Acceptance vs. Apathy

I was having a conversation with my mom the other evening about a topic that can get me a bit fired up, but I noticed something was different.  The subject didn’t have the same ‘hold’ on me as it had in the past.  I found that kind of interesting.  I could walk away from the conversation, and move on with life without giving it a second thought.

So, what happened?

As I started thinking about the conversation, two words came to mind: acceptance and apathy.  Acceptance is a state of allowing what is.  Apathy is a lack of interest, to not care. In my particular example, I was in acceptance.  I was content with the outcome even though I didn’t personally agree with it.  Acceptance doesn’t mean agreement, it means you accept the outcome, and are willing to move forward.  Apathy feels very different and it can be debilitating, so let’s take a closer look.

Apathy is characterized by disinterest and unconcern.  There are a few ways to determine if apathy is present:

  1. Your emotions are flat.  You feel nothing.
  2. You have no interest or opinion in the topic or the outcome.  This can come across as “whatever.”
  3. Your physical being is sluggish.  You may actually slouch or shuffle.

There are times when apathy can turn into something more clinical requiring professional assistance, but many of us experience moments of apathy, and it’s important to take the time to notice what is going on and why.

Apathy is like a stop sign for your soul.  It can signal that all is not well in your work or home life, and that it is time to take action or take a different action.  The physical and mental impact of apathy forces the stop, and this is the time to take notice.  Ask yourself:

  • What is no longer working for me?
  • What must be done?

The answer to these questions can get you moving forward, and out of the stuckness.

The next time you hear yourself say, “whatever”, take a closer look and feel.  Something may be up that needs your attention.


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