Assertive indifference is an expressionnew that began to be used in relations. The concept has, however, been used in other areas, proving to be an interesting idea for handling various situations.
Assertive indifference is defined as behavior deliberately blocking any type of external reaction to a given stimulus. As if the latter did not matter or did not affect in any way. This is a simulated behavior. The goal is not to reveal to others what we feel.
” Where people feel safe (…), they will feel indifference . “
Assertive indifference is implemented in order not to expose the real emotions to the other. This may at first look like a simulation or manipulation modality. However, it is the opposite.The idea is to avoid showing weaknesses so as not to be manipulated by others in conditions where there is a power play. Hence the qualification "of assertive" given to this form of indifference.
Assertive indifference in the love domain
The field of romantic relationships is sometimes a rose garden, but can also be a battlefield. There are many elements of power involved. We are not talking only about machismo prevalent almost worldwide. The woman also acts often as a figure of power.
One of the momentswhere this becomes palpable is in what many call the "accounts". In other words, when one spouse wants to prove his influence on the other. This occurs especially at the beginning of the relationship. Also when a couple relationship ends, without much conviction, and one of them wants to measure the possibilities he has to try again.
This is a kind of pulsation of forces. Assertive indifference can be an excellent answer here. To act as if we do not feel anything to prevent manipulation from materializing. Or to block the resumption of a link that we consider already completed. This is not a deception as such. This is rather a tactic to obtain a higher good.
Assertive indifference is also an appropriate response when there are persistent conflicting relationships. For example, when we have a co-worker with whom we consistently have differences generating an uneasiness. We understand that we can not do anything about it. This person must, for some reason, generate contradictions with us.
If we see that dialogue is impossible, the best option is assertive indifference. This implies not giving in to provocations. Ignore offensive comments and, ultimately, give up an authentic connection with that person. The goal is not to offer an answer to the stimuli that this person offers us and that will finally lead us to acidic and useless situations.
Assertive indifference becomes, over time, a means of defusing the harmful behavior of the other. The latter sooner or later abandons this type of behavior when we do not enter his game. Said then become ineffective.
A tool to overcome situations
Assertive indifference also applies to everyday conflict situations. Differences with others are part of the routine. These differences are really mostly insignificant. However, they sometimes give rise to larger confrontations. We must, in one way or another, constantly decide whether we want to differentiate or not at another level.
Decide properly what is important and what does not fit in assertiveness. Such assertiveness is precisely that social competence that allows us to effectively defend our rights. Put a limit on the abuse. But we must also learn to distinguish when the essence of our rights is at stake or not.
All situations of conflict do not deserve us to react. "Let go" is part of the assertive indifference.This implies a valuation in which we put in the balance what is most beneficial and has the least negative consequences. Responding to the assault of a drunk person, for example, is only valid if it endangers a fundamental good.
Assertive indifference is therefore a tool to manage different conflict situations in an intelligent way. The best thing we can do sometimes is to do nothing. Being able to do nothing, if any, is a valuable concept.