How to Be Nonchalant

Three Parts:Getting in the MindsetActing NonchalantLiving a Nonchalant Lifestyle

Constant worry and doubts can nag at you daily and increase your stress levels. These emotions and high stress levels can hinder you from doing or enjoying things you love to do. With a little refocusing of your mind, you can be nonchalant and not let a thing get to you. You're made of strong stuff and no one can bring you down. "Let It Go" isn't your theme song, it's about you!

Part 1
Getting in the Mindset

  1. Image titled Be Nonchalant Step 1
    Find a comedic angle to everything. The benefit of being nonchalant isn't about not being happy – it's about not easily getting upset, angry, or stressed. And how might one do that? Well, when everything is comical is a good start. Just like most things have a silver lining, most things have a comedic edge to them, too.
    • Though it's a simple example, let's say you trip onstage at some award ceremony. Instead of turning bright red in shame, you either brush it off like you meant it to happen and and accept your award from the floor, or you put up your arms in a "tada" moment and embrace the spotlight. Let the hooting and hollering commence.
  2. Image titled Be Nonchalant Step 2
    Pretend you don't have the "shame gene." All of us have that little voice in our head that's telling us to look cool and to act socially acceptable. This is generally a smart voice in our heads – it makes us friends, gets us connections, and makes life a little easier. But sometimes it halts us in our tracks, keeps us from growing, and just makes us worried, emotionally erratic, and anxious. Instead, pretend for a moment that you don't have it. How do you act? What is your body telling the world? That's nonchalance.
    • So much of what we do is to avoid shame and to feel accepted. If that urge wasn't within you, what might you do differently? Would you really care if Joel liked your shoes or if Marcia texted you back? Probably not. Start out by focusing on this just for a few minutes a day until it becomes naturally nearly all the time.
  3. Image titled Be Nonchalant Step 3
    Worry less about what you can't change. The world is going to end at some point. Do you worry about that? Probably not. Your mom sometimes wears the ugliest sweaters. Do you worry about that? Nope. If you can't change it, there's no point in worrying about. What can you do? Worry about it...and then just worry some more? Yep. There's no point.
    • So when your teacher announces a pop quiz? No reaction from you. There's no point in worrying about it – the only thing you can worry about is doing well. And when your crush doesn't text you back? Moving on – you were just feeling it out anyway.
  4. Image titled Be Nonchalant Step 4
    Don't take yourself (or anything) too seriously. All of life becomes infinitely easier when you come to the conclusions that nothing is that big of a deal. We are all well-oiled specks of dust on this amazing blue planet, and if today isn't going our way, well, that's just how the cookie crumbles. Bad things will happen and good things will happen. Why get worked up about it?
    • You've probably met someone who takes themselves way more seriously than they should. They're wound up, constantly caring what other people think of what they're doing, saying, and what they look like. In reality, others aren't really thinking about them at all. Just watching them is exhausting because they're wound up so tight. Be the opposite of that person, and the nonchalance will come.
  5. Image titled Be Nonchalant Step 5
    Do yoga. Along with yoga being a decent way to burn calories and tone your muscles, it's also fantastic at getting rid of all that mind-chatter so many of us have. Many studies have shown that "yogis" suffer from less stress, less anxiety, and even lower blood pressure rates.[1] If you're having trouble changing your thinking patterns, yoga may be able to do it for you.
    • Another good idea is doing deep breathing exercises. Concentrating on your body and your breathing takes you out of your mind and into the here and now. You focus on more tangible realities, like how the chair you're on feels on your skin and the temperature of the room – and not on whatever's been worrying you lately.

