Being Unbothered (…and Other Things We Don’t Mean)

I’ve noticed a trend in the past couple of years as social media has taken a prominent spot in the landscape of our lives.  There seems to be this idea of trying to make oneself seem as carefree or careless as possible.  The only problem is – our actions don’t uphold what we “post” to be.

Marilyn unbothered

(Photo cred:

One of my favorite examples is the whole “unbothered” phenomenon.  Every day, I see people go on entire rants on Facebook and Twitter and post long quotable pictures as an ode to telling the world how unbothered they are with this and how unbothered they are with that…and how they can’t afford to be bothered as their time is a precious commodity.  Yet, they manage to be bothered just enough to go out of their way to let whoever needed to know that they are unbothered.  Does this make sense to you?  I’m lost in the sauce myself…

And here’s the thing, beloveds.  I am a person who thinks it is completely OK to be bothered by things.  Life is bothersome and there are some people and situations in your life that are going to bother the depths of your soul.  That’s how life works.  What I don’t think is OK is that we have a whole generation of people who are afraid to be bothered…and by extension, are afraid to boldly confront what is bothersome in healthy, honest ways.  Somewhere on our paths, we have been convinced by others or have convinced ourselves that being bothered is a sign of innate weakness that will allow others to take us as more foolish than perhaps they already take us.  What I’m afraid this has done is served more as a way to self medicate after instances of interpersonal hurt and disappointment and has become another mask that we wear, another filter we apply, and another bandage for the emotional wounds we incur in life.


(Photo cred:

What’s so wrong with being bothered?  Was there some life manual that said that it is a cardinal sin to be bothered?  And if, by chance, you truly are “unbothered”, why is this announcement to the world?  Does decree and declare have to be a part of the “unbothered” process?  Why are we always doing the most talking to the things we claim are not even relevant to us?

Everything about being bothered has to do with being pestered, worried, inconvenienced, troubled, or confused.  And if you have to take the time to make grandiose announcements about how you can’t be bothered, I’d like to submit to you on today, beloved, that you are indeed bothered.

Again, I don’t think this is the worst thing in the world.  Sure, you may feel crazy for reacting to something that you believe is beneath you or you refuse to let the world see you stress about something that could make you look foolish for caring BUT we all know that people have become pros at looking great on the outside while slowly imploding from the unbothered syndrome.  I think we have come to care too greatly about how people perceive us and what vibes we give off as opposed to who we actually are and how true to that we can be.  I get it.  As a recovering perfectionist, it had always been important for me to look like everything was together and that there was nothing big enough to bother me from my high horse until life truly kicked me around.  And I realized just how bothered I was about different things by how hard I tried to front about how “unbothered” I wasn’t.

I guess all I’m trying to do is to make a plea for us to be real with ourselves.  If something is hurting us, causing us pain, or is even simply annoying and inconvenient, it is perfectly OK for us to admit to it.  You can just start there (admitting it to the person or thing that is causing the bother is another story).  Admission is the first step to truly working to actually get to “unbothered”, if that’s a viable goal.  But you can’t fix a problem you won’t even admit to having.


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I would love to hear from you!  What do you think about this whole “unbothered” phenom?

Also, here are some links that explore how our social media personae may be affecting our lives:
How Social Media Affects Our Self Perception
Invisible Ink: What We Unknowingly Reveal About Ourselves on Social Media

xo Ash

7 thoughts on “Being Unbothered (…and Other Things We Don’t Mean)

  1. “Yet, they manage to be bothered just enough to go out of their way to let whoever needed to know that they are unbothered.” BLOOOOP! Lol. You’re on it in this post (and your writing tone is also giving me life “I’d like to submit to you, beloveds…” alllmost had me in tears of joy lol). I think you’re right and your lens in counseling & therapy is definitely coming out here. If we don’t know how to be bothered… genuinely bothered by something that is bothersome… then do we really know how to be happy? To be overjoyed? To FEEL? It can be hard for us to embrace the fullness of our emotions – thanks for encouraging us to do that with this post.

    1. But Jade, this is why I appreciate you, among other things. “If we don’t know how to be bothered… genuinely bothered by something that is bothersome… then do we really know how to be happy? To be overjoyed? To FEEL?” <— that's the very spirit of what I'm saying in this post. I think we've become too consumed with coming off as OK or unbothered or generally unaffected by "little things" that we don't realize how our inability to deal with interpersonal hurts and scars is effecting so many other areas of our lives. It is, I believe, a part of a dangerous emotional snowball effect.

      And yes, I kinda dug into my counseling bag just a little bit. I want to slowly start introducing more of that side into my writing because I am passionate about mental health and wellness. I want us all to be whole – for real. I figured if I started by adding a few "beloveds" here and there, it would be a good introduction…lol. As always, thanks for the support, challenge, and friendship!


  2. I completely concur that, the fact that a person was compelled to make publically known that they are unbothered, is indication of the extent to which they are bothered. I do not know what exactly is gained by acting as though they are unaffected by things they are clearly affected by. I appreciate this, because this is a reminder to myself that I don’t have to feel obligated to fall into such pretense, be it on social media or in “real life.” I’m bothered by many things, and that’s okay. Thanks for sharing Ash!

    1. Ash! Thanks so much for reading and commenting, lovely! I’m glad this could serve as a reminder for you because many days I’ve had to remind myself of the very things I’m talking about in this post. 1) it’s OK to be bothered, 2) it’s not OK to pretend to be “unbothered” for the sake of appearances or as a way of psyching yourself into being good. Long story short – do the work :-). Thanks again!

    1. Ev,

      LOL. Thanks so much for reading! I had to write about it because I am seeing it more and more and it is bothersome to me. But I hope that all of us would be comfortable in completely being ourselves and owning our stories. That is what I hope to see eventually.

  3. Whenever I see posts where people claim to be unbothered, I want to offer them a hug. Like, who hurt you, beloved? Who told you that you shouldn’t show emotion or that you care or something’s bothering you? This is a safe space, please, let your guard down. And not to sound all old, but I blame the music. So many of these songs are how people learn to process their emotions (sadly).

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