why are some people nonchalant

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Why do some people seem to care about nothing?

Why are some people indifferent to almost everything?
Why do some people act like they don't care?
Why are some people nonchalant?

The first time you meet a nonchalant person he might seem to you like a relaxed person who has no problems or who thinks about nothing but when you get to understand how that person thinks you will discover that you were wrong.

According to the school of individual psychology each behaviour a person does is developed for a certain purpose and while this purpose can differ from a case to another the same behaviour could be followed by those trying to reach that purpose.

Could he be trying to escape?

The human mind is much more complex that you think. While a person might believe that he is aware of everything that is going on in his head the truth is that the subconscious mind might be making serious changes to the way a person thinks without letting him become aware of these changes.

Some people , who want to make certain achievements in life, realize that their goals can't be met. At this point admitting that they failed will harm their self esteem and threaten their psychological stability.

In such a case the subconscious mind makes the person think that he didn't care that much about the goal and fools him into believing that he is nonchalant. (see The psychology of self deception)

In other words nonchalance can be a self protection mechanism that the mind uses to prevent the person from admitting certain facts that might affect his self esteem.

You are comparing your needs to his needs

Each one of us can be nonchalant when it comes to a certain life area. Because motivation stems from the unmet needs we have we tend to become motivated only when we believe that the activity we are doing can help us meet one of our important needs.

In other words, if a person believed a certain activity won't lead to the satisfaction of an important unmet need then he will become nonchalant. Now the mistake people do is that they assume that everyone has the same needs and that's why they become extremely confused when they find someone who has no interest in the thing that interests them the most. (see also Why do we find certain things interesting)

Before you compare your levels of motivation to someone make sure you understand his needs first and you will find out that as much as he can be nonchalant in one activity he can be extremely interested in another activity.

Protecting an identity

Every person wants to reach a certain ideal self that he dreams of. To reach this goal people change their behaviour in order to become close to that ideal self.

A person who wants to appear like a bad boy might get a tattoo, buy dark clothes or get a motorbike. All of these actions were done to help him project his new identity to himself and to the world (being a bad boy).

Some of the identities people try to project requires them to become nonchalant. Some people for example believe that strong people don't care about anything and as a result they start to act like they don't care about anything in order to project that identity.

There is no way out

In my previous article What causes indifference i explained how people lose motivation to reach their important goals when they believe that they can't reach them.

Indifference or nonchalance can be nothing more than a state of loss of hope a person reaches when he believes that his efforts will yield no results.

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