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I need to stop giving an Eff


thisismylife77

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I think my goal for the new year will be to not give an eff. If I really think about it, a lot of my issues have to do with caring too much. I care too much of what my family, friends, coworkers, the customer service person, the waiter, thinks about me. I change how I act and what I say depending on what I think they will think of me. Who really cares? I need to just be myself and not give an eff. The more I think about others thinking about me, the more anxious I feel. I obsess about it and it gets so bad I feel sick to my stomach. If I keep the mantra "don't give an eff don't give an eff don't give an eff" going through my head I feel better. If someone thinks I'm stupid or awkward or ugly or terrible at kickboxing, oh well. I just need to be the real me and not give an eff. Maybe everyone would be happier if they didn't give an eff.

I wonder how long I can go trying to not giving an eff..

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I actually kinda like that b/c it speaks to my past 12 months in many respects.  For me it's a matter of degrees and depends on the situation.

Specifically, it's meant saying "no" to the unending demands of a mother with dementia and, quite often, to those around her who, with no regard for my stresses, expected me to be everything to everyone.  The lesson was that my people pleasing put me in the hospital last fall, unconscious, with a tube down my neck because I'd worn myself out.  You bet that, as I recovered, I used the experience to justify standing my ground.  They learned I'd only do so much, that when I said no I meant no.

What I've been learning - a lot thanks to my T - is that it's ok for me to feel good and relaxed.  Who knew?  Sheesh.

And you might be surprised, as I was, at how many people here on DF can tell similar stories.

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I agree I care too much what others thinks.  It puts me in a prison.  What they think means nothing.  It's time to live like I'm dying and to live like I have nothing to lose because both of those things are true.  Thank you for this post I needed it to get me back on track.

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If it's people-pleasing you're on about, I am on board for 2019. I have a limited amount of effs to give and if I keep giving them to everyone I'll be effin broke. I got to find a narrative that says I care but I'm not gonna worry about you as much or more than I worry about me. 

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I am definitely a people pleaser. Learning to say "no" more often would be great. And I'm realizing it does not make me selfish to say "no". I am allowed to say no. 

@sober4life It seriously is a prison. I don't know how I became this person that cares so much about what everyone thinks about me. I need to give zero effs. Let's both not give an eff.

@Atra This though. I'm a people pleaser and I care too much about what other people think. Some day I feel like I won't have enough care left for myself. It is good to care, but like you said, not more than caring for yourself. 

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26 minutes ago, thisismylife77 said:

I am definitely a people pleaser. Learning to say "no" more often would be great. And I'm realizing it does not make me selfish to say "no". I am allowed to say no. 

@sober4life It seriously is a prison. I don't know how I became this person that cares so much about what everyone thinks about me. I need to give zero effs. Let's both not give an eff.

@Atra This though. I'm a people pleaser and I care too much about what other people think. Some day I feel like I won't have enough care left for myself. It is good to care, but like you said, not more than caring for yourself. 

Don’t allow other people problems to 

bring you down because it doesn’t help

anyone and the problems still exist.  

Always leave room for yourself because 

nobody is going to do for you like you can 

for yourself.

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I can definitely relate to what you said, thisismylife77 and what others have posted here too.

I've discovered that many people are stuck in a "could be better, but isn't" frame of mind.  To be locked into this perspective can put a permanent chip on one's shoulder.  The "could be better, but isn't" attitude can very often lead to anger, frustration, sadness, disappointment, grumpiness, and/or sadness.  

But there is another attitude available:  "could be worse, but isn't worse."  That attitude leads to feelings of being lucky . . . leads to feelings of gratitude, peacefulness, contentment.

I, you, he, she, it, they . . . could be worse than they are, but they are not worse.  Isn't that great?  Isn't that wonderful?

I, you, he, she, it they . . . could be less brave, less wise, less attractive, less successful, less good, but are not less.  That's something to celebrate.

The whole world can be looked at in this way.  A plane crashes, but most planes do not.  Some food is contaminated, but most is not.  Some students commit terrible acts of violence against others, but the vast majority, billions, do not.  Some people are hardened criminals.  The vast majority are not.

I can look at my life this way too.  I have a cold, but I don't have the Ebola virus or bubonic plague.  I am not a raving beauty, but my face has not been melted in a fire.  I have not done some good things I could have done, but I have not, like Adolf Hitler caused the deaths of tens of millions of people in the Holocaust.  My situation is not ideal but I am not on fire . . . I am not in the middle of the Arabian desert without water.

