Be True To Yourself: How To Be Cold Hearted
By Toni Hoy
Updated February 27, 2019
Reviewer Rachael Lee
Why Self-Care Is Important:
Self-care, defined as any necessary human maintenance function that is deliberate and under personal control, is something that we need to practice in order to function well and feel our best. Everyone with a busy schedule knows how these acts can come to be habitually overlooked or misinterpreted as a treat or privilege.
Self-care is an imperative part of caring for yourself. Taking time out to care for yourself can remind you, and others, that you and your needs are important. We all have a long list of responsibilities and it is easy to forget to take care of ourselves. If we don't take care of ourselves, we are less able to take care of the things that we need to do, as well as others.
Self-care benefits you in many different ways. When we take care of ourselves, both mentally and physically, we are more resilient and more able to handle difficult things that come our way. The relaxation that we can feel from self-care can trigger our relaxation response, which is the counterpart to the flight-or-flight response. This relaxation response can prevent chronic stress.
It might sound harsh but learning how to be 'cold-hearted' can be a very helping thing to yourself and your self-care. Learning how to say now, how to put boundaries in place, and learning to put yourself first is an important part of being able to be the best version of yourself for you and for others.
Choosing to focus on caring for yourself is not something that you should hesitate about. Somehow, it has come to a time where concentrating energy on yourself is regarded as a selfish attitude as if it shows a lack of consideration for those around you. Life is short, and it's important to make the most of the time that you have so that you can tune in to your passions, goals, and dreams. By learning how to be cold-hearted, you can begin to shape your life in ways that are best for you.
Sometimes History Isn't a Good Thing:
Loved ones can be the worst for eroding our mental health or emotional well-being, as they know us best. Even if they don't mean to, they can use this intimacy against us. They sometimes can't help but ooze their negativity into every interaction, unknowingly transferring it to those around them. Breaking away or distancing yourself from family or friends may not be what we want at the moment but recognizing an emotional vampire can be easy once you open your eyes. Just because you've known someone for years doesn't mean that they have a healthy influence in your life.
Saying no or creating boundaries with loved ones can be a hard thing, but it can also be a helpful thing for our well-being. But how do you know if you need to create boundaries and start saying no to the people that you love? Here are some questions you can ask yourself. Does this person cause you to feel negative, depressed, or exhausted? Maybe you feel emotionally drained after having a conversation with them, maybe they demand immense amounts of your time. Maybe they are always needing you to do something for them that you don't necessarily have the time to do. If you are saying yes to one or more of these questions, creating boundaries, saying 'no', and feeling a little cold-hearted could be a very good thing.
How to Be Cold Hearted:
Being 'cold-hearted' can feel like a difficult thing to do, especially if you are new at it, but being cold-hearted is actually being warm-hearted to yourself. To be cold-hearted, you have to think of yourself first, and this isn't a bad or selfish thing. Being cold-hearted is choosing to say no to something in order to take care of yourself. Maybe you turn down a dinner invitation so that you can go home after a stressful day at work and take a long bath or warm shower and relax. Pampering yourself is always a great way to provide self-care. Maybe you get a massage, tend to your nails, or nourish your skin. Saying no to people and events to take time for yourself is what self-care looks like, and sometimes others might perceive that as being cold-hearted. Choose to do things for yourself before you choose to take time for others and be warm-hearted toward yourself.
Many people fall into the familiar cycle of running themselves too thin until they reach a burnout period, where they begin to take care of themselves again until things get busy and the cycle simply repeats itself. Making time for physical activity, quality time alone, and for extracurricular activities outside of the workplace is important. What's the point of busting your way through life if you're miserable and not taking care of yourself? It is important to find a balance between social time and alone time and creating that time in your schedule to take time for you. Eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, making sure that you get enough sleep are all essentials of self-care, and you need to make the time in your life to do that for yourself.
Opening Up Can Help:
Maybe choosing to take time for yourself and giving yourself self-care feels really difficult and you still aren't sure where to start. Opening up and talking to someone about what is going on in your mind can help. Getting professional advice and tools to be able to better take care of yourself and say no when you need to can be a very helpful thing. Your body and your mind will thank you.
Talking out loud to a mental health professional can help to make sense of the things that you are worrying about or struggling with. Maybe you are unsure if a certain someone is healthy to keep in your life, or maybe you are having a hard time creating the time or feeling worthy of saying 'no' to others to take time for yourself. Getting a professional, outside opinion can be beneficial and can help you to see things in a way that you weren't able to see things before.
When thinking about seeking help, don't forget that you have a lot of options. Mental health therapy can come in many different forms, from an office visit to email-style messages. Do research and find someone that you can trust to share what is on your mind. The biggest indicator of having a successful mental health experience is trusting and having a healthy relationship with your mental health provider. Make sure that they are a licensed, trained professional who has expertise in the things that you are wanting to work on.
Whether it be cost or insurance barriers, finding a therapist with a sympathetic ideology, or being near practitioners, there can be several hurdles in getting effective mental health care. Online interfaces like BetterHelp serve to connect you with the advice that you need, remotely and affordable. Our society has boxed people into believing that certain careers, forms of relationships, and other norms that we live by are the only possible ways in which to act. Being psychologically healthy means being honest with yourself and open to the possibilities that life can offer.