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How to Stop Caring: 20 Steps on How to Not Care & Put Yourself First

Learning how to stop caring is not as simple as you might think. It is human nature, but training yourself on how to not care may be exactly what you need.


It might seem strange to learn how to stop caring. We spend our whole lives doing the opposite. Training yourself on how to not care seems wrong.

But, we all know that person who seems to be able to let things roll off of their backs so easily. You know, the one who just doesn’t care. They are just unapologetically themselves.

If you are the opposite and struggle to let things go, you may have to retrain your brain. And it won’t be easy.

Society, media, and even our families have raised us to care what others think. We want to come off a certain way. Caring is what shows that you are determined, putting effort in, and want to impress others.

This can be hard to handle if you are already a sensitive person. It can easily become a torturous way to live. Bound by worrying about what others think and whether or not they’re judging you.

It is easy to become neurotic and socially anxious. To stop living with such fear and learn how not to care, you need to change your mindset, which is much easier said than done.

[Read: 12 ways to change your life and finally be happy]

Why do you care so much?

This may seem like a dumb question, but bear with me. Caring is not a weakness. Let me just start with that. Caring means you have a good heart.

But, you carry the weaknesses of the world around with you. This weighs you down. It means you lift others and let yourself fall.

You’ve learned to care for others. That is a good thing. You don’t want to get rid of that. The thing is, if you’re here, it means you probably care too much. Why is that? Well, caring too much happens when you lack boundaries. [Read: How to set personal boundaries and guide other people to respect it]

For instance, you care about your partner. But, when you break up, you still care about them. It’s not just that you care that they are healthy, but you care if they are hurting and want to fix their pain even though you don’t actually want to be with them. You let your care for others go above and beyond your care for yourself. That is where the trouble lies.

When you let your care for others break boundaries, you are disrespecting yourself. You are putting the happiness and peace of others over your own peace of mind, mental health, and joy. You are caring for careless people, and it is eating away at you.

But it is about time that stopped. [Read: Why am I so insecure? 20 reasons why you care about others more than yourself]

How to stop caring

If you want to know how to stop caring, it really is about making some big changes in your belief system.

Knowing how to not care is about freeing yourself from the burden of constantly needing to please others and put endless amounts of effort in. It is your life and you should do what you please.

With that being said, you don’t need to become an uncaring and mean person who storms through life only caring about themselves. What you want is to find a balance between caring and not caring too much. And, this is how…

1. Others’ judgments aren’t your problem

I always love when I hear someone say that they aren’t judgmental. Everyone judges. It’s human nature.

In fact, it is literally in our genetic makeup. Judging people stems from our instinctual tendency to put things into categories. It’s a survival method that we use to help us determine if something is a threat.

Judging alone is not the problem.

Judging without necessary cause, however, is. This is when we become torn down. When someone judges you based on your clothes or style, you feel like trash. You want to prove them wrong. But, that is their choice. Their judgments of you are affecting them a lot more than they are you.

Putting in the effort to change their mind means you are letting them have power over you, your mind, and your actions. Why give them the satisfaction of getting under your skin? [Read: Learn how to care less and stop caring about what other people think]

2. Most people care more about themselves

The hardest thing for really sensitive people to understand is that people typically don’t care about them, or at least not to the level in which they care about others.

If you are a sensitive person, the key to not caring is to stop thinking that everyone is as considerate as you are.

Most people are more worried about themselves than they are about you. They care about how they look or how others see them. Sure, someone may look at you weirdly, but it isn’t because they’re judging you but worried you’re judging them. [Read: 8 helpful ways to stop being a self-centered person]

3. Care for yourself

The best way to stop caring so much about what others think is by worrying about you.

Focus on yourself. Care for yourself. Take time to do what you like without worrying about what anyone else will say or think. At first, you may take this time alone and in private to learn that you deserve to care for yourself. [Read: How to focus on yourself – 27 ways to create your own sunshine]

Soon you’ll feel good enough to go out and do it publicly.