Things could always be worse, but they are not worse.  And that is something I think about.  Anyone I meet could be worse, but they are not worse.  I don't know but this helps me keep from having a chip on my shoulders.  Does it seem like more and more people have chips on their shoulders?

When someone is judging me or condemning me, I know deep down that they are stuck in a "could be better, but isn't" frame of mind.  They are full of attitude instead of gratitude and I get stuck too sometimes.  Often there is no malice involved.  Often people don't even realize that there is an alternative to the "could be better, but isn't better" attitude.  

Take anything in the world and at some point it will be found to have imperfections, even a so-called perfect diamond.  But it is also true that one can take anything or anyone in the world and find goodness and a lot of goodness in it usually.

Perhaps another aspect of this is the notion that self-worth in vulnerable.  How many people were raised to believe that self-worth in constantly vulnerable and in jeopardy.  One little thing can ruin it.  But there are people for whom self-worth is seen as inalienable and invulnerable.  It can never lost no matter what expectations fail to be realized.  It cannot be lost, no matter what losses a person suffers.  It cannot be lost, no matter how many or how big the falls a person makes.

Anxiety is sometimes linked to the feeling that self-worth in in danger by future things.  And depression is sometimes linked to the feeling that self-worth has been lost.  But what if self-worth and human dignity cannot be lost and are invulnerable?

Of course, depression and anxiety are often neurological illnesses involving brain pathology; neurological illnesses with psychiatric manifestations.  

Perhaps my reflections are in error here.  I don't know.  Just speculating.

- epictetus

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20 minutes ago, Epictetus said:

I can definitely relate to what you said, thisismylife77 and what others have posted here too.

I've discovered that many people are stuck in a "could be better, but isn't" frame of mind.  To be locked into this perspective can put a permanent chip on one's shoulder.  The "could be better, but isn't" attitude can very often lead to anger, frustration, sadness, disappointment, grumpiness, and/or sadness.  

But there is another attitude available:  "could be worse, but isn't worse."  That attitude leads to feelings of being lucky . . . leads to feelings of gratitude, peacefulness, contentment.

I, you, he, she, it, they . . . could be worse than they are, but they are not worse.  Isn't that great?  Isn't that wonderful?

I, you, he, she, it they . . . could be less brave, less wise, less attractive, less successful, less good, but are not less.  That's something to celebrate.

The whole world can be looked at in this way.  A plane crashes, but most planes do not.  Some food is contaminated, but most is not.  Some students commit terrible acts of violence against others, but the vast majority, billions, do not.  Some people are hardened criminals.  The vast majority are not.

I can look at my life this way too.  I have a cold, but I don't have the Ebola virus or bubonic plague.  I am not a raving beauty, but my face has not been melted in a fire.  I have not done some good things I could have done, but I have not, like Adolf Hitler caused the deaths of tens of millions of people in the Holocaust.  My situation is not ideal but I am not on fire . . . I am not in the middle of the Arabian desert without water.

Things could always be worse, but they are not worse.  And that is something I think about.  Anyone I meet could be worse, but they are not worse.  I don't know but this helps me keep from having a chip on my shoulders.  Does it seem like more and more people have chips on their shoulders?

When someone is judging me or condemning me, I know deep down that they are stuck in a "could be better, but isn't" frame of mind.  They are full of attitude instead of gratitude and I get stuck too sometimes.  Often there is no malice involved.  Often people don't even realize that there is an alternative to the "could be better, but isn't better" attitude.  

Take anything in the world and at some point it will be found to have imperfections, even a so-called perfect diamond.  But it is also true that one can take anything or anyone in the world and find goodness and a lot of goodness in it usually.

Perhaps another aspect of this is the notion that self-worth in vulnerable.  How many people were raised to believe that self-worth in constantly vulnerable and in jeopardy.  One little thing can ruin it.  But there are people for whom self-worth is seen as inalienable and invulnerable.  It can never lost no matter what expectations fail to be realized.  It cannot be lost, no matter what losses a person suffers.  It cannot be lost, no matter how many or how big the falls a person makes.

Anxiety is sometimes linked to the feeling that self-worth in in danger by future things.  And depression is sometimes linked to the feeling that self-worth has been lost.  But what if self-worth and human dignity cannot be lost and are invulnerable?

