April 2, 2013

How You Know Someone Cares

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What is the issue?

Someone who cares will ask you how your day is. They want to know what you’re doing; they want to know if something significant has happened in your life. You don’t have to talk to them all the time, but when you do see them, they will want to know how you are. Not out of some sort of obligation, but because they genuinely want to know.

Someone who cares will tell you things. They’ll tell you how ridiculous that parking ticket was; they’ll tell you a joke they found hilarious. Some people share more than others, but someone who cares will tell you things that matter to them, no matter how small that thing is.

Someone who cares will listen. Now, there are times when they won’t listen well. We all do that sometimes: we’re distracted, or so excited we talk over each other. But a person who cares will listen to you regularly, because your opinions matter to them. The things you say make some sort of impact on them – your opinions make them think, or make them laugh. But in their way, whatever that way is, they will listen.

Someone who cares wants to see you. They like spending time with you. It’s not hard to read the pleasure on their face in your company. Someone who doesn’t care is ambivalent, or pays attention only when it suits their selfish purposes.

A person who cares about you will take time for you. Even if it’s just a few times a year – that friend from your hometown, the one separated from you by an entire 2000 miles. When you’re home, they will want to see you. They’ll chat with you online, or maybe they’ll call you. Sometimes weeks or months might pass, but when it counts, if in your darkest hour you need them, they will respond, and will do so gladly.

Someone who cares will not make you feel bad for taking up said time. Although they might be busy, so are you. They will want to spend the time on you because that is just what you do when you care for someone. They won’t make you feel bad for asking to hang out, feel guilty that your time is less valuable than whatever else they are doing.

People are never perfect, so you will not always get along with the person who cares about you. Sometimes you will be frustrated, or feel ignored, or accidentally ignore them, or fight. Mistakes will be made, because hey, we’re all human. But then time passes, and if you can, you rectify the situation. Because that’s what you do with people who truly matter.

Sometimes a person who once cared for you stops caring. Maybe they wanted to end your relationship, be it romantic, platonic, or familial. Maybe you did something wrong, or distance separated you, or they changed as a person. Sometimes you bond with someone, or do something for them, or have a heart-to-heart, and they care for you once more. Caring is a fluid thing that can change over time. But there are also some people who never really cared for you, people who you know will never care for you, no matter what you do.

People who don’t care will not text you back. If you make no effort to see them or talk to them, you know, deep down, they won’t try. They will forget you if you stop trying. Because if a person doesn’t care about you, they rarely think about you. They don’t care about your opinions. Because if you care about someone, they exist in your mind. You think about them, you wonder about them, perhaps not all the time, but they are there.

If it’s a boyfriend or girlfriend, someone who doesn’t care about you will not try to make you come. They are so concentrated on their own pleasure that yours means nothing to them. When you’re talking, they will not want to know how you are doing. I once decided to drive up to see an ex fling I hadn’t seen for a year. He did not ask a single question about me, but just talked about himself. If a person doesn’t care about you, they won’t register your facial expressions. They won’t try to smooth things over if things go wrong. They will never consider your feelings, but instead think only of their own.

A person who doesn’t care about you is not necessarily a bad person. It’s just that they are not attached to you. Maybe they have enough people in their life to care about. Maybe there are things about you they don’t like that they have never mentioned.  Occasionally, they are just a selfish and uncaring person. Sometimes there is no real reason. But it is important to really think about the people who care about you and the people who don’t. Because when you care for someone, you invest in them. What happens to them affects you, and their lack of care will hurt you. So cherish the people who care about you, and do not invest your time, and your heart, into people who do not. TC mark

thumbnail image – Antoni Karwowski

Nikki Garcia

Nikki would much rather be playing Cards Against Humanity or browsing people.com than writing her senior thesis. …

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