It's kind of weird to get a grasp from just the title but most people can't really understand my mindset and it's hard to give them a word to accurately describe it.

I'm extremely passive as long as something doesn't directly affect me. I usually just won't care. But even when something does directly affect me, it's hard to put into words how I'll react.

My brother describes it as "He cares but he doesn't care" (where I got the title from) in the sense of being passive. For example, he tends to tell this to my mom, who'll then later on ground me, but it won't work at all because I will do something else with minimal effort to get un-grounded.

So if I were grounded from my computer, I would play an old game; grounded from all games, read a book; grounded from everything, study ahead in class (as I had learned everything ahead of time for AB calculus). Even though I might spend most of my time using the item I was grounded from, I wouldn't see it as a necessity and would move on to some other form of entertainment.

Now that you have a mildly to extremely weird description/example of how I think, could you help me think of a word to describe how I think in these situations because simply saying that I'm extremely passive isn't quite accurate enough to describe me.

I can also be described as a Cynical A-hole at times, in case that helps.

"He cares but he doesn't care. And he doesn't care because he's _______ and he'll just go do something else."

  • 2
    Easygoing, carefree
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Jun 16, 2016 at 2:32

2 Answers 2


Despite the question title, and the OP brother's phrase:

He cares but he doesn't care

There is nothing in the actual description which suggests the person does care, the OP describes himself as: I'm extremely passive as long as something doesn't directly affect me. which hints at apathy, rather than passivity.

  1. lack of interest in or concern for things that others find moving or exciting. (RHD)

The noun form would be apathetic

A less derogatory term, would be detached (CD)

  1. having or showing no bias or emotional involvement; disinterested

Overall, a sense of lacklustre, weariness and ennui (OD) is conveyed in the post.

A feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement


I don’t understand whether the thrust of this question is the apathy / detachedness, which Mari-Lou A got in ahead of me, or the facility with which you switch to other pursuits.  If it’s the former, I’d add not invested:

To devote morally or psychologically, as to a purpose; commit: “Men of our generation are invested in what they do, women in what we are” (Shana Alexander).

or not attached:

emotionally connected : having strong feelings of affection

to Mari-Lou’s suggestions.  E.g., “He’s not invested in computer access; he has other outlets.”  Either of these words could be negated with a prefix (forming non-invested and unattached), although these might be less readily understood in this context.

Another word that fits with “passive” is dispassionate:

not influenced by strong feeling; especially :   not affected by personal or emotional involvement

which seems to mesh well with “He cares but he doesn’t care.”

If the thrust of this question is the facility with which you switch to other pursuits, consider flexible:

Able to change to cope with variable circumstances

or versatile:

capable of or adapted for turning easily from one to another of various tasks, fields of endeavor, etc.

to indicate that you have many contingency options.

A possibility that must be prepared for; a future emergency.

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