Perhaps my reflections are in error here.  I don't know.  Just speculating.

- epictetus

Awesome and s very enlightening

perspective on life 

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For most people that dont give an eff, I think they are born that way. For the rest of us it is a hard step to take but beneficial. Careful how you trread because deep down you do care and you have a high chance of hurting yourself.

i can do it for a few hours by taking a handful of klonopin, but the more effective solution is to balance it, with what do you really care about and what doesnt effect you at all. Dont let any of that get to you, and you are already streets ahead.

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7 minutes ago, Extremebeginner said:

For most people that dont give an eff, I think they are born that way. For the rest of us it is a hard step to take but beneficial. Careful how you trread because deep down you do care and you have a high chance of hurting yourself.

i can do it for a few hours by taking a handful of klonopin, but the more effective solution is to balance it, with what do you really care about and what doesnt effect you at all. Dont let any of that get to you, and you are already streets ahead.

Very Interesting 

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@Floor2017

Thanks for your kind words and for everything you do here on the Forums.  You're a real blessing to us.

I figure that however bad things are, they could be worse.  For example, if I am ill I realize I could be ill and badly burned over 90% of my body.  And if that were the case, it could be worse:  I could be ill and badly burned and be in a war zone hospital where there were no pain medications available and so on.  Things could always be worse, but they are not worse, thank goodness!

I had the great good fortune to have known an elderly gentleman who had a tremendous amount of hope.  I remember I asked him how he could remain hopeful no matter what.  He was a religious fellow and told me that he believed that God desired the salvation of every person and that nothing was impossible to God.  He told me that is how he could be hopeful in any situation, no matter how dire.  

Before he passed away, he told me that he felt that even if everything were to go south there was always hope in a better life on the other side of the grave.  

PS:  I realize that depression and anxiety often involve pathology in the brain such that hopefulness is inaccessible to sufferers, so urging a person with what used to be called "clinical" depression to be hopeful would be cruel and like rubbing salt into their open wounds.  I was once so severely depressed that I was hospitalized and if someone at that time had told me to be hopeful and look on the bright side, it would have hurt me terribly.  Telling someone with regional brain atrophy to be hopeful is like telling someone with incurable total body paralysis to get up and walk.  

 

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On 1/5/2019 at 6:41 AM, Atra said:

If it's people-pleasing you're on about, I am on board for 2019. I have a limited amount of effs to give and if I keep giving them to everyone I'll be effin broke. I got to find a narrative that says I care but I'm not gonna worry about you as much or more than I worry about me. 

I think you just won the best phrasing of the year with that one!

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On 1/5/2019 at 2:28 PM, Epictetus said:

Anxiety is sometimes linked to the feeling that self-worth in in danger by future things.  And depression is sometimes linked to the feeling that self-worth has been lost.  But what if self-worth and human dignity cannot be lost and are invulnerable? 

 

I have always worried about the future, as in "things will only get worse". Somewhere in my childhood that way of thinking got wired into my mind. I wish I knew how and why. I also wish I could get rid of it. I'm sure I could if I practiced a lot...to overcome 50+ years of "wrong thinking".

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@JD4010

Maybe I'm wrong, but I think a lot of kids are raised to believe that self-worth is something vulnerable and not something that is inalienable.  Part of it, I think is that this is something that many parents perhaps feel they need in order to enforce discipline on children:  one's self-worth goes up and down depending on how well one obeys and pleases one's parents. ???

Worth is based on being loved by parents.  Being loved by parents is based on obedience and pleasing parents.  Ergo: worth is vulnerable, in jeopardy.  Ergo a person is only as worthwhile as the latest thing they have done.  ???

A very famous psychiatrist once speculated that the "work ethic" was based on potty training.  The first material thing a parent wishes a child to "produce" and regulate is liquid or solid excrement.  I remember a line from a movie comedy where someone asks someone else why their life was so consumed with work, achievement and joyless striving.  The character replied:  "I was potty trained with a stick."

Maybe this puts "giving an Eff" in perspective.  

Just speculating here.  Of course I don't know if any of this is true or not.

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Its hard to pick your battles, I care a lot for others too and I often wish i didnt.  Itis how they make you feel that is important, not what they do. So I often pick a little chant that I will repeat to myself, until I can calm down.

i am safe. That  cannot harm me. I love myself. i will stay safe.

just an example, keep it short and meaningful

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