What is indifference?

We explain what indifference is and what are its possible causes. In addition, some examples of this feeling.

  1. What is indifference?

Indifference is that feeling of remaining motionless , both in movement and in feeling, in the face of any situation, idea or person. It is the negative form of difference.

The word indifference comes from the term  indifferentia , which describes the mood of a person in which he is not attracted to or rejected by any of the situations or issues he is facing. That is, it will remain at a point of indifference. It has been studied for a long time in the field of psychology , being thematic of hundreds of books that dedicate its pages.

Indifference, according to psychology, is not only synonymous with coldness, but it can also indicate an attitude of survival, such as shield or armor , in order to protect yourself from being injured. In fact, after many studies, it has been concluded that indifference is used by beings with a strong and marked character of self-defense, since, as we said before, they use indifference as a barrier to the surrounding environment. . Likewise, the fear of pain that many people have is also what results in indifference, to avoid major disappointments and to avoid opening their heart.

Psychology tries to explain the phenomena of indifference as moments in which people remain static in the face of what happens to them . That is to say, they do not react in any way – neither in a positive way, nor in a negative way – to any episode that presents any of the reaction dilemmas we face every day.

Indifference is noticeable almost especially during adolescence , time of life when it is vital to learn to make decisions and interested in what surrounds us. It is then when teenagers, almost always at war with me because of not finding a suitable means in which to move; they take an indifferent posture that, according to what they explain, leads them to relate better to the environment, since they don’t like anything, but they don’t dislike it either . This position is used as a breastplate in front of the world, hoping that, in this way, to become stronger to find a space that belongs to them.

  1. Examples of indifference

As a test, we are going to raise two situations that will surely make you think. In the first case and perhaps the clearest example, it is the one we face every day. We meet often crossing the street with some people in poverty, without belongings, food, or any security. What do we feel in these situations? Do we stop to even think about those people so devoid of everything? Are we perhaps stopping to provide them with containment or, in the best case, help? Do they generate rejection or discomfort? Or do we remain indifferent to reality?

In the second case, perhaps a little easier when observing, since, according to psychological studies, by human nature itself one learns first to observe others and then oneself. This approach is even closer:

Your best friend has a problem that cannot be solved with the naked eye, or in any way. He is deeply grieved, but does not see how to solve it. He attends a meeting of friends with different personalities and different lifestyles – as our groups of friends are usually made up of – and in the middle of it, he recounts his most important problem.

How do everyone present react? Are you reluctant to give help and containment to this friend? Or do they collaborate with pleasure, interested in the issue? Are you born to hug him and help him even by giving him a few words? Or do they all remain indifferent and continue with the next topic? Can you remain indifferent to your best friend who needs someone to take him out of the well?

With these simple questions you can better figure out what indifference is at its best. Remember: “It is preferable hands full of mud and willing to take out the bogged donkey, than someone who looks sideways at the neighborhood without doing anything . 

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