Larsen’s Words That Don’t Work: “Don’t You Even Care?”

Ah, this one is a double edged sword.  And both edges are really sharp.  If the person DOES care – then you have just insulted them and that will not take you closer to a resolution.  If they DON’T care – and tell you so, then that may be hard to hear.

What to say instead?  Why not try something like, “When you refuse to talk to me, I think that you are either hurt, or angry or not interested in resolving this issue.  Is any of that true for you?”

And in terms of being on the receiving end of those words, consider something that happened to me a very long time ago.

I was in a relationship with a young man who had a drinking problem (I’m talking a REALLY long time ago).  I didn’t realize that he had a problem with alcohol until several years into the relationship.  Okay, maybe I did see it, and just desperately tried NOT to see it.

By the time I was willing to face what was going on, I realized that I absolutely did not want to be in this situation.  Having grown up in a home with an alcoholic parent I knew I did not want to repeat that experience again.  I told him with as much love and compassion as I could that our relationship was over, but he did NOT want to hear it.  He kept saying, “But I’m willing to work on this and you’re not!  Don’t you even care?”

I didn’t have the knowledge then that I do now.  Then I just felt guilty and frustrated and kept trying to be “nice” while I ended the relationship.  Looking back I realize that what I really wanted was for him to continue to like me even though I was saying goodbye.

What I know now is that, yes, being “nice” and ending a relationship are not mutually exclusive.  However, trying to make the other person feel good about it – and still like me – are lofty goals and may not be attainable at all.

The bottom line is this: I can care about another person – and just not care to continue the relationship.  And that’s ok.

Motivational speaker, Linda Larsen



Motivational Speaker Linda Larsen, CSP has been described by meeting planners and audiences as "hysterically funny," and "riveting." Known for her ability to connect on an authentic and emotional level with audiences, her spontaneous sense of humor, and her engaging and powerful stories, Linda is passionate about sharing ideas to help people live their finest, best, and most productive lives. Her riveting and true story of being kidnapped and held hostage at gunpoint by an escaped convict, and the strategies she used to escape, will give people the tools THEY need to rise above any of life's toughest challenges, to communicate more effectively with THEIR difficult person, and to find creative solutions to THEIR problems. To book motivational speaker, Linda Larsen: 941-927-4700

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  1. Brilliant words of truth from my favorite motivational speaker! I once heard that it is helpful (as your illustration points out beautifully) to talk in terms of how you feel – instead of saying “You do this, or you do that.”  You say, “I feel this. And I feel that.” Thanks for sharing Linda. Awesome words of advice! Going to share right now!

  2. Beautiful bottom line. As much as I’ve worked on respecting my truths more than my desire to be liked, it’s still challenging at times. Thanks for giving others the words, Linda.

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