What is indifference? Definition. Types of indifference.


Indifference can be seen as both a character trait and a condition caused by external factors.

The dictionary gives the following definition of indifference - lack of interest in the world around us, people, and oneself. But the concept is deeper and more multifaceted.

An indifferent person may not care about himself if his condition is caused by stress, or he may be a complete egoist and cynic, caring only about his own needs. Some people show indifference to the grief of strangers, while others hurt those closest to them in this way.

Indifference in any of its manifestations is scary and destructive.

Signs of apathy

Apathy is quite noticeable from the outside, especially if you have known the person for a long time. Having immersed himself in this state, he behaves more detached, passive and indifferent. Please note that every person periodically behaves more calmly and phlegmatically (how is that?) than usual. But in a state of apathy, there is a noticeable lack of interest in many significant things. A person no longer strives to exchange emotions; it is as if the need for love and communication disappears. Relatives often take this personally and are offended by the person for paying much less attention to them.

You can determine the presence of apathy in yourself or a friend by the following signs:

  1. poor health, lack of strength, constant fatigue, drowsiness;
  2. lack of interest in everything, a rather indifferent reaction to good and bad events;
  3. solitude, reluctance to go out and communicate with friends;
  4. slow response to an appeal (the person does not answer immediately or does not answer correctly);
  5. slow, monotonous, almost completely emotionless speech;
  6. lack of desire to take care of oneself (a person ceases to pay due attention to hygiene, appearance, health);
  7. “nervous” habits (foot tapping, hand rubbing, finger snapping, etc.).

Indifference as a defensive reaction of the psyche

Indifference is one of the manifestations of apathy, deliberate inaction when a person gives up and does not try to fight circumstances. This condition is caused by severe nervous tension, constant stress, and traumatic events. The human brain in this way prevents nervous exhaustion, which can lead to death.

What is indifference? This is a psychological defense. A kind of energy saving mode. Staying in this state for a long time is a direct path to depression.

Causes of apathy

In most cases, people attribute apathy to fatigue or bad mood, but the list of its causes is much wider. The most significant factors are:

1. Anxiety

. The human psyche is fragile and vulnerable, so it has developed certain protective mechanisms. And one of these mechanisms is ignoring too strong stimuli. Therefore, excessive anxiety can lead to apathy simply because the brain is trying to reduce stress levels.

How to bring back the taste for life

How to get out of an apathetic state and begin to feel the joy of life again, and not give up in the face of difficulties? If indifference is caused by overwork, the best cure is rest. The nicer and brighter it is, the better. This method does not help in all cases.

You can cope with indifference and awaken interest in something with the help of such a psychological technique as convincing yourself of the opposite. As soon as you decide to give up everything and not waste time, the principle of the opposite will work and the desire to act will appear, you will feel sorry for the wasted effort.

If apathy is strong and there is simply no strength for psychological experiments, you can get out of the situation by forcing yourself to do important and urgent things. Even by participating in the slightest degree in the work process, a person becomes involved, begins to become interested, and indifference goes away.

Indifference and indifference are even worse than delusion

Indifference is a psychological state when a person is indifferent to what is happening around him. Understanding the necessity of fulfilling his duties, a person is not able to force himself to do anything. He has no desire to communicate, talk, or solve problems. In a state of apathy and indifference, a person is often reluctant to get out of bed; his state of health can be compared to a lack of strength after physical exertion. This is a kind of “paralysis of emotions”, apathy. An apathetic state can develop into a general decline in psychological activity. In this state, people are practically motionless, uncommunicative, and do not show initiative. Speech and motor functions in a state of decline in activity are characterized by inhibition, lapses in memory occur, and failures in thinking occur.

Signs of apathy appear in two variations. In the first case, a person’s indifference attracts the attention of others, he does not hide his indifference. In the second, a person’s activity does not change; in the absence of external signs of indifference, irritability and violence against oneself or others becomes a surprise. Where does apathy come from? The first sources of apathy and indifference are illnesses, high physical activity, prolonged psychological tension and the experience of a crisis. Sometimes the cause of this condition is psychological diseases. A prolonged period of apathy and indifference leads to partial loss of memory and the inability to carry out mental activity.

The feeling of apathy and indifference is always the first “bell” that your life requires changes. Probably, the rhythm of your life undermines the emotional and physiological state of the body, which means that such a regime is not within your power. Wave-like movements of a person’s mood are normal if the condition cannot be changed frequently and dramatically. The alternation of mood from euphoria to depression and emptiness is a reason to think and take measures to change the rhythm of life. The state of apathy may have no apparent reason and may appear unexpectedly. It would seem that just yesterday a person was full of energy, having fun, joking, singing songs, but today he is not even able to clean himself up and get out of bed. Or the situation is diametrically opposite - prolonged stress, tension and exhaustion take their toll, and apathy eventually manifests itself as a logical consequence.

