YOU NEED TO STOP GIVING A FUCK ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK.
I’d like you to ask yourself the following question:
Am I stressed out, overbooked, and/or underwhelmed by life?
If the answer is yes to any of these, then pause for a moment to ask: Why?
I’m willing to bet the answer is that you give too many fucks. Or, more specifically, you think you have to give those fucks.
In which case, you’ve come to the right place. Because I’ve developed a program for mental decluttering that will help you stop spending time, energy, and money on people and things that annoy you, and leave you with more to spend on the stuff that truly makes you happy.
I call it the NotSorry Method. It has two simple steps:
And — if implemented correctly — “Not Sorry” is how you’ll feel when all is said and done. For real.
***IMPORTANT UPDATE: Since this story was originally posted, I have given a TEDx talk on this very subject! You could watch it HERE, learn all about the NotSorry Method, and not even have to read this whole article. It’s really up to you how you want to spend your next ten minutes.***
In my book, The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck, you’ll see the term giving a fuck used in two ways:
- There’s the colloquial sense of caring about something, which factors into Step 1 of the method (deciding what you don’t give a fuck about).
- Then there’s a literal sense of actually giving a fuck to someone or something, in the form of time, energy, and/or money. This factors into Step 2 (not giving a fuck about those things).
In both senses, the only way to change your life for the better is to stop giving so fucking many of them.
Just think about how much better life would be if you could say no to things you really don’t give a fuck about, and have more time, energy, and money to say yes to the things you do.
For example, when I stopped giving a fuck about putting on makeup before leaving my apartment just to go to the grocery store, I gained ten leisurely minutes to sit on my couch and read the Us Weekly I just bought at said grocery store.
Or, when I stopped giving a fuck about going to baby showers — an activity I positively loathe — I gained untold Sunday afternoons of freedom.
And all that time I save by not going to baby showers? Well, first I pour myself a double shot of Patrón, and then it’s only a few clicks on Giggle.com to order a shiny new breast pump for the mother-to-be, after which I raise a glass to my college roommate’s Cabo Wabo Spring Break ’98 Wet T-Shirt Contest-winning boobs.
Fare thee well, ladies!
Ten minutes online versus four hours of diaper-decorating games and virgin punch — for me, it’s a no-brainer. For you, baby showers could be a fuck-worthy activity, while it’s, I don’t know, prowling yard sales every weekend with your deal-seeking significant other that makes you die a little inside.
The specifics don’t matter — what matters is, if you follow the NotSorry Method for not giving a fuck, your spirit will be lighter, your calendar clearer, and your time and energy will be spent on only the things and people you enjoy.
Sounds legit, no? And it is, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves . . .
Because the fundamental precursor to implementing the method — before we even get to Step 1— is to stop giving a fuck about what other people think. If the NotSorry Method unlocks the door to life-changing magic, not giving a fuck about what other people think is how you get on the property in the first place.
You know that shame and guilt you feel when you’re trying so hard not to give a fuck? It’s usually not because you are wrong to not give that fuck. It’s because you’re worried about what other people might think about your decision.
Guess what? You have no control over what other people think. For god’s sake you have a hard enough time figuring out what YOU think!
Believing that you have any control over what other people think — and wasting your fucks on that pursuit — is futile.
It is a recipe for failure on a grand fucking scale.
No, when it comes to how your fuck-giving affects other people, all you can control is your behavior with regard to their feelings, not their opinions. These are two different components related to “what people think,” which I’ll discuss in depth later in the book.
For now, it’s possible that you’re hyperventilating. I get it — there’s no shame in that. You may be thinking, I can’t possibly stop worrying about what other people think. It’s programmed into my DNA!
Well, listen: your DNA can only take you so far. In order to live your best life, you’re going to have to hack the system. And I can show you how.
There are two reasons you tend to give a fuck about what other people think:
- Because you don’t want to be a bad person,
- Because you don’t want to look like a bad person.
You should, of course, continue to give a fuck about what other people think as pertains to their feelings. (i.e. Are you going to actively hurt those feelings by not giving a fuck about the situation is at hand?) But be honest — you know full well when you’re being a bad person and hurting someone’s feelings. You ought to be sorry about that.
What I’m saying is, you don’t have to give a fuck about what other people think when it comes to their opinions. And if you can learn to speak to people in the Language of Opinion, you will find it very effective. It’s honest, polite, and extremely disarming. You will neither be an asshole, nor look like an asshole.
And you definitely won’t be sorry.
I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek into The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck, exclusive to @Medium readers! If you’re intrigued by the NotSorry Method and want to learn more about separating feelings from opinions, decluttering your mental space, and living your best life, please consider buying the book from any one of these fine vendors: