Everyone thinks that the solution to feeling too much is to not feel anything at all.
How wrong they are. All that does is make everyone numb to their emotions and indifferent to their friends and family and the people around them. No! You have to feel things, lean into your emotions. Let yourself be vulnerable. If you aren’t risking anything, you aren’t feeling anything.
And what’s the best way of expressing your emotions and staying in touch with yourself? Being kind and empathetic towards other people. Always think, ‘how can I help someone today’, or ‘what can I do to improve someone’s day’ – even if it’s a small, tiny effort – it makes the world of difference.
If you like someone’s clothes or haircut, tell them!
You’re already thinking the nice thought, you might as well externalise it and let the wholesomeness flow, rather than keep it to yourself. It costs you nothing, and will l likely make their day in ways that you don’t even imagine.
I know it can be hard and may sound harsh and alien to ‘not care’, but it’s not suddenly like you will overnight cease to have a functioning heart. Or that you will be unable to love again – that’s unrealistic and sensationalist.
The art of not caring, I’ll say it again, doesn’t mean that the net output of emotion that you put into the world decreases. It just means that all the emotional distress and stress you cause yourself thinking about what everyone else is thinking about – you can just channel that into self love. Convert that toxic, spiralling energy into a more wholesome, respectful and forgiving dynamic. Allow yourself to make mistakes, then look them in the eye and learn from them. A mistake is only ever useless to us if we ignore it and pretend it didn’t happen. That leads to bottling up emotions which are liable to exploding at the most inconvenient of moments. We don’t love a breakdown, even if they generally do follow a breakthrough of sorts.
Except it doesn’t really work.
Not caring doesn’t make a cruel world any less cruel – in fact, it worsens things. Even if you feel frustrated and out of control with the state of global politics and moral outlooks, that doesn’t mean fighting fire with fire will get you anywhere.
What we really need is some great, strong friendships that prove we have people we care about and that care about us. From this, breeds more kindness. Everyday we have the opportunity to choose kindness in situations with people that we are familiar with.
We love a friendship moment. Community. Nostalgia. Fun times and distractions.
We all need that ‘I am not okay’ safe space friend. Having your mum or dad or sister on speed dial is one thing. Having your old primary school best friend across the world might not cut it anymore. But your person – some version of a platonic soul mate maybe – needs to be there to recognise and truly see you. To listen to you and actually hear what you’re saying. Who counts down the days to your birthday so that they can give you really thoughtful presents and a card that will make you cry.
Sometimes kindness is silence. Listening. Showing people that you care and aren’t going anywhere. You are invested in their life. This is so important because it’s easy to just be cold or unavailable, or to ignore the call from your spiralling best friend if you have had a long day. But answering that call, even if you don’t have the energy to say much, will probably stop the rot in your friends’ panic. It means you can trust each other and that support means the world.
Moreover, it’s the old saying – opposites attract. This is true of lovers and this is true of friendships too. Sometimes you need a healthy amount of distance and different to keep things interesting and to stop you both from merging into each other. That’s no use to anyone! Ideally, you would have the perfect blend of a headstrong and impulsive individual with a more reserved, careful character – with various other attributes in between – so that you can learn to let loose with each other and be goofy, while also being able to plan trips and have a responsible time.
Get you a best friend that can do both!
It’s all about showing that you know each other and love each other, warts and all. You can grow together in the relationship and come out more well-rounded and engaging individuals. Both of you can be honest with each other in a way that no one else can.
You have been there for them and they’ve been there for you.
This is a friendship born out of kindness and compassion, and it only strengthens day by day.
Because you keep choosing kindness, your life can improve. Trust me.