What is your first reaction when I say a “So what?” attitude?
Was your reaction quite negative or positive? (Assuming that it can’t be totally neutral)
What if I say, it’s an attitude the grandfather of cognitive therapy, Albert Ellis, said we shall all adopt? Yes, he said we shall all live with a “So What?” attitude.
What do you think?
(I started all 4 paragraphs with the letter “W”, so what?)
I can’t do this, so what?
I look so anxious, so what?
I can’t sleep, so what?
I failed my exam, so what?
Nobody likes me, so what?
What do you think? How would you benefit from adopting such an attitude?
I might not benefit from it, so what?
Seeing clients and students in the west (including those Asians who have lived in the west) vs those who live in Asia (mainly Chinese, Malaysians, South East Asians), I noticed that the first receipt of such an attitude can be quite different, although eventually all accept it and see and experience how much they benefit from having such a “I don’t care” attitude.
But for many Chinese and Asians, their first reaction is almost like, “this is rude”, “this is not what I would do”, “this is wrong”, “this is not part of our cultures/values” etc
Of course we are not talking about people should not care about their life, their studies, their family, their hygiene, their job etc. But it’s when you care too much and it doesn’t help (and often this care makes things worse). This is especially so in social situation and interaction. We worry too much about what others might think, how we look like, we stop being in our experience and connecting with the environment and the world because we focus internally worrying too much.
Try to apply the lens of “so what” in your social interaction and see how it goes?