Go for a bike ride or work out at a gym instead of in your basement. Show the world that you put yourself first. They won’t even think about judging you. And if they do, you won’t have the time to care. [Read: 15 ways to learn how to love yourself]

4. Not everyone has to like you

Not everyone has to like you. and not everyone will. It is impossible to please everyone. People are so different. To please them all with your looks and personality, you’ll need to stretch so far you become multiple people.

It doesn’t matter if some people don’t like you. You don’t like everyone, do you?

5. Life goes on

The world goes on no matter what you do. That isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it’s a good thing. If you don’t get something done, or if you let someone down, you’ll wake up tomorrow, and it’ll be fine.

Try to put things into perspective. This can help you to stop caring so much. You are not perfect. No one is. You can make mistakes and let things slip through the cracks because you’re human and whether or not you live up to the expectations you set for yourself, you have tomorrow. [Read: The real meaning of YOLO and 15 ways to truly live your life to the fullest]

6. Look at the benefits of not caring

You searched for this feature because there is something about caring you don’t like. Part of you wants to know how to stop caring. One great way to do that is to think about the benefits that come with not caring.

You will have a level of freedom you can’t even imagine. You won’t be weighed down by others’ words or what you perceive their thoughts to be. And you can finally focus on what makes you happy. [Read: How to be happy and find your way to real happiness]

7. There will always be a troll

There are people whose sole purpose in life is not to like the most likable people.

In fact, there will even be people who will dislike you specifically because they are jealous that everyone else likes you.

Think about it. Even the most well-loved celebrities have internet trolls whose mission in life is to bring them down.

If you base your worth on getting everyone to like you, it will leave you unhappy and always wondering what you’re lacking.

In reality, when someone doesn’t like you, it is their issue, not yours. If you always try your best to be nice and considerate of others, but if they still don’t like you, you know it isn’t your problem. [Read: Stop caring for someone who hurt you]

8. Focus on the good

Not everyone is worthy of your energy. The thing is, when someone isn’t worthy you try even harder. But, why? There are plenty of people in the world and in your life that are worthy of your time, energy, and caring nature.

Instead of wasting your time getting the approval of people who don’t deserve your attention, put that time into the people who do care about you. Don’t try to win people over. Focus on the people that already know how much you’re worth. [Read: 20 signs you’re a people pleaser and don’t realize it]

9. Cut out the bad

Toxic people are those whose negativity instantly rubs off on us when we hang out with them. Whether they are bad-mouthing someone or just being flat-out negative, nothing about them boosts your mood or self-esteem.

They aren’t adding anything good into your life, so why are they there?

It can be hard to stop caring, even when someone has done nothing but bring you down. Slowly cut these people out of your life. Or, if you can handle it, let them know that you think your friendship has run its course because you are at two different points in life. Don’t put any extra effort into those who drain you. [Read: How to recognize and end toxic relationships]

10. Say no

Stop thinking that saying no makes you a bad person. You are not letting people down by putting yourself first. Everyone needs time to relax and do what they enjoy.

You can’t be everything to everyone. It’s important to prioritize your time and energy in the right ways and with the right people.

If someone asks you for a favor that just doesn’t feel right, then it’s okay to say no. If you’re tired and can’t go out to hear your work acquaintance complain about her boyfriend again, say no.

The reality is that they probably wouldn’t feel bad about saying no to you if the situation were reversed. But that’s not even the point. Don’t waste your precious time on things you don’t enjoy. This isn’t mean. It is self-care. [Read: How to say no and stop people-pleasing]

11. Help others learn how not to care

When you are in the midst of learning how not to care, helping others do the same can feel great. You are getting your good deeds done, but not as a pushover or doormat. You are caring for others that deserve to learn the same things you’ve learned.

This lets you offer aid to those who are in a similar situation. In the process, you are learning how to take your own advice. [Read: How to be kind to yourself, others, and love life]

12. Condition yourself

If you find yourself ruminating about situations or feeling guilty all the time and sitting and stewing, find an outlet like exercising.

Being able to work through your pent-up anxiety and emotions will ensure that you won’t explode on the wrong person, make the wrong assumption, or feel bad about something that’s all in your head.

