This doesn’t mean you’re a jerk… But let me illustrate.
A tired bird landed on a branch. The bird rested, enjoying the view from the branch and the protection it offered from dangerous animals. Just as the bird became used to the branch and the support and safety it offered, a strong wind started blowing, and the tree swayed with such intensity that it seemed the branch would snap in half.
But the bird was not worried for, it knew two important truths. The first truth – even without the branch it was able to fly, and thus remain safe through the power of its own two wings. The second truth – it also knew that there are many other branches upon which it can temporarily rest.
In Sarah Knight’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving A F*ck” this same scenario for how we can live our lives emerges by using what a Sarah calls the “NotSorry Method.”
The NotSorry Method Consists of four elements:
- The differentiation between feelings and opinions.
- Striking an artful and crafty balance between being polite (but not nice) and honest.
- The key to keeping the conversation more neutral is to focus and the redirection of the central theme to the opinions of each person, not their feelings.
- To sidestep hurt feelings, degrading the personal values of others, and loss of a personal relationship you make it about the difference in opinion.
This way you aren’t a jerk. But you don’t give a f*ck about their…OPINION. Continue reading.
As I write this, my mind is flooded with thoughts of how people may perceive what I’m writing. This is, to Sarah’s point in her book, not a bad thing — it’s actually exactly what she means because it’s a deliberate giving af*ck. The art of “not giving a f*ck” is really in deciding, on your own terms what to care about. The key here is in understanding the difference between deliberate caring and automatic, habit-based seeking for approval. While writing this, I should care how you, as the reader, are impacted by its application into your life. However, I definitely don’t care (give a f*ck) about your opinion about me; my style of writing, blog entry formatting, and/or what I think about this book. As stated in the book; “I need to tell you – honestly and politely – that I don’t share your opinion that something should be different about how I’m deciding to run my life.”
There is a key lesson in this opinion-based, non-feelings, NotSorry Method approach. That is, when we base our lives back into the responsibility of ourselves, our own opinions about how we operate should be the most important – not those of other people. Somehow we have drifted away from that formal responsibility for our lives and, in addition, have been told that being steadfast in our opinions and motivations is prideful, wrong, and even sinful.
Sarah states the following:
“If you f*ck-giving activity affects someone else, be honest and polite about your decision, try to make it about a difference of opinion, and 99 percent of the time, all will be well. But if your f*ck-giving affects you and only you, then why should you care about what other people think? Let them have their opinions about you. It may take a little getting used to, but you must stop giving a f*ck about what other people think.”
We all have opinions. We all have feelings, too. The strategy going forward for the practitioner is to base the not caring and not judging by the opinions of others. Rather, live steadfast in the trust in your own wings, merits, and YOUR personal opinion.