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on not caring

October 23, 2007

I have a big problem. I care too much. I was talking to M today about my increasing frustration with work, and it seems like a lot of it boils down to the fact that I just care too much about what I do. I’ll be the first to admit that I can be a bit of a perfectionist, and I can also be rather impatient. I defend these qualities by saying that it’s just because I care. But maybe I just care too damn much.

My question is, how does one stop caring? How do I change this in myself, so that if something doesn’t go right with a project I’m managing, instead of getting more and more frustrated about it, I just accept it and brush it off? After all, I know my job does not define me. I know there are more important things in my life, such as my family; my loved ones; things I’m passionate about, such as my music and writing … all of these things bring me a great deal of satisfaction and joy. Perhaps I should just accept that those are the things I need to care about, and the other things are just fluff; they are just things I need to deal with in this day-to-day called adulthood.
All this is so much easier said than done though. Every time I think I have it, I catch myself caring again. But I do realize that it seems like no matter how much I care, no matter how hard I work, I just can’t seem to change the fact that at my job, things are a damn mess. M tells me I’m too emotionally invested in it. He’s probably right, because that’s just how I am. I really do give a shit about what I do. But that attitude seems to be getting me nowhere.

Any suggestions?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 23, 2007 4:33 pm

    No advice, I’m afraid; just a note to say “welcome to the club”.

    Chin up – view it as an asset, not a defect. You have a big, caring heart…and last time I checked, that wasn’t a horrible thing.

  2. October 23, 2007 9:06 pm

    hmmmm… thanks for the welcome 🙂 but seriously, it does seem like I’m not alone, and yeah, I think the day I stop giving a shit is the day I become even more worried about myself!

  3. Tiff permalink
    October 24, 2007 5:33 pm

    You have to stop bringing it home with you. Don’t talk about it in detail all the time- you’ll get worked up about it all over again. I think that most creative people have the same problem- they care too much. It’s a hard habit to break. But if you continue to do so, you will not only get yourself down, but you will become jaded or indifferent. Stop caring about what people think so much and be a bit more selfish. If Joe Blow doesn’t do something right, send it back to him and tell him to fix it- don’t indulge in a lot of banter on why it needs to be fixed, just tell him to do it. If he doesn’t, go to his boss and let them deal with him/it. Don’t be afraid to call someone out for not doing their job (it sounds shitty I know, but it’s a necessary evil). Use your resources and when you are in over your head, or feel like you are floundering, pipe up. And keep piping up until you get what you need to get the job done correctly, professionally, and with your sanity intact. Hope that helps…

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