Every so often there is a method or an approach that allows us to filter through the people around us, it gives us room to determine who aligns with our values, interest, and ideas for a better version of ourselves.
Indifference at its core according to the Merriam Webster dictionary means, “lack of difference or distinction between two or more things, or absence of compulsion to or toward one thing or another.
When it comes to the development of any new relationship, indifference in any given moment can be a blessing or a curse. It can be a great help in preventing a repeat of a negative experience or it can block out any chance of meeting that unlikely person that helps to propel you forward.
Unfortunately, this mindset if taken too far like anything else, traps us in a space that forces us over time to be less empathetic and more likely to stereotype and hold prejudices.
The dark side of indifference shows itself when we neglect to think of the individual as an actual valuable member of our global community. when we remove the individual and leave only the object with a set of characteristics, we remove the humanity from within ourselves and our interactions.
Over time, we become a little bit colder and callous to the issues that impact the people that buy and interact with what we put out into the world around us. Additionally, we lose the level of influence and impact we could have by overcompensating on short-lived quick dopamine hits.
The Time and Place For Indifference
Like any tool in the arsenal, knowing the mechanics or basics is fundamental to the success of the individual who wields that particular item. While indifference allows us to filter out the things we don’t want in a particular area, it can also filter out things that may be useful on our journey upward.
We all have some level of influence in the world and within the circles that we move between throughout our daily lives. How we use our levels of influence determines where we ultimately will end up and whether or not our message remains timeless or is just another fad that the wind blew through.
Understanding precisely what it is you’re looking to accomplish and who fits that mold shouldn’t be based upon a label or stereotype.
When it comes to the feelings and consequences of those who deal hate, indifference comes in handy. However, when it comes to those who are putting in the work but lacking proper guidance, a little empathy wouldn’t hurt.
Choose wisely how much indifference you wish to employ in your daily life.
Approaching with Empathy
It’s hard at first to approach things with empathy, especially when it’s often dressed up as sympathy.
Being empathetic has very little to do with liking someone. In reality, it has a lot more to do with the common problem.
Seth Godin framed it perfectly, he states, “Empathy means that the outcome is important enough to you that you are willing enough to exercise effort to achieve that outcome.” He also goes on to say, “A professional does empathy on purpose.”
The common problem we face in the resolution of conflict and communication, in general, is that very rarely are both sides professional. Mix that with how rare it is that both sides involved understand how common the fears they share are and you have quite the situation to deal with.
Point being, indifference in one area often creeps into the other areas of life. The same goes for empathy.
At first, it will be difficult to approach things with a little more thought that includes a perspective that isn’t your own. Eventually, with practice, it becomes easier and with continued practice, it’ll become second nature.
Ask yourself this, what kind of world do you create when your motivation is purely financial or driven by fame? Is it one you’d be proud to leave behind as the legacy and testament of who you are?
Simply put, helping another person achieve their goals will do nothing to hinder your own.
Learning to value the intricacies of people, and constantly looking to reflect and adapt skills so they are tailored to the experiences at hand, tend to go a long way in the impact individually possible.
The Traits Passed On
Remember earlier when we touched on the point that indifference in one area tends to influence others?
Well, here’s a quick truth. You and I owe it to the next generation to teach what we know because someone did it for us.
A leadership mentality that emphasizes the importance of a positive culture with hopeful motivation for the pursuit of excellence, establishes both a caring and impactful legacy that you can feel proud about.
The tiny and younger humans are constantly watching our actions and taking notes. Are we equipping them with the right tools so that they can make the choices that will move us forward? Or are we filling them up with unnecessary baggage that may lead to a few steps backward?
In short, what they learn today is preparing you for the challenges and problems they will face tomorrow.
Indifference, when it leaks into the core of who you are, dilutes the effectiveness of your influence over the course of time. The very time that adds to the depth and network of the relationships around us.
When we work to inspire ourselves and others, contribute good, and make a difference in the lives of those around us we become more than influential and successful: we become leaders; we become mentors; we become friends; we become human.
Ultimately, each and every one of us is hopefully striving to be better than we were yesterday or in simpler terms, successful. Reaching our highest potential can’t happen without each of us being fully responsible for ourselves.
Maybe that starts with how we think and engage with others, even in the most basic of things.
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