Have you ever been so uninterested in someone’s problems or drama that you just can’t bring yourself to care even a little bit about what they are saying?
This usually happens with people who have a strong investment in struggle and drama as an identity, or with people who are overly self-absorbed and cannot see their own role in creating the struggle and drama in their life. It is hard for us to connect with them because we feel manipulated, or we can tell they don’t really care about anything other than their issue.
But, have you ever noticed how closely our thoughts can resemble a self-absorbed, dramatic person?
How obsessively we can think about ourselves and our problems and the drama in our own lives?
Consider how much time you spend mulling over problems in your own life, or thinking about something someone said to you or did to you. Consider how much time you spend obsessing over how something is going to turn out or how something already turned out. Consider how this incessant talking follows you around. Sometimes it wakes you up in the night or hits you seconds after you wake up in the morning. It’s there when you make coffee, run errands, watch TV, it’s just there all the time.
How would you feel if this were a person? Apart from being furious and filing charges, you would be profoundly bored with everything they had to say. When someone always has something to complain about, we become rather immune to having any emotional response to their complaining.
Except when it is us.
We’re just always interesting.
Our stuff is always important, it always matters.
Our problems are the stuff of Emmy winning dramas and Oscar winning movies.
Except that they’re not.
We are as boring as anyone else, and our stuff is as irrelevant and mundane as theirs.
What would happen if you became disinterested in your own drama and complaining? What if you only gave yourself as much attention as you give the incessant and insufferable complainers in your life?
Becoming disinterested in your own drama and realizing the silliness of your own complaints is one of the quickest paths to peace, and it has a curious leveling effect on how we see our lives and difficulties. It helps us sort out what is really important versus what is noise.
The secret is that it’s mostly noise.
Give yourself permission to laugh at your drama, to dismiss much of the complaining your mind does. Cultivate disinterest in your own problems.
See what happens.