There are so many moments in our lives when we just can’t bring ourselves to give a shit. Whether it’s your annoying coworker bitching about her Weight Watchers diet, or your bestie about to go all Carrie Underwood (Before He Cheats era) on her latest SAB, you can just feel yourself lose a year of your life when you attempt to feign sympathy.
That’s why simply saying, “That’s not ideal,” is the best way to drop the hint that you don’t really care without seeming like a complete cold-hearted bitch. While it’s totally acceptable to roll your eyes when you hear Kourtney broke up with Scott “for good” this time, when your second cousin calls you to share the news of her childhood dog’s tragic death, not so much.
The perfection that this quick phrase delivers is mostly due to how underwhelming it is. Like, fucking duh, it’s not ideal that something shitty happened to you, but I just can’t bring myself to waste any of my already dwindling energy on your cause. It’s not that I don’t have a heart, it’s just that I’m definitely not the most qualified person to comfort you. There are so many therapists dying for work out there. Why don’t you Google one in your area?
The true power behind “that’s not ideal” lies in its ability to completely confuse the person trying to induce unnecessary physical contact. In order to master this line, start practicing your best sympathetic expression in the mirror while reciting it over and over again. If you’re looking for a truly Oscar-worthy performance, try closing your eyes and putting your hand on your heart during your delivery. This move is pure genius (you can thank us later) because it allows the real you (cold and indifferent) to shine, but taking away some of the sting with that well-rehearsed compassionate expression. With this combo, they’ll be confused AF and ultimately realize you’re not the right person for this emotional “travesty”.
Appearing to be a semi-decent human, yet not actually putting any effort in, is a something that every good betch struggles with daily. Using the right kind of language (spoken and body) is the only way to get what you want when you need someone to vent to about the fucking nicegirls at work, but at the same time, not waste 5 hours of your day consoling your friend about her one night stand with that guy she like, really, really liked.
Your precious time should be spent pretending to do work and coming to terms with your own Sunday morning regrets (which should probably involve ordering 4 Mimosas at brunch) rather than wasting it by coming up with ways to convince people their lives aren’t as shitty as they think. Chances are their lives do suck, but you don’t go around pretending you’re the next Dr. Phil or something. So next time someone mistakes you for their therapist, throw on your best puppy dog eyes and say, “That’s not ideal.” They’ll be calling their mom crying before you can get back to staring at your reflection in your computer screen.