Rejection gotcha down, bunky? Looking for the secret of not giving a shit?
This very serious little article gives us the lowdown on the kind of person we need to be to live our lives without feeling the pain inflicted by being denied/unaccepted/kicked out/mocked/younameit by others.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t tell us how to transform ourselves into the necessary mental state.
Or would that last sentence me more correct if we took out the opening “un”?
I Asked a Psychopath How to Stop Caring About Rejection
by Julian Morgans
I recently went on a date with a beautiful and smart girl who laughed at all my jokes and then never replied to my texts. I walked away from the date thinking nailed it! while I guess she walked away thinking he didn’t nail that. I mean, who knows what she actually thought—but I spent the next few days wondering.
Wondering what other people think is a classic problem, and rejection sucks. When the phone doesn’t ring, the invitation doesn’t arrive, or you get cut from the team or the job, it’s only natural to feel hurt. But I should say that it’s natural for most people, not everyone. Because for psychopaths, caring what others think isn’t an issue—which is why I decided to ask one for advice.
Dr. James Fallon is a neuroscientist at the University of California. In 2006, he was studying the brain structures of serial killers when he realized his own brain fit the same profile. Amused, he started telling his friends and family, who all confirmed it was something they’d long suspected. As James described in the Guardian, “I started to ask people close to me what they really thought of me… and tell me they did.”
When I read this, I knew I’d found the guy. Fallon scores as a “pro-social” psychopathic, meaning he’s empathetic enough to be married and enjoy a social life, but lives without the worry or hurt most of us feel constantly. So I called him to ask how he does it. How does he go through life untouched by insult? And could I learn to do the same?
VICE: How does rejection feel for you?
Dr. James Fallon: It feels absolutely fine. As my two psychiatrists say, my biggest problem in life is that I don’t give a shit. They tell me, “You just don’t care.” And it’s true.
I just know that I can do anything I want, and something better will come along. I guess that absurd swagger is most of it….