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Thursday, 10 October 2019

Je m'en fous

In a recent Dutch language interview with Jean-Claude Juncker, he used a common French expression: "Je m'en fous!" (FD, De Tijd). A polite translation would be: "I don't care" (what others think). The accompanying emotion reveals a more offensive meaning. A recent interview with Swiss philosopher Alain de Botton recommends a similar approach to life (FD).

Throughout our life, we learn to take into account the interests of others: at school, at sports, at work and in our relationships. The only exception might be studying. Expressing our own interests is often deemed selfish. Some people are better at pursuing their self-interests than others. I was not. I have learned my lesson since my burnout: Je m'en fous.

Before, I did care what others think. For ten years, I contemplated divorcing but was unable reaching a decision. After yet another act of being humiliated, I realized that nothing would ever change for me. Either I pursued my self-interests, or I would be shred to pieces. Before, I had always put the interests of my children first - at my own expense.

The new me promised himself never ever to be dependent on a woman again. I realise now that any new act of disrespect is a showstopper. Recently, I was laughed in the face during a walk in which she took another direction without bothering to tell me. Suddenly, I realised that I was walking alone. That evening did not go well. The next day I broke up with her.

It's (much) easier to be happy and satisfied alone than together. Moreover, I love my solitude. Any relationship is slowly becoming a serious compromise for me. Actually, I'm already wondering why I'm still interested in relationships. When will I conclude that I no longer care (Je m'en fous)?

Moreover, the accumulated 7 essential ingredients for a successful relationship seem (very) hard to find: communication, forgiveness, intimacy, respect, togetherness, trust and vulnerability. Also see my related blogs of 2015-1, 2015-2 and 2016.

The problem with saying "Je m'en fous" is that it's often not true. We do care even if we pretend not to care. I suppose that is preventing me from saying it aloud although I am regularly thinking it. Sometimes, I wish that I could liberate myself and say out loud: "Je m'en fous!" I know that it is impossible for me as I care about the wellbeing of others - even people whom I will never meet.

Perhaps, reciprocity is missing from the 7 ingredients above. Alternatively, reciprocity is essential for making a match between 2 people. Ideally, the equation becomes: 2 x 7 = 7 rather than 14. Obviously, dating algorithms aim the very same but lack input on most of these 7 ingredients. Hence, garbage in, garbage out (GIGO). Perhaps, life and relationships are about reciprocity........

Human flourishing through reciprocity by Soheil Abedian, a TEDx Talk


Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise

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