How to Be Nonchalant

The ability to remain supremely indifferent and unconcerned has always been much-admired, particularly in times of trouble and crisis. Keeping your head while all about you are losing theirs is definitely an advantage, and will generally boost your image, whether you shrug indifferently when the teacher announces a big test, or yawn with boredom when your boss tells you the company is closing down.

While it might not always be a good idea to act aloof, particularly when close family and friends are in difficult circumstances and require your sympathy, the art of being nonchalant is still worth practicing for certain situations.


  • 1

    Cultivate a bored expression. It helps to have a standard indifferent expression to fall back on, and you can use it whenever you find yourself in a situation where displaying too much emotion, or shedding tears, is inappropriate.

  • 2

    Deliberately make yourself feel bored. This will help you resist the temptation to cry or laugh (depending on the circumstances). If the temptation proves to be too overpowering, relieve yourself by laughing or crying later on, in private.

  • 3

    Downplay everything, and don’t allow anything to faze or intimidate you. If someone tries to squeeze a reaction out of you, or alert you to something significant that demands your attention, give them a blank stare and ask them what the big deal is.

  • 4

    Use sarcasm to accentuate your neutral, indifferent stance on everything. Stare straight ahead in an unconvinced manner every time someone suggests an idea, and emphasise it by arching your eyebrows, or rolling your eyes. This will add to your nonchalant image. However, be careful not to take the sarcasm too far, or you might end up offending someone.

  • 5

    Make it a habit to avoid people. In addition to convincing people that you are unavailable and hard to reach, this will also save you the trouble of having to maintain your indifferent expression in difficult circumstances. e.g. if you can’t help but laugh out loud at your friend’s jokes, try and avoid her/him, particularly in public.

  • 6

    Act like you genuinely don’t care. Big project due tomorrow? Upcoming scholarship interview? You couldn’t be less bothered. Kick back, file your nails, or put in your earphones. Make sure you maintain a motionless pose, and neutral body language. Stare straight ahead, and don’t bother to look around and observe the reactions of those around you, as this interest and curiosity in others will be counterproductive to your efforts at nonchalance.

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