You can even wear a hair tie on your wrist and flick yourself whenever you catch yourself caring too much about what others think. Finding a productive and healthy outlet to train yourself away from overthinking and over-caring will help you to stop worrying about things that don’t matter in the long run. [Read: 25 inspirational tips to get motivated and work out]

13. Realize that no one is perfect

Stop feeling like you need to be perfect, and accept your failures and mistakes as part of life. All the things you’ve done wrong have made you who you are. You are not perfect, and you don’t need to be.

Whether you see someone who makes life look so easy or seems like everyone likes them, you only see a small part. No one is perfect, no matter how much they may seem to be, so stop trying to be. You are you, and that is enough. [Read: How to be perfect in everything you do]

14. Refuse to react

When you care and someone is ungrateful or not nice, you react negatively. When you react to other people, the only person who gets hurts is you. If you want to feel good about yourself, walk away.

Letting someone else’s actions overpower how you feel about yourself or how you go about the rest of your day gives them control over you.

You are caring more about what they did than how you are feeling. Put your emotions ahead of the actions of others. [Read: How to control your emotions and stop letting others get to you]

15. Stop trying so hard

When you care a lot, you try a lot. You try so hard. You try to impress others. This leads to intense anxiety. You worry yourself sick. Stop trying so hard, and learning how not to care will follow.

16. Ask yourself if you’re happy

Are you happy? Do you feel fulfilled? Do you like yourself? Ask yourself these questions every day. If any answer is no, work out why.

It is likely because you are placing your happiness, fulfillment, and self-image in the hands of others. It is your life, so take control. [Read: What makes you happy? The honest truth you probably haven’t realized]

17. Surround yourself with good things

I am not one for inspiration or mood boards, but that is the same concept as what I’m saying. Surround yourself with things that make you feel good.

Whether that is a pet, a soft blanket, or friends that support you, whatever makes you happy should be close by.

If you love a fandom like Star Wars or Harry Potter, pick up trinkets and display them at home. You want to smile at what surrounds you. You don’t need to be trendy or cool.

Having things, material or otherwise, that make you happy will naturally make you feel better and refocus your care onto better, more positive outlets.

18. Get off social media

Get off social media now. It is no good for people who care too much. If you want to stop caring, you need to stop allowing yourself to be bombarded by posts.

Seeing someone from high school you haven’t spoken to in over ten years talking about something personal will drain you. As someone who is sensitive and caring, you can’t help but feel for others, even strangers.

The more you see of others, even people you don’t know, the more you care. You put all this emotional energy into people whose lives don’t impact you in the slightest. That may sound selfish. I’m not telling you to unfollow everyone or be distant or uncaring. But if you know that you are prone to caring too much, schedule social media time and stick to the limit so you aren’t overstimulated by it. [Read: Why social media makes you feel so insecure]

19. Stop judging others

Before I even get into this, you do judge others. Even if you don’t realize it, you do. It can be subconscious. There is a bias you were raised with, whether you believe it or not. Whether it is a touch of racism or sexism, we are all exposed to these things, and they seep into our minds.

You can’t just press a button and unlearn everything, but taking active steps to pull back from judging others even when it isn’t abrupt or obvious helps you care less. When you are judging, you are putting effort into thinking about others, most likely in a negative way.

When you do that, your mind automatically thinks others are doing the same to you. If you can stop yourself from doing it, your brain won’t be triggered to think the same thing. [Read: How to be less critical of the people around you]

20. Be patient

You are not a robot. You cannot stop caring overnight. There isn’t a switch you can flip to learn how not to care. Let yourself come to terms will why you care so much. Take this step by step.

You may even want to see a therapist to keep yourself on track and work through the deeper reasons why you care so much.

[Read: How do so many people stop caring and become so self-centered?]

Caring for others is a strength. But, caring too much for others is an invitation for pain and anxiety. With time, practice, and patience you can learn how to stop caring so much.

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The editorial team of LovePanky comprises relationship experts and real-life experts that share their experiences and life lessons. If you want the best love ad...