EMBRACING THE IDGAF MENTALITY
Ok, I personally don’t care for this acronym, but it’s the only thing that really gets my point across. If you’re not familiar with it, you can Google it because I’m not going to spell it out. That’s a decision I’m making. See what I did there…?
It’s an expression meant to convey that someone does not care what another person thinks or does. But for some people, IDGAF is more than a simple remark—it’s a mindset and the people who embrace it are truly set free. I have a couple of friends who truly live by the IDGAF mindset and they enjoy life like no one else I know.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A JERK
Some women are afraid to find their inner “I don’t give a flying fig” button, or for those of you who are a little more bold, your “FU” button for fear they’ll be perceived as a jerk. But the whole point of the IDGAF mindset is that you let go of needing to be perceived in a certain light.
So, what if all the other moms think you’re a bad one because you let your kid have ice cream for breakfast when he had the flu or what if the house is not as clean your mother-in-law kept it when she seven kids, all under the age of eight, a full-time job, and still managed to keep dinner on the table every night at six o’clock?
NO APOLOGIES OR EXPLANATIONS
The cornerstone of the IDGAF mindset is to make decisions without apologies or explanations. Think about it—you’ve probably found yourself stuck in a situation you were trying to avoid after giving someone a valid explanation.
You said you didn’t want to come to your neighbor’s cat’s third birthday party because you had to go grocery shopping and next thing you know, Bertha—bless her heart—has taught you all about online grocery shopping and even made the order for you. Now you’re free to attend said birthday event complete with catnip-themed party favors.
It’s important to understand that “no” is a complete sentence. Don’t feel you need to give apologies or explanations. You can simply decline attending that event or say “no” to that project if you want to.
The important thing to understand is that it may feel awkward the first few times you do this if you’ve gotten into the habit of offering up explanations. In fact, people may be so accustomed to your explanations that they ask for one anyway.
Don’t get upset. This is an opportunity to practice standing firm and fully embracing the IDGAF mindset. You can say something like, “Well, as I already said, I have to decline” or “Like I told you on the phone yesterday, I can’t make it.”
Now, it’s important that you don’t weaken your “no” with an apology at this point. If you apologize, people will think you genuinely wanted to do the activity and may still look to “help” you by making it possible for you to be included.
DOES THIS AFFECT MORE THAN JUST YOU?
Sometimes, it can be helpful to ask yourself a simple question to determine how much you should care about other people’s opinions. The question is: “Does this affect more than just me?”
If the answer is “no”, then do as you wish. Will be daring and getting that cute new pixie cut you’ve always dreamed of affect more than just you? Nope, you’re the one who has to live with it if you don’t like it. Will trying that new art class down on Main Street affect more than just you? Nope, so you mind as well go for it.
If the activity or decision in question affects only you, then this is a great place to begin practicing your new IDGAF mindset. Other people may still try to weigh in on that new hairstyle or tell you why you shouldn’t waste time doing something “frivolous” like art. These are the perfect moments to reach for your mental “I don’t give a flying fig” button.
BUT WHAT IF IT DOES AFFECT MORE THAN JUST YOU?
Not every decision is a solo one. For example, you want to take an amazing job offer you got in New York, but you live in Denver with your long-term partner. That’s clearly not a case where the decision affects just you. Your decision will affect you, your partner, and any children in your union. In this case, talking about the decision with your partner is essential to the well-being of your relationship.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to let others share their two cents about your decision. You don’t have to give a flying fig that Dan in marketing, who’s a self-absorbed jerk anyway (hopefully he doesn't care what you think of him), lived in New York during his last two years of college and hated it. Dan isn’t affected by your decision and he certainly doesn’t need a voice in the discussion.
WATCH OUT FOR THIS…
Now that you’re embracing a brave new mindset, be prepared. You’ll start to feel your confidence grow and you’ll begin to bloom into the person you’ve always longed to be. You’ll enjoy the freedom that comes from not caring what others think.
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