Nihilism can be harmful and it’s not something to be overlooked. The worst problem is that a lot of people can’t understand the effects it can have on a person. They describe the person who is a nihilist as passive, lazy, irresponsible, a worthless clown, and indifferent.
If you are NOT a nihilist this list can help you better understand our lives. If you DO believe that all human endeavor is essentially meaningless and that we are ignorant specks of sand in the unfathomable universe, you’ll likely agree with the following statements:
1.) Decline invites to parties although you may want to go.
There are certain nights that you may have singled out on a Playboy calendar taped to your fridge (in one of your rare moments of motivated optimism). But when these nights arrive, nihilism rears its shrouded head, extinguishes any semblance of desire, and crushes your resolve. It can become so debilitating that you feel as if nothing exciting is happening in the entire world, especially not at Timmy’s birthday party.
You are aware of what is happening to you and you don’t want to become a burden where you are supposed to go (“BIRTHDAYS ARE JUST ANOTHER DAY TIMMY, JUST ANOTHER FUCKING DAY!”) – so you cancel everything.
2.) Secretly shrug off important life events that other people lose their shit over.
Whether it’s receiving a promotion, getting fired, buying a house, or getting kicked out by a landlord, you barely react to any of these occurrences. The truth is that everything is falling apart on the molecular level and the sun is going to explode, so why worry or celebrate?
You may forget a life-altering job interview, choose to eat Chinese by yourself on Christmas, fall asleep on the subway at 2pm and piss yourself, or spend ten hours watching “People are Awesome” YouTube videos in a dirty bathrobe. Whatever the case may be, people may get confused by the notion that you don’t care about anything at all.
3.) Go to bed early. Wake up late.
One of your favorite things to do is sleep. After another, uneventful, mundane 9-5 with your boss screaming, “You have no ambition you worthless bastard! My ten year old son could do a better job than you! I outta wipe that shit-eating grin off your face!” all you want is to submerge your mind in oblivion.
When the morning comes, you turn the TV and the lights off, wipe the Sriracha off your hairy chest, and curse the gods for bringing you into this empty world. When your nihilism has switched on (by any amount of reflection), you can’t do anything to switch it off, so you stand in the shower for 45 minutes until you almost develop a third degree burn.
4.) In every situation, the worst scenario makes you chuckle and the best scenario makes you sigh.
Instead of enjoying the moment how it is, or imagining riches and “success,” you can’t help picturing an asteroid colliding with the earth or a simple virus destroying humanity. If it’s a first date with a beautiful woman who is kind and intelligent, you can’t help but think, “Yup. Here we go again. Even if we end up falling passionately in love it will either crash and burn or wane into compromise and affection.”
If you get sick, you always manage to think: “FINALLY.” It’s as if your mind tricks you into thinking this petty suffering is the natural state of your crumbling existence.
5.) You forget things people say. Over and over again.
No matter how enthusiastically someone says something to you or how much bearing it has on your future, you forget it. That’s why you wear headphones at family reunions and, if people don’t know you, pretend to be deaf.
This constant mental fading and social withdrawal is borderline insanity, almost enough to be institutionalized, but not quite. You have to remind yourself that it is the old “nihilism ear-muffs” acting as a buffer, and that sometimes people can actually have interesting things to say.
6.) When someone shows concern about you, you feel surprised and suspicious.
If someone notices that you’ve been staring off into space for ten minutes without blinking, your nihilism becomes suspicious. The thing is, when someone cares about you in any way, it makes you suspect ulterior motives because why would someone ever notice an insignificant, mumbling zombie? A transient, purposeless ghost?
7.) You feel vaguely annoyed when the future comes up as a topic.
While most people look forward to the future and make concrete, exciting plans, your gray, hazy view makes you feel bored and weary. Oh, another Spider-Man movie? Wonderful.
8.) You unconsciously mutter senseless imprecations while browsing facebook.
“No way are all these people having THAT much fucking fun.”
9.) Often, you just don’t get out of bed…and parody bullshit, click-bait articles you find online.
Nihilism blunts most of your edge and destroys your drive for greatness. That’s why it’s a miracle if you function at all. Your state of careless indolence is a result of ceaseless contemplation on the ultimate futility of human action and the vastness of space and time…
So, please, don’t share this essay, not even with your stupid, best friend. Let it sink into the depths of the exponentially expanding internet swamp…
Cause it doesn’t fucking matter.