I just saw a picture on my dashboard that said “The more you care, the more you have to lose.”
In some circumstances, sure, don’t care. When you’re having a bad hair day, when an anon sends you hatemail, when you embarrass yourself in front of your crush. Sure, brush off the trivial things and move on with your life.
But when it comes to big things, the things that really matter, CARE. Yes, sometimes it hurts. It hurts like hell, but what alternative do we have? Do we live our lives in a state of ambivalence out of a perpetual fear of losing? Do we play it safe, sit on the sidelines, and never experience the wins and losses of life?
As much as I’d like to brush off every trial as a slight or minor annoyance, as much as I’d like to just say “whatever”, sometimes it’s more than that. Sometimes, people actually say or do things that hurt my feelings.
Yet people can’t admit that they’re not invincible. Instead we like to pretend we don’t care. We act flippant because we believe it puts us on a higher ground, that we’re “better than that”, but really we’re just running from confrontation, not just with others but with our own emotions.
If something hurts you, it’s okay to admit it. It’s okay to admit that you’re vulnerable. The bravest thing a person can say is, “That really hurt my feelings.” Then tell the person how what they did made you feel. Then listen.
That doesn’t mean they win. That doesn’t mean you lose. Admitting that you’re hurt doesn’t mean you’re weak; it means you’re strong and mature enough to face it and want to fix it.
But no, we’re too cool for feelings. We put our middle fingers up to the world and expect that our complete denial of criticism will make our problems go away. Everything’s just “annoying” and “stupid” and not worth caring about, not worth letting our guard down about.
You can live without passion. You can never fall in love because you’re too scared of getting hurt. You can lose your friends and say you never cared about them anyway. You can feel depressed and inadequate and alone and use whatever defense mechanisms you’ve created to convince yourself that you’re fine.
But if you don’t tell someone that you’re hurt, how will they even know they’re hurting you? If you don’t care, who else will?