The main causes of apathy: Burnout due to profession. This affects people whose profession involves constant communication or creativity; Serious illnesses; Seasonal vitamin deficiency; Depression after pregnancy and childbirth; Regular physical activity; Constant stress and emotional exhaustion; Psychologically difficult news (death, incurable disease, etc.); Decrease in energy after strong emotions (enthusiasm, euphoria, etc.). A state of apathy and indifference is occasionally useful. The body sometimes needs a short vacation to gain strength and vigor. However, apathy lasting a month or more is a signal to fight indifference and laziness. This period is quite enough for the body to rest, and further stay in a state of apathy is fraught with unpleasant consequences. The second signal about the need to combat apathy is speech impairment and memory loss. If such signs are observed in behavior, you should take action immediately! How to get rid of the state of apathy? To begin with, you must want to get rid of apathy and realize what caused this condition. Remember that only you can restore your harmonious and positive life. It is not easy to begin to fight the amoeba condition due to the lack of desire to do anything. How to concentrate and get out of a state of indifference to life? Don't let the situation get worse! By letting everything take its course, you risk losing control over your apathetic state.

Apathy and indifference lead to suppression of will and motivation, and in advanced cases become a prerequisite for aggressiveness and violence. The person has no plans for the future, is indifferent to new acquaintances, and does not dream. His life becomes boring and gray. Indifference to what is happening around, laziness, difficulty speaking, groundless sadness, lack of need for communication are the symptoms on which apathy is based. you. Apathy at its extreme stage cannot be cured on its own. However, it is still necessary to take measures to get rid of it. Don’t expect an external push to change the situation, become the driving force yourself that can pull you out of the swamp of indifference. Understand that accepting apathy into your life and getting used to an indifferent mood is not the answer. An apathetic state can “unsettle” you for a long period of life. Don't let negative thoughts and detachment take over. Set yourself goals. Start small and gradually increase the degree of grandiosity. Moving forward, you will feel self-confidence and faith in a speedy victory over apathy and indifference to the world around you. How to get rid of apathy and indifference?

Fight fire with fire. Bring the situation to the point of complete absurdity and ridiculousness. Feel sorry for yourself: “Oh, how hard it is for me! Poor me, I’m unhappy! You won’t feel sorry for yourself, no one will feel sorry for you!” Sincerely surrender to the feeling of pity and bad mood. You might even cry. Does it sound strange? But this method works, and feigned positivity will not help matters. Expressing pity will be beneficial by releasing negative emotions. Pessimism and indifference to the world will be replaced by optimism and the desire to act and live. Having expressed pity, you realize that victory in the fight against apathy is not only probable, but also exactly what you need. And as soon as possible. After winning your first battle with apathy, treat yourself. Go shopping, give yourself a gift. Buy a beautiful thing. Visit a beauty salon. Get your nails done. Meet your friends. Go to a restaurant and order your favorite dish. Consider these actions as the next step in therapy. This method will allow you to take a step towards returning to life and movement, will stir you up and give you an incentive for new victories over apathy. If the period of indifference to the surrounding reality has dragged on, you undoubtedly have a lot of things to do. Start raking through the heap of actions that you refused at a moment of indifference and apathy. For a few days, immerse yourself in your accumulated tasks. Routine and Stakhanovite activity will not allow the brain to think about self-pity and return to an apathetic mood. Don’t be distracted from the plan, and you won’t notice how your body will independently overcome indifference to life.

Professional burnout cannot be cured using generally accepted methods. In this case, only a change in type of employment will save you. To prevent routine matters from being sucked into the swamp of indifference to the world, do not give them a dominant role. Bring variety to your usual lifestyle. Find new interests and hobbies. If you have always wanted to learn how to embroider with beads or woodburn, then why not start now? Physical exercise not only improves your health, but also improves your mood and has a positive effect on your emotional background and makes your outlook on life more optimistic. Follow a daily routine. Give your body a break and normal sleep. Rest is useful not only on weekends, but also on weekdays. Go to the cinema in the evening, meet old acquaintances, visit an exhibition. Break up stressful periods with relaxation and stress relief. Don't isolate yourself during times of failure. Assess the situation from different angles and find positive aspects. A wonderful way to look for the positive in unpleasant things is to add the construction “but then” to the statement of the fact of the problem. It looks like this: “I was fired from my job, but now I have more time for my family and knitting.”, “I broke up with my man, but now I don’t have to account to anyone for my actions,” etc. Finding the positive in failures and unpleasant situations will prevent apathy and negative emotions from taking over your mind.


How indifference manifests itself in various areas of life

The following types of indifference are distinguished:

  • in relation to a partner;
  • in relation to other people;
  • in relation to work;
  • in relation to children;
  • in relation to public life.

Indifference is one of the problems in family life: feelings have cooled down, a habit remains, spouses move away from each other, living together by inertia. Feeling the indifference of a loved one is painful and offensive. But if there are no mutual feelings left, the best solution is separation.

