‘Life Is Easier When You Don’t Care’ : Why You Might Feel This Way

A woman and a man are talking, but the woman has an expression on her face that looks like she doesn't care

It wasn’t too long ago that I started my own intensive self-love journey. The first thing I needed to accomplish was doing a lot of soul-searching and self-reflection. By getting to know myself on a much deeper level, I was able to discover what I needed to do to learn to truly love myself, improve my self-care, and be happy. 

I was blindsided when one of the first things I learned about myself was that I care too much

Some of you reading this might be thinking: What? How is that even possible? Isn’t caring a good thing? If you are focused on improving your self-care, that means you care more, doesn’t it? 

If you are trying to become a better person, shouldn’t you strive to become more empathetic and caring? 

My answer to that would be, well yes as a whole caring can be a positive and amazing thing. 

However, there can be times when caring too much, or caring about the wrong thing can negatively impact our lives. 

In this article, we will go into the meaning of caring, the benefits and disadvantages of caring, and answer if life is easier when you don’t care.  

What does caring mean? 

By definition, caring means feeling or showing care or compassion. When we care, we are concerned and have thought and regard. It means that something or someone is important enough to us that we have deemed it or them worthy of our concern. 

What are the benefits of caring? 

Other people will care about you 

The people that you care about the most are usually the ones that also care about you in return. When you develop a strong bond with someone else, the caring usually tends to be extended in both directions. 

Having someone that cares about you can improve your life greatly. 

Caring gives us a purpose in life 

When we care about things—it could be our relationships with others, our passions and hobbies, our children or pets, our partner, our friends, or our job, it enriches our lives and gives it much more meaning. 

Can you think of how boring your life would be without any of the above? 

Caring helps us build strong relationships 

Caring for others, and having them care for us in return, helps to develop empathy and connection even when times are hard. Those important relationships help us feel a sense of community and fulfill our social needs and our social self-care. 

Caring can reduce stress in some cases 

If we feel forced to care about something or someone else out of obligation or necessity, it is never a good thing. However, in an article published in Current Directions in Psychological Science there is an increasing mountain of evidence that caring about someone can be beneficial by reducing stress and increasing happiness.

Caring about our hobbies and passions as well can also motivate us to participate/experience them more, which in turn can decrease stress and improve our health. 

Caring feels good 

Caring about something or someone else can make you feel good. 

For example, there have been studies done that prove giving a gift to someone we care about has been linked to increased self-worth and self-esteem.  

We all also have an inherent desire to feel needed, which caring about, or for, someone else can fulfill.  

Caring can help us live longer 

In the article mentioned above, there is research that shows a strong tie between social support and longevity. So having a strong social system in place could actually help you live longer. 

Caring can gain us respect 

Compassionate people tend to be well-respected in their communities. People admire and respect nurses, doctors, firefighters, and other occupations that require empathetic and caring people. 

Caring can help us make money

There will always be a need for people that have a genuine concern for other people in the medical profession, which just so happens to be one of the few occupations where wages continue to increase. As long as there are people, there will always be a need for professionals who take care of others. 

A graphic that lists eight benefits of caring.  Gains respect.  Helps us live longer. Feels good. Reduces stress. Helps build strong relationships. Gives us a purpose. Others care about us. Can help us make money,

What are the disadvantages of caring? 

Caring can increase stress in some cases 

I know that I said that in some cases caring can reduce stress, however, in some cases the opposite is also true. 

The very definition of caring is to have deemed something or someone worthy of our concern. Increased concern can lead to stress.  

Stressing about when your child is going to get home, if your friend is about to get her heart broken, or if someone is going to break into your brand-new car, are some examples of this. 

Caring increases the possibility of getting hurt 

When we care deeply about something or someone, we become more vulnerable, which opens us up to the possibility that the thing we care deeply about can hurt us. While this can be a scary thought, it unfortunately is something that comes with the territory of caring and is not something that can be helped. 

Some people simply will not care about you as much as you care about them. When you care a lot about someone it can become disappointing to not get that same care and attention back. 

Oftentimes it can feel like you are being punished just for caring, while maybe someone who really seems to not care at all seems perfectly happy. 

Caring can increase our insecurity 

When we care about what other people think, it can make us insecure and second-guess our choices. 

Caring can make us limit ourselves 

How many times have you not done or said something because you cared about what other people might think about you? 

From what we upload to social media, to what clothing we wear, to what we say, most of us consider what other people will think before we do something, whether it is a conscious decision or not.  

Caring too much about what other people think takes away some of the control we have over our own lives. We could be limiting ourselves and missing out on things that truly make us happy. 

Caring can make us take on others struggles 

When we deeply care about others, we can tend to take on any struggles they may be going through and worry about their problems as if they are our own.  

Being an empathetic person means that when other people are hurt, we also feel that hurt. That can put us in a very negative and sad space if we aren’t careful.  

Caring can cause burnout  

When we are spending our time and emotional energy on someone else instead of ourselves, we can be guilty of neglecting our self-care. Add the increased stress and anything else going on in our own lives and it can very easily become a recipe for burnout.  

If you are forced to be a literal caregiver for someone out of necessity or obligation, this can lead to burnout as well. 

So is life easier when you don’t care? 

I might surprise you with my answer.  

My simple answer to this question would be yes. I believe the less you care the easier, and less complicated, life is. However, easier is not the same as happier.  

Without caring about things or other people, we are missing out on what life is all about. There would be less learning. Less growth. Less connection. Less meaning. 

Although not caring could save you from some stress or hurt, it would also be a pretty lonely and empty existence. 

However, the key is learning to stop caring about the things that don’t matter, or caring less about certain unimportant things.

Caring less about the things that don’t matter, like what other people think of us, can improve our lives greatly and make us much happier in the end.  

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