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Despite what they have told you, it’s a compliment.

Callous Monster: a phrase used nowadays to insult someone for their insensitivity towards a multitude of things. If you don’t let a co-worker pawn their work off on you because their child is sick or they have tickets to see the March Madness tournament (you don’t know which is the case), you’re callous. If you don’t laugh at a dumb joke during a party or sing along to “Sweet Caroline,” you’re weird and unemotional. If you don’t express your personal troubles or something that’s bothering you to someone else, or provide a shoulder to cry on, you’re insensitive. If your mood happens to be in a funk and you feel horribly depressed, but don’t tell anyone about it and unburden your feelings on those around you, you’re seen as unemotional, withdrawn, AND insensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being unemotional and insensitive to the world can be very, very helpful, especially since it allows you to better help those you love, and can actually be healthy, beautiful, and fulfilling in the long run. It’s a precious gift. Your ability to not let others use you for their own, selfish gain and not be pulled in a thousand directions by the fickle world’s ceaseless demands, or your rioting emotions, is a talent that not many people possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone’s craving, criticizing, and grasping negativity towards this callousness bring you down. We are all guilty of thrashing against something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. We are all guilty of wishing someone would help or like us for no reason at all (because we’re all inherently likable). But take pride in knowing that the people you love and care about, deeply, are those who deeply love and care about you, and that you are doing your best to be a good, kind, hardworking person in your little corner of the world. You know that if you love everyone, you love no one. You know that if you try to please the entire world, you please nobody.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of your personality if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone’s life someday, someone like you who is also insulted for being callous and cold, but is still quietly trying to make the world a better place.

You might be the person who ignores the homeless man begging for a nickel and 5 minutes of your time, because your friend of 20 years is in the hospital and you’re rushing there to talk with him about his life and console his pain. You might be the person who doesn’t spend that extra hour in the bar talking to a stranger about their broken past, because you have a little daughter at home who you’d like to teach the alphabet. You might be that person who doesn’t have children and hurries past rehab centers and homeless shelters on your way home. Why? So you can compose a song that’s so achingly beautiful it prevents someone fifty years in the future from killing themselves.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is either a meaningless phrase or a horrifying thing. If you “feel everything,” then you’re like a rag doll being torn apart in a storm. If you put yourself out there for others too much, you risk serious and wasteful abuse.

So embrace every part of your monstrous self. There will be people who criticize your lack of heart and call you, “The Fucking Tin Man.” Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are conniving and malicious. And the one thing these people say to put you down is, “You don’t feel anything at all. You don’t care about helping others. You’re nothing but a narrow, heartless bastard.” I’d rather not feel anything at all than expect others to feel things for me.

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