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Looking Like You Don’t Care Is Worse Than Not Caring


Robby

Frank and Lisa are busy people. With their travel schedules, they had to set this appointment over two months out. And when it was time to be at the restaurant, Lisa had arrived a few minutes early. Frank was no where to be seen.

Lisa checked her phone. It was noon. There was no text, no call. She looked into email and there was nothing as well. Should she worry?

She waited a few more minutes until it was 12:05. Nothing. Lisa started to compose a text message in her mind. It could be pointed: “Where are you? I’m here at the restaurant.” It could be upbeat: “Here! See you soon!” Or, it could be concerned. “I’m at the restaurant and you’re not here. Is everything okay?”

While she was thinking she got a text. “Parking is crazy! See you soon.” She breathed a sign of relief. It was a few minutes still, but eventually Frank came inside. He never apologized for being late.

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© Flickr User Rob Wells

Lisa is important to Frank. He did set up the appointment with her. He did send her a text when he was parking. He did give her his attention during the meeting.

But to Lisa, that doesn’t really appear to be the case. Frank looks like he doesn’t care.

Not Caring Is Pretty Bad

Indifference never achieved anything. If you don’t care it’s going to show in everything you do. But really, the outcome of not caring is fairly obvious. If your friends realize you don’t care about them, they will stop being your friends. If your boss realizes you don’t care about doing good work, you’ll eventually lose your job. Not caring has a direct result: not getting to do the things that others thought we should care about.

Looking Like You Don’t Care is Worse

Frank does care about Lisa. But from her perspective that isn’t exactly apparent. If he keeps this up—-being late to appointments, forgetting to keep promises, or doing things that hurt her and help him—he is going to lose the relationship. And for Frank, it will be devastating. Frank will have no idea why Lisa left.

And while it’s possible Frank might reflect on his behavior, it’s more likely that he’ll decide it was Lisa’s fault and not his.

That’s the danger of looking like you don’t care. You’re more likely to blame other people for problems that they interpret as your genuine apathy.

Care, don’t care, it’s up to you. But if you do care about others, treat them with respect. Make sure they know it.

And if you screw up, say you’re sorry.

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About the Blogger: Robby Slaughter is a productivity speaker and expert. He is a principal with a AccelaWork, an Indianapolis consulting firm.

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Wed, July 4 2018 » Ethics and Fraud, Personal Organization

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