Apathy is the absence of excitement, enthusiasm, inspiration or passion. For many people, apathy is a way of being. Such people have learned to suppress their emotions since an early age as they learned that the expression of emotion is not ok.
The person who suffers from apathy feels that it is not safe to want. Despair is the root case of apathy. it is the absence of hope. When you suffer from apathy you also have lost touch with your feelings, you tend to feel numbed whatever is occurring in your life.
The problem with the rejection of emotion is that your emotions are your guiding system. When you reject your emotions you no longer know how to guide yourself to your life’s journey. When you suppress your emotion you also suppress your motivation. Your early experiences are the foundation to your present feelings of lack of hope.
As a child, you learned that there was no way to win and your best option was to give up. As a child, you had unmet needs and now you can not trust the universe. If you must meet the requirements that the parents have for you, your need for love, encouragement, validation, growth and certainty is not met.
What makes the feeling of apathy unique is that it’s essentially the feeling of not feeling. It is often the precursor to depression. When your life continues to be boring and empty over an extended period, your mind can send you spiraling into the darkness of depression. It’s also an attitude of indifference, unresponsiveness, unconcern, detachment and dispassion.
Some signs of drifting into the state of apathy:
You lose interest in hobbies, work and how you perform.
You lose interest in working towards a goal.
You spend a lot of time in activities of escape: internet, TV, etc.
You tend to avoid people or friends who seem to be having a good time.
You occupy yourself in trivial tasks to avoid facing the truth about the direction of your life.
You might be overeating and you may not be getting much exercise.
You may be experiencing secondary emotions like shame, guilt and self-loathing.
What can you do?
♦ Stop distracting yourself by the activities mentioned above, distracting yourself can make life meaningless. Give your attention instead to the feeling you want to suppress. Tune into your feelings, don’t identify with them, don’t try to change them, don’t identify with them, just observe them without judgment
♦ Get in touch with your anger, you have repressed it, you must express your anger in a constructive way. Deep down you are angry about the life events that have led you to be apathetic, don’t hold them in any longer, express that anger.
♦ Start taking action. You can think any thought or take whatever action you need no matter how to feel. You have associated responding to your number feelings with your escape activities. You can decide to replace the escape activities with constructive actions. (Many non-apathetic people would feel like staying in bed on a Monday morning instead of getting up and going to the trouble of getting to work, they don’t go with the feeling, they do the constructive thing). Action will change the way you feel and bring about improvement.
♦ Find positive things to focus on in the present, past and future.