Indifference: A Short Epiphany

The dictionary describes indifference as follows:

\in-ˈdi-fərn(t)s, -f(ə-)rən(t)s\


: lack of interest in or concern about something; an indifferent attitude or feeling

Indifference is a great anaesthetic. It shields you from the pain of a love lost — regardless if it was mutual or not. It protects you from the hurt brought about by assumption, or by feelings of attachment built up from a single moment, a single connection, a single person.

Indifference urges you to block them on Facebook, to leave their messages unread, to revert back to talking to them with formality, or to see them in a different light. You used to talk to them excitedly, eyes sparkling and holding on to their every word. You used to look forward to laughing with them, to exchanging stories with them or just nonsensically hanging out with them. Now they’re back to being the perfect stranger: someone you met on the train or the bus, someone you used to bump into and smile at, someone who barely knows anything about you other than your name.

By this time, you start to hate indifference because you want to be concerned. The memories play over and over in your head, struggling to keep hope alive. You start to curse indifference and abhor the pain — but you know you want to feel it. Pain meant you were attached. Pain meant you felt something.


Indifference shuts out the world to protect you from yourself. You object, but you can’t do anything else to stop the pain from coming, so you let indifference do its job. It does a very good job, that when it rains outside, you remember playing under it when you were ten — not that time when you got your heart broken, crying your heart out while getting drenched by it. When you see a dog-shaped cloud, you see a dog-shaped cloud and not the smile on their face that time you first saw one. And when you pass by that coffee shop, you think of coffee and not of their eyes the first time you met.

Then, you move on.

Indifference puts things in perspective by letting you process them. It enables you to move on unabashed by the pain you felt, knowing that there’s always a choice to take an emotional painkiller and move on with your life. The feelings are still there, attached to the memories. They’re just there — hidden under the floor boards.

Indifference seems innocent but how you let it operate makes it dangerously powerful. Let it come into play — but remember when to tell it to stop.


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