Why should I give a fuck?
But before we get to not giving a fuck, let’s talk about when you should give a fuck.
You should give a fuck if something—be it human, inanimate, or conceptual—does not annoy and does bring you joy. Sometimes that calculation is easy and the decision is obvious. Huzzah! Very exciting. But more often—and the reason you need the NotSorry Method—you’re not pausing to make any calculation at all, or you’re making the wrong one.
Most people give away their fucks without much thought. Feelings of guilt, obligation, or anxiety cause them to behave in a manner that, while least objectionable to other people, is often detrimental to their own levels of annoy vs. joy.
This makes no sense and is counterproductive to living your best life.
Not giving a fuck: The basics
Not giving a fuck means taking care of yourself first—like affixing your own oxygen mask before helping others.
Not giving a fuck means allowing yourself to say no. I don’t want to. I don’t have time. I can’t afford it.
Not giving a fuck—crucially—means releasing yourself from the worry, anxiety, fear, and guilt associated with saying no, allowing you to stop spending time you don’t have with people you don’t like doing things you don’t want to do
Not giving a fuck means reducing mental clutter and eliminating annoying people and things from your life, freeing up space to truly enjoy all of the things you do give a fuck about
This might sound selfish, and it is. But it also creates a better world for everyone around you.
And you’ll have more time, energy, and/or money to devote to living your best life. The people who embrace the life-changing magic of not giving a fuck are WINNING.
You need to stop giving a fuck about what other people think
Not giving a fuck about what other people think paves the way toward taking Step 1 (deciding not to give a fuck). Then, you can express your decisions in a positive and productive way when taking Step 2 (not giving a fuck).
And you can do it without offending or enraging anyone! (Unless you really want to offend or enrage; sometimes that can be fun.)
But first things first.
It’s usually not because you are wrong to not give that fuck. It’s because you’re worried about what other people might think about your decision.
And guess what? You have no control over what other people think.
When it comes to how your fuck-giving affects other people, all you can control is your behavior with regard to their feelings, not their opinions.
Feelings vs. opinions
There are two reasons you tend to give a fuck about what other people think: one, because you don’t want to be a bad person, and two, because you don’t want to look like a bad person.
You should, of course, continue to give a fuck about what other people think as it pertains to their feelings (i.e., Are you going to actively hurt those feelings by not giving a fuck about the situation at hand?). But be honest—you know full well when you’re hurting someone’s feelings. Don’t be an asshole.
As humans, we have every right to politely disagree with or not share someone else’s opinion.
You can sidestep the prospect of hurt feelings entirely when you view your conflict through the lens of simple, emotionless opinion.
So the next time this type of thing comes up, just gaze calmly at Stacey, shrug your shoulders, and say, “I know, I know, everybody has an opinion!” Then change the subject to neutral territory, like whether George Clooney is getting hotter with age.
What about people who can’t stop giving a fuck about you not giving a fuck?
We all know these people. You can be as honest and polite as the day is long and they just don’t get it. They can’t stop themselves from arguing with you, coaxing you, and trying to change your mind. Whatever it is that you don’t give a fuck about, it is so important to them that they can’t accept your difference of opinion.
It could be anything from SEC football to improvisational jazz to the fact that you don’t participate in your family’s religious rituals. They won’t be swayed by honesty or politeness. These people are begging for confrontation. IT’S LIKE THEY WANT THEIR FEELINGS HURT.
In cases like these, you have to consider the long-term drain on your Fuck Budget. It may actually be beneficial to be/look like a bad person if it means you can put an end to this conversation once and for all. Hey, if somebody has to tell them to fuck off, it might as well be you.
Your fucks affect your body, mind, and soul
What you may not have anticipated gaining from the simple act of not giving a fuck is an overall improvement to your physical and emotional health.
Think about it: You haven’t gained merely time, energy, and money—you’ve gained self-knowledge, confidence, and a childlike zest for life. Plus, you’ve saved yourself a lot of headaches. Literally. Not to mention heartburn, anxiety, and nausea. Remember that coworker karaoke party you skipped out on? Think of the hangover you could have had! You’d have been guzzling ’ritas all night just to keep from strangling Tim from IT with his own mic cord. The next morning would have been brutal, trust me.
But no fucks given? No fitful night’s sleep, no headache, no dry mouth during your morning presentation, no silently counting the minutes till you can take a covert nap under your desk at lunch, no crick in your neck from taking said nap…
the rewards in the cost-benefit here are undeniable.