It can be hurtful or make you angry when someone responds nobody cares. Such a reply is demeaning and shows a lack of respect towards you and others. Do your best not to take it personally, but there are many ways you can reply.
Try to keep a cool head about it and convey a message it is not acceptable. Hopefully, they will think twice before they reply like that in the future.
How you respond should depend on the topic discussed. It should depend on how well you know the person. Some people you can have discussions with and others you know are set in their ways. Trying to tell them anything will result in an argument and they aren’t open-minded at all.
Don’t give anyone a free pass to speak to you like that no matter how well you know them.
A generic response to the phrase “Nobody cares” that always works well would be: “That is a strong statement. Can you tell us why you feel that way?” It forces the other side to react, which brings you in a comfortable position to judge about whatever the response is.
Call them out on it
Choose your battles in life carefully, but why not call them out on it? They were bold enough to make an across-the-board statement and convey it as fact. Now it is time for you to put holes in that theory.
If they don’t like being called out on it, perhaps they won’t make those types of comments to you and others anymore. They don’t want to have conflict about it. They didn’t know it would affect others but now they do.
What to say:
“You cared enough to respond about it.”
“Your negativity isn’t becoming.”
“Comments like that are part of the problem while the rest of us try to find solutions.”
“What do you care about then?”
“Who gave you the authority to speak for everyone else on it? Should you say you don’t care?”
“The only nobody is you.”
“Interesting, are you able to read everyone’s mind and how they feel about it?”
“Such passive-aggressive behavior won’t get you anywhere.”
“I am sad you feel that way because there is so much good that comes out of caring about it.”
“I can’t control how you feel but I for one and proud to be passionate about it.”
“That comment really bothers me.”
“I won’t let your negativity get under my skin.”
“That was a rude statement.”
“You don’t have the authority to speak for everyone else, only your own thoughts on it.”
Let them know you care
This is an opportunity for you to let them know you do care. You can make it a statement and leave it at that. They may be surprised as most people won’t reply to such a negative statement.
The fact that you do let them know you are a person who stands your ground and is proud to follow your beliefs. You may not change their mind or stop them, but at least they can strive to have some respect for your take on it.
What to say:
“It means a great deal to me.”
“I don’t take this topic lightly; I really do want to make a difference.”
“I worry such comments in society are holding everyone back. I choose to do what can help.”
“I do care and many others do also.”
“The issue is important to me and your comment is disrespectful.”
“I don’t appreciate your lack of respect for other viewpoints. I do care about this issue.”
“It makes a difference to me.”
“I respect your thoughts on it, but I care deeply about it.”
“Wow, that is a one-sided comment. Don’t speak for others, state that you don’t care. There are many of us that do.”
“Don’t speak for everyone else, people do care.”
“How do you know nobody cares? Have you taken the time to ask people about their thoughts on it?”
“That doesn’t sit well with me, I for one do care a great deal about it.”
“How can we change that?”
“My experiences have shown me this is a worthy cause.”
“I don’t wish to debate it with you, but to set the record straight I care.”
“It matters to me, and I wish you did also.”
Such off-handed comments can be from someone who is insensitive or they don’t care about the beliefs of others. It can be hard to know which if this is someone you don’t know well.
You do have the choice to share your reasons for why it matters. Some people will be responsive to that and it opens up a conversation. This can make you vulnerable with some topics. Don’t disclose details someone may use against you later.
If they listen to what you share, it could change their mindset on the topic. It gives them something to think about and perhaps a new perspective regarding it.
There will be those that already made up their mind before they said that comment. Nothing you share with them makes a difference. If you choose to share your reasons, give the facts, and don’t let your emotions get the best of you.
Stick with reasons why the subject is important on a personal level but remain in control. Don’t get angry and say something you regret.
What to say:
“I care, are you interested in finding out why?”
“Perhaps if I share the facts about it with you that would get you to take an interest in it?”
“These are my reasons for caring about it.”
“I am passionate about it for these reasons.”
“My and my friends do care about it and feel it is important. Do you have a few minutes for me to explain why?”
“That is your take on it, now are you ready to listen to mine?”
“It is hurtful to me when you say that because I do care a lot about it.”
“I wish you did care because it is important to me.”
“I am upset you feel that way, but I can only control how I feel. I would like to express to you why it does matter to me.”
“Care to listen to my take on it for 5 minutes?”
“When you walk in my shoes you will feel differently about it.”
Inquire why they feel no one cares
What is the underlying reason they feel no one cares?
Was it just a rude comment or is there something more to it?
Take the time to find out and see what they share with you. They may have some legitimate shortcomings when it comes to that particular topic. This can also enlighten you and help you see their point of view.
What to say:
“Can you share why you feel that way?”
“Do you care to elaborate on that?”
“That is a strong opinion on it, I am curious about the why behind it.”
“Can you tell me why you don’t think anyone cares about it?”
“I am curious about the reasons for that statement.”
“That is a strong statement, what makes you think that way?”
“Have your life experiences caused you not to care about it?”
“I can’t wrap my head around why anyone would say that or feel like that.”
“Is this a generalized statement or do you know others that don’t care about it and why?”
They are trying to deflate you
Some people are spiteful and toxic, and we can’t do much about it. We all have friends and family who seem to find the negative in everything. The same is true of people we work with.
They often say things like nobody cares because they want to deflate you. They can’t stand to see others happy and doing well. They are often jealous of what they see others accomplish.
They say things like this to take the wind out of your sails. They know it is like a gut punch when someone makes such a statement. They may know nothing about it at all, but their goal is to get you to question yourself.
Don’t take the bait!
And don’t let them force you to ask some harsh questions in return.
What to say:
“You are entitled to your opinion but I have talked to many people who are compassionate about it and they care just like I do.”
“I am glad I don’t have the same view on it as you do.”
“Lucky for me there are plenty of other people willing to pitch in and help with this.”
“It doesn’t seem like you care about much of anything.”
“Not sure I value your thoughts on that.”
“Is there a reason you felt the need to say that to me?”
“I have worked very hard for this and will continue to do so.”
“I won’t let you ruin this with your comments.”
“If everyone felt like you this would be a sad world to live in.”
“Those who care about it give others hope.”
“Is that response based on some data you have? I have statistics that show otherwise.”
“That is a ridiculous statement to make.”
“Are you trying to get a rise out of me?”
“You don’t have to agree but you aren’t going to stop me from pursuing the cause.”