shouldn’t, as long as you keep fighting the good fight!
About the Author
Laura Lifshitz is a Freelance Writer, Content Creator, Comedienne, & Obsessive Chocoholic