If you ask a why question to yourself, ask yourself whether you’re really interested in finding an answer or you’re just venting off.
Asking why questions repeatedly can be helpful to find the root cause of a problem. You can solve a problem by addressing its root cause.
If your problem is drinking too much coffee, you might question why you do that. You might find out that you do that to cope with the stress of dealing with your colleagues.
You might decide to use other stress management techniques instead of relying on coffee when you interact with your colleagues. Self-awareness can help you solve a lot of problems.
If your why question doesn’t lead to the root cause of a problem, you might be making thinking errors on three levels.
The question in the title of this post doesn’t sound constructive. It would be a constructive one if it were formulated like one of the following.
- Why doesn’t anyone care about my cause?
- Why doesn’t anyone care about my content?
- Why doesn’t anyone care about me?
Even the last question is more constructive than the one in the title.
When you ask those questions, you might find answers like the ones below.
- People already have enough on their plates.
- There’s already enough content online.
- People already have enough people in their lives to care about.
The follow-up questions will be the following.
- How can I formulate my cause so that it stands out among the issues that people have to deal with?
- How can I compose and promote my content so that it catches the attention of people?
- How can I find the people who are willing to care about others?
If asking a why question doesn’t help you make progress with the matter at hand, formulate it as a how question. How questions require you to take the responsibility and can be more empowering than why questions.
In psychology, projection means denying the existence of an undesired property in oneself and seeing it in others. For example, I might deny that I’m selfish and blame others for being selfish.
If you’re asking yourself why others don’t care, ask yourself whether you care. If you really cared about the problems of others, you might not have the time to ask yourself the question in the title.
I saved the most intricate one to the end because it’s the most difficult to understand, but once you understand it, it will change your life.
When you look at the world through a certain filter, you won’t perceive the events that don’t match your filter. I see this very often in online forums like Quora where people are discussing their problems.
Some of the questions discussed in online forums aren’t actually questions but rants. Here are some examples.
- Why doesn’t anyone care?
- Why are people so angry?
- Why do people not respect me?
The people who are asking these questions are actually making a statement.
- People don’t care.
- People are angry.
- No one respects me.
When you look at life with that filter, you won’t see the people who care, who aren’t angry, and who respect you. You’ll only see the ones that match your concept of people.
You’ll expect people to match your beliefs and treat them accordingly. As a result, they will fulfill your expectations. This is called self-fulfilling prophecy.
If you expect people not to care, you won’t make an effort to make them care, and they won’t care. If you expect them to be angry, you’ll act passively, and as a result, they will be angry. If you expect them not to respect you, you will act submissively, and they won’t respect you.
If you find yourself asking questions that are in reality a rant, just formulate the question as a statement. Accept that you have that statement as a limiting belief. And take the responsibility and start replacing that limiting belief with its opposite.
- People do care.
- People are calm.
- People respect me.
Look for people who satisfy those statements. If you look carefully, you’ll find those people in your environment.
When you find yourself asking questions like “why doesn’t anyone care,” ask yourself whether you’re really looking for the root cause of your problem or venting off.
If you’re just venting off, formulate the question as a how question, which will empower you to take the responsibility to solve your problem. Instead of “why doesn’t anyone care,” ask “how can I make people care?”
If you find out that your questions are actually rants, ask yourself whether you’re projecting your own unwanted attributes on to others. Do you care about other people?
Last but not least, formulate your question as a statement. “People don’t care.” If you’re just venting off, this statement is most probably a limiting belief. Now, replace this limiting belief by cultivating its opposite. Look for evidence of its opposite, and you will find plenty of evidence, because people do care!
Software developer with a Ph.D. and 15 years of experience. I write daily on personal development and life lessons. Sign up to my email newsletter to receive a weekly overview of my latest content on personal development and life lessons.