Chances are you know someone in your life who, at one time or another, has uttered the phrase “I don’t give a f*ck” and you believed him/her. Perhaps you were the one uttering that statement. Some people say that the key to confidence and success in life is to simply “not give a f*ck. Indeed, we often refer to the strongest, most admirable people we know in terms of their lack of f*cks given.
In our society, this phrase has become synonymous with not caring. But here in lies the inaccuracy. If you truly do not care then it’s not even on your radar screen. The moment a person, circumstance, or event gets your attention enough to elicit an IDGAF response….it has you. If it truly didn’t bother you – you wouldn’t notice it. What you’re really saying when you utter IDGAF is that you don’t like it. You don’t like it enough to think you don’t care but you care enough to make a serious and generally emphatic declaration.
This brings us to the myth that the opposite of love is hatred – it is not. To hate something is to have an emotional attachment to it. Even if the attachment is that you don’t like it. The opposite of love is indifference. Indifference is the lack of care or concern. When one feels indifference toward another human being, this says there is no empathy, no compassion, no kind regard for that person. When we meet a stranger, we generally don’t have an innate emotional reaction. However, more than likely you would have a reaction if they were struck by a bus or had just experienced a loss in life.
There’s absolutely nothing admirable or confident about indifference. People who are indifferent are generally lame and scared. In fact, indifferent people often attempt to be indifferent because in reality they actually give too many f*cks. They are afraid of the world and the repercussions of their own choices. Therefore, they make none. They hide in a grey emotionless pit of their own making, self-absorbed and self-pitied, perpetually distracting themselves from this unfortunate thing demanding their time and energy called life.
Eric Hoffer once wrote: “A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people’s business.”
The point is, most of us struggle throughout our lives by caring about things that perhaps we should not be caring about; developing the ability to control and manage the f*cks you give is the essence of strength and integrity. We must craft and hone our ability to discern what shows up and stays on our radar screen.
This may sound easy. But it is not. Most of us, most of the time, get sucked in by life’s mean trivialities, steamrolled by its unimportant dramas; we live and die by the side notes and distractions and vicissitudes that suck the f*cks out of us. And that’s a good day, just kidding!
We can offset this by adhering to Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements.
(Read the book, and if you have already read it…..read it again)
The bottom line is that we do give a f*ck – about our lives, our families, the environment, the homeless, the Cardinals, which high school we went to…..I could go on and on. We care about everything, not giving a f*ck is an illusion that you don’t care when actually what you’re saying is I care so much that I say I don’t to keep my sanity. Seriously, read the book.