Fatigue, eternal haste, prolonged stress lead to an indifferent attitude towards others, when you don’t feel sorry for an old man begging for alms or a person who has lost consciousness on the street. An indifferent person will pass by. Such people also experience difficulties in everyday communication with colleagues and relatives. They don't have close friends. Indifference, like an invisible dome, separates them from the world.

Loss of interest in work, reluctance to improve in the profession, to fulfill one’s duties are manifestations of indifference. What does such an attitude give a person in the end? Lack of career prospects, tense relationships with superiors. Not every employer is ready to tolerate an employee who lacks initiative and cannot cope with the task.

Parental indifference cripples the psyche of children. Without care and attention, a child becomes aggressive and lags behind in mental and mental development. Children, faced with such an attitude, adopt it, growing up no less indifferent than their parents.

A person who is indifferent to public life, politics, and the environment shifts his civic responsibility onto the shoulders of other people. He does not understand that such indifference worsens the quality of his life. Without declaring your rights, it is impossible to achieve improvements; allowing nature to be destroyed will not solve environmental problems.

Brief information

Apathy can be a clinical variant of depression, a manifestation of negative disorders in schizophrenia, a symptom of various somatic and neurological diseases (Pick's disease, Alzheimer's disease, various dementias, AIDS, Lyme disease, endocrine disorders, etc.), and can be a symptom of organic brain damage[ 3], especially with damage to the convex surfaces of the frontal lobes of the brain[4], a side effect of antipsychotics or antidepressants of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor group[5]. There is also a separate type of dementia - apathetic dementia, which occurs when the brain is damaged in the frontal-convexital (convex external) localization (for example, with a tumor of the frontal lobe, brain infarctions in the anterior cerebral artery, atrophy of the frontal cortex in Pick's disease, etc.) [6 ].

Under some conditions, apathy can also be observed in healthy people. It can be a special personal characteristic, expressed in low social and professional activity, and be a significant characteristic of normal development and aging[5].

Indifference as a character trait

An indifferent person does not think at all about the feelings of others, he does not care about any social problems. The only thing that might interest him is his own needs. It is in such people that indifference is a personality quality, a character trait. It develops in children deprived of parental love and care, faced with indifference and not seeing an example of other relationships between people.

Indifference manifests itself in such people:

  • lack of empathy,
  • prudence,
  • cynicism
  • lack of inclusion even in significant relationships.

An indifferent person, passing by a crime being committed, will always justify himself by saying that there are police to solve such problems, and he did not do anything wrong.

What dangers are fraught with people’s indifference and where does it come from?

The indifference of people has become a real problem in modern society. It permeates representatives of different age and social groups, and is instilled in children.

The child cannot pass by the hungry and helpless kitten; he wants to cuddle and feed him. What does mom do? He pulls the baby by the hand and forbids him to approach the animal because “he has shingles, is homeless, lost, we are in a hurry,” etc. Having heard the same thing twice, the third time this child himself will pass by, repeating his mother’s words in his thoughts. He may be ashamed of himself, but he will try to drown out and forget this feeling.

In the same way, most adults indifferently pass by those who may need help. A person has fallen and lies motionless on the sidewalk or bench. Most people will pretend they didn't notice, or think he was drunk, or were in a hurry to go about their business. And at this time a person could have a heart attack, a blood clot would break off, and for a few minutes he could still be saved. But indifference did not allow this to be done.

Many will pass by if they see a robbery attack, the beating of one person by another or a group of people. “My house is on the edge, I don’t know anything” - it’s always easier to say this and pass by without calling the police or providing help. Or, it is possible that these are criminals who have been wanted for a long time and without success (due to indifference, among other reasons), and the victim will never receive help.

How to become indifferent to everything?

What do you call a person who doesn't care about anything? In cultural conversation, people usually settle for the term indifference .

This type includes people who, at first glance, are completely indifferent to others and overcome any problems with ease, without much stress.

Indifference, which is in fact one of the methods of psychological defense, seems attractive to many . Examples of strong people, “cool” movie characters, demonstrate the ability to move through life indifferently.

But in reality, for a healthy person from the point of view of psychiatry, it is impossible to achieve absolute indifference.

But you can adjust what you need to worry about.

  1. Decide on values. These are the things you may worry about. What is truly meaningful to you. For example, a career or a stamp collection, a relationship with a certain person. The fewer values, the better. When you worry about what really matters, you stop paying attention to unnecessary noise and pseudo-values.
  2. Fake values. They need to be weeded out. Most often, these include what does not belong to you and what you cannot control: for example, material things (the desire for consumption, shopping). When you determine what is most important, unnecessary junk will be clearly visible. Trifles of no strategic importance should not bother you.

By removing things from your life that are not worth worrying about, you will become freer and psychologically whole. The fewer events that cause anxiety, the more measured and easier life becomes.

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