“You should not have cut your hair, you need to wear a wig and bleach your teeth to look better.”
Yup, someone told me that last week. I thought, I don’t care. But what does “I don’t care” really mean? Are some phrases used so automatically, feelings and express emotions go unexpressed? “I don’t care,” is ambiguous. It can be used dismissively or to support. This past week, I kept track of the times when I said “I don’t care.”
I’m not Changing Anything
My feelings about the advice, I should wear a wig and bleach my teeth?
Your opinion is not going to change my behavior.
Variations include: the actions of other people are not going to influence my choice.
I was in a meeting to prepare for customer seminar my group is hosting. I wanted to get started on my tasks when the meeting topic shifted to font selection. I mentally scream, “I don’t care.” However, since I’m committed to not flippantly say “I don’t care,” rather than sit and squirm or be dismissive of the conversation I said:
“This is not my area of expertise and I need to finish my budget submission, is it ok if I leave?”
Variations include: the outcome does not impact me, this is not on my list of concerns.
It doesn’t Matter
A small group of us were going for coffee after yoga class and the inevitable, where should go was asked. I stop myself before I say I don’t care and respond differently than in the past.
“I am just happy to have had a great class and to have some time with my friends. I’m not constrained by time and I’m going to order tea, any place works for me.”
Variations include: I’m picky about a lot of things, this isn’t one of them.
Out of My Control
Within an hour, I get three text messages and an agitated phone call about a certification changes with questions around why and how. I have empathy, these people are really concerned, but I am in a new job and I don’t care. Opps, there is goes again. Please note: this is different than someone saying, it’s not my job, goodbye, with no inclination towards customer service. This is:
“I am sorry, I am in a new position. I have no input or control over the process. “
Variations include: If I had that kind of power in the universe, I would not be working here.
That was my week. It’s a small thing, you may think I don’t care. That’s OK, it means my opinion is not going to change your behavior.