A psychologist teaches us the art of not giving a fuck

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A psychologist teaches us the art of not giving a fuck

About you or anything that you do

It’s easy to get caught up in a cycle of caring too much about things that just don’t matter. In most cases, life would be so much easier if we could let things go and get on with our lives.

So, we spoke to expert psychiatrist and consultant Scott Gould about how to not give a fuck about everyday situations.

When they don’t text back

“When you were a kid your parents probably told you that it’s rude not to reply to someone when they are talking to you. As adults, that still applies. When someone refuses to text you back, it’s rude. Sure, maybe there’s a romantic game going on, but call me crazy – good manners are romantic! If someone refuses to reply to you, you can bet that they’ll be rude in other ways too. Save yourself the hassle – move on.”

When someone turns you down

“Getting rejected hurts. But you have to accept that it’s just part of life. Everyone’s been turned down at some point in their life – which means it isn’t about an attractiveness ranking or hierarchy. It’s simply because people want different things at different times. We all know people who’ve gone out with someone who was out of their league, but for some strange reason, they did it. The best we can do is smile, and move onto what’s next.”

 

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When you end a toxic friendship

“It might not feel like it now, but if you’ve just left a toxic friendship, you’ve just got your life back. There is nothing to be gained from a toxic relationship, and everything to lose. The challenge when you end a toxic relationship is to resist the temptation to go back to it. The way to do that is through letting this profound reality soak into you:

“An honest friendship will never make you feel fearful, obligated, or guilty. A toxic friendship does the opposite, and it’s all about the other person sucking your life out of you. So when you leave a toxic friendship, not only should you ‘not give a fuck’ about it, you should celebrate.”

When you’re feeling jealous

“No matter how well intentioned we are, all of us get jealous at one point or another. Emotions are good for us, but jealousy is one of the few that doesn’t do much good. If you’re jealous it’s probably a sign of your own insecurity. The best thing you can do is take a moment to pause and ask yourself ‘why am I feeling jealous right now?’, and then do something constructive about it.”

When someone criticises you

“Having someone criticise you, especially in a public way, really does hurt. But the mistake here is to think it’s personal. Normally when someone criticises someone else, it’s because of their own insecurities. Besides, there are people whose jobs it is to criticise all sorts of things – films, food, and books to name a few – but guess what, the world goes on despite what they said. When you are criticised, see if you can learn from it, understand it’s about them more than it’s about you, and realise that it’s actually a positive sign – it means you’re doing something worth talking about.”

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When you make a mistake

“Show me someone who hasn’t made a mistake, and I’ll show you someone who hasn’t tried anything. Somewhere along the lines our generation has got the impression that we can’t fail. That is terrible advice. Failure is fun. Mistakes are the way we work things out, and ultimately come around to win. Making a mistake or failing means you had enough guts to try. It means you’ve now learned that things don’t work that way. So pick yourself up, and try it again, albeit slightly differently this time. The only true failure is to stay down.”

When a relationship ends

“When a relationship ends you ultimately have two choices. If you broke up because they were difficult, you can be glad that you can move on from the relationship, as there is far more in life to discover. If you broke up because you were difficult, then you can decide if you want to make things right. If they don’t accept your apology (which needs to be sincere), then they probably weren’t a good fit anyway, and you can go on and discover more of life. So in most ways, this is a win for you.”

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When someone lets you down

“It sucks when you have expectations and then those are shattered. But the reality is that we are all human, and that means we make mistakes and we let people down. We all do it. The worst thing you can do is get angry at that person. When someone lets you down, remind yourself that you too have let people down in the past as well. Cut them some slack, realise that they probably didn’t mean to, and think about the good things that person has done for you before.”

If you worry about getting older

“If you’re sad about getting older you will be depressed all your life. You can’t help the fact that you’ll get older, and I have news for you, you can’t help the fact that one day you’ll die. What you can help is deciding to live each day to the fullest, and making the most of your time on earth. And getting older is the way that you do that better, because getting older means you are learning more. Most young people don’t know what on earth they are doing. But someone who has aged a bit is wiser and generally can make better decisions. And besides, ‘old’ is only what you feel.”

When you lose a job

“There was once a time when jobs were for life. That was a long time ago. These days it’s normal to have multiple jobs in a year, let alone in a career. If you’ve lost your job, as much as it hurts, it’s normal. It probably wasn’t personal (as lots of businesses are finding it hard these days), and if you can make the most of it, this serves as a chance to try out something new. Chin up: brush up your CV, and get out there.”