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Never be indifferent to indifference. Thursday December 19, 2013

"The opposite of love is not hate it is indifference."

This quote always has a powerful impact on me.

I am rarely irritated by people who show emotion; even if it is the opposite emotion as I have for something. They are emotionally engaged - 'alive' in my terms. I can have a passionate and at times deeper dialogue with them and even have the opportunity to change my perception or world view - if I am open enough - as only through diversity will we grow and become sustainable - personally and professionally.

I used to think in IQ Newtonian terms, that hate was the opposite of love and then realised that the opposite of love is to be totally indifferent towards something.

To be indifferent means that you have NO emotion, no life, no love, no interest in a subject which the other person may base their life on by 'loving' it.

Where have you encountered indifference and how has it made you feel? Indifference kills any possibility of a win/win - a joy sharing of life, love and hate.

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Anonymous Thu, Dec 19th 2013 @ 7:32am

Sorry, but tell that to the Syrians. All well and good in the comfortable West where the only major decision is whether to get a real Christmas tree or a fake one!

Anonymous Thu, Dec 19th 2013 @ 9:16am

Personally, I want nothing more than the ability to feel passionate about something or someone, but most of the time I just can't. I rail against it, I put on an act to convince others and myself, but it can never last for long. To compare that state to being less "alive" is, in many ways, a condemnation of sufferers of depression.

This topic would certainly benefit from some exploration but I must disagree with your approach. Unfortunately, for many people, indifference is not a choice.

To that end, I would propose that people share methods they use to help identify, guard against and overcome indifference. Many may feel that they have tried everything, but the expositions of others may inspire a few to try new (and hopefully successful) techniques.

I tend to hijack the passions of others and see what they see in certain subjects. I look around, surround myself with passionate people who help overcome the sense of ennui- you have to start somewhere. Once I have gathered enough momentum I try to act independently of these people. This is where I eventually slow down and falter, but perhaps some of you have an insight into that.

Julia Thu, Dec 19th 2013 @ 9:48am

When I read Les' blog today, I could see only my own past experience of one particular person with whom I was once involved for a number of very depressing years. I went through the gamut of emotions over those 9 years including eventually hatred of that person (for what he had managed to reduce me to) but realised quickly that I would never leave the "relationship" if I continued hating him. Too passionate an emotion and I was in a degrading love/ hate situation with him. So I became indifferent (with help from someone) and hey that really saved my soul. So I have been blinkered in my interpretation of your blog Les but it worked for me! Thank you.

Lostinspace Thu, Dec 19th 2013 @ 12:39pm

Getting a low score on the Interested, Enthusiastic and Excited cards is usually because I just feel indifferent looking at them. Hitting the 0 or 1 on them makes me feel even worse as I am very well aware that this is not a good position to be in. As Julia points out this is a very subjective matter. Immediately I thought of a "Pin" I saw on Pinterest - "Never push a loyal person the point where they no longer give a damn."
Indifference is definitely a symptom of depression in my book and as it is subjective there are probably many different causes and versions of it.
Your blog resonates with me Les, for which I thank you. Sometimes I find the post much more helpful than clicking on the cards, a lonely depressing business at times.
Also, I would rather talk to someone engaged and interested in their topic even if I totally disagree with their point of view. Finally, Les I think being indifferent is like walking through mud so you need Wellington boots and the hope that there is dry land out there somewhere!

Anonymous Thu, Dec 19th 2013 @ 1:48pm

This is an interesting blog. Doesn't my medication, prozac, cause me to be more indifferent. It certainly controls my down times which can be really frightening. So how do I balance some emotion and feeling with the need to take medication. I really dislike how I feel when I have such low, crying spells. Thoughts?

Julia Thu, Dec 19th 2013 @ 5:23pm

I agree with you Lostinspace that indifference is a symptom of depression. I admit I often feel indifferent. I would far rather not feel like this and on good days, I am totally engaged with everyone and everything. I think if that person with whom I was involved knew I was genuinely indifferent towards him, he wouldn't have been happy at all. So only in that context for me, the feeling of indifference was a powerful emotion. I can't think of any other context in which it is though.. as you say.

Julia Fri, Dec 20th 2013 @ 9:48am

Crying can be good for you. I actually wish I could cry more.How do you feel after you have had one of your low crying sessions? Do you feel a sense of relief? I think the fact that you can cry shows to me that your Prozac is not dampening your emotions.As far as I know Prozac is a fairly mild anti depressant. Many many people take it and feel so much better on it. The way you express yourself, anonymous, tells me you needn't worry about being indifferent. We are so self critical aren't we? I honestly believe you can be just as emotional on prozac; for me it took the edge off my acute anxiety which could only be a good thing. I do know what you mean though but I wouldn't worry too much. At the moment I am listening to Ken Bruce and some nice music with his special humour (Phil Collins just now) and however indifferent I might be feeling this morning, he and the music is making me feel more engaged and happy.

Julia Fri, Dec 20th 2013 @ 10:38am

Thinking about what you wrote and my reply, I think I may have misunderstood. I think what you said is that you cry uncontrollably when you are not on prozac and prozac helps this?

Anonymous Fri, Dec 20th 2013 @ 1:06pm

thank you Julia. I do cry uncontrollably when I'm not on prozac. Sometimes though I feel I should be more reactive or care more or show more emotion than I do when things irritate or bother me. I guess I feel I have too much patience sometimes.

Anonymous Fri, Dec 20th 2013 @ 3:18pm

I found the emotions I experienced following the end of a relationship where I was relatively powerless and my kindness abused, were draining. Anger, rejection, a desire for revenge, and inability to stop thinking about a person who had had such a negative effect upon my life. The emotions displaced other positive feelings I could have been experiencing. When I finally became indifferent to my former partner it was a blessing. I reclaimed my emotions and my energy. Freedom.

Julia Fri, Dec 20th 2013 @ 10:00pm

Exactly my experience x

Julia Sat, Dec 21st 2013 @ 10:16am

I am going to re read your post anonymous time and time again. It sums up exactly how I felt in a former degrading humiliating relationship, the one I described above. My kindness was abused. A simple statement but one I never quite verbalised as you have. I still want to punch this man where it hurts most however. My words didn't affect him, however rational I was but I reckon physical violence might! But "indifference, indifference Julia", this must be my mantra where he's concerned.

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