Part 2
Acting Nonchalant

  1. Image titled Be Nonchalant Step 6
    Be the adult version of you. When we get worried and anxious, we also get self-righteous and selfish. All of a sudden, it's about me, me, me and whatever you're demanding needs to be met and now – in other words, we become children.[2] Recognize this part of you (we all have it), and instead opt for the adult in you (we all have that, too). How would the older, more mature side of you react?
    • Let's say you just sent a text to your boyfriend or girlfriend. They haven't responded yet. The clock is ticking, minutes are passing, and they still haven't responded. The child in you wants to go, "What are you doing? Why aren't you responding?! Is something wrong?! Why are you being mean?!" Nope. You're not gonna do that. Instead, you're gonna pick up a book. If they don't text back, fine. You can't really remember what you texted them anyway.
  2. Image titled Be Nonchalant Step 7
    Don't show a wide range of emotions. The very definition of nonchalant is to be calm and relaxed, pretty much 24/7. You can show mild interest or happiness – or even a little disappointment or frustration – but underneath it all, you're still cool as a cucumber. It's not about being cold and emotionless, it's about being chill.
    • Let's say your crush told you to back off. Dang. That sucks. You have the urge to cry and whine and eat your feelings, but the calmer side of you knows better. And you're not just going to say, "okay," and move on like it never happened, because it did. When talking about it with your friends, you say something like, "Man, this stinks. Wish it didn't work out this way, but totally glad I didn't ask him/her out on a date!"
  3. Image titled Be Nonchalant Step 8
    Don't invest in others' opinions. You know what are opinions are like, right? Everybody has 'em. Trying to please everyone and getting everyone to like you is a lost cause, because it just won't happen. Others' opinions of you don't matter; live will go on no matter what. What's more, will you remember what Katie said about your hair in two weeks' time? Nope. So don't stress it. You're doing your own thing and that's what matters.
    • When only your opinion counts, you'll find it easier to stay more relaxed and stress-free. In other words, nonchalant. You control all of the opinions that matter. How awesome of a feeling is that? Everything else isn't on your radar and isn't worth stressing.
  4. Image titled Be Nonchalant Step 9
    Watch your body language. Even if we say the calmest, coolest things, sometimes our bodies give us away. Your voice says, "It's okay. No worries," when steam is rolling out of your ears and your hands are clenched in fists. No breaking news here: everyone can see through it. So when you're speaking nonchalantly, make sure your body backs it up, too.[3]
    • How your body is positioned will be determined by the situation you're in. The main way to come off as worried and anxious (and not nonchalant) is if your muscles are tensed. If you think your body might give you away, go through your body from head to toe, consciously checking if each part is relaxed. If it's not, let it loose. The mental nonchalance may come from there.
  5. Image titled Be Nonchalant Step 10
    Develop the perfect "shrug." When someone comes up to you with a hot piece of gossip, this is your go-to response. It doesn't have to be an actual shrug, but it's essentially the equivalent. "Oh, that's nice. Where did you hear that from?" is a good verbal shrug when the other person is expecting you to say, "Ohmigod, are you serious?!" You're essentially letting everything in one ear and out the other.
    • It's good to have a sort of "mental shrug" attitude, too. The milk spilled? Shrug. Guess you should probably clean that up, huh? You gained a few pounds? Shrug. More salad tomorrow.

Part 3
Living a Nonchalant Lifestyle

  1. Image titled Be Nonchalant Step 11
    Pursue your own path. Those individuals out there who are not nonchalant (chalant, if you will), are busy with molding their lives to what others say is okay. They try so hard to make it so everything is just so in order to be accepted and feel loved. In short, they care far too much. And about things that don't matter to boot. Don't copy this lifestyle or anyone else's – pursue your own. You don't care about what anyone else says – you're gonna do what makes you happy.
    • This helps for a number of reasons. It keeps you busy, it makes you tons of different friends, and it keeps you happy and feeling fulfilled. The bigger your world, the littler everything gets. That one person that could upset you before, can't anymore, because you know a dozen other people just like them.
  2. Image titled Be Nonchalant Step 12
    Realize that you have many seeds. Let's use this example: say you want to start a garden, but you only have one seed. You plant that seed so carefully, watching it day in and day out, worrying that it'll amount to nothing and maybe even smothering it in the process. Luckily, in real life, this isn't your garden. You have so many seeds you barely know what to do with them! You can scatter a few here, a few there, and see what turns up. How much do you care? Well, some. You want your garden to be successful. But are you gonna stay up all night, worrying about one little seed? No way.[4]
    • This is a fancy way of saying that you have plenty of going on in your life. If one thing is going wrong, oh well. You have a thousand other things going on in your life that are going just fine, thanks. No need to worry. If that "seed" doesn't work out, you'll plant another one.
  3. Image titled Be Nonchalant Step 13
    Let others initiate most of the plans. Another way to come off as not-so-nonchalant is to be overeager. You're always the one excited and bustling with ideas and trying to get people to do things. Slow down there, tiger. To be nonchalant, let everyone else come to you most of the time. You're a willing participant, but you're just along for the ride. You're not captain of the ship.
    • That is, most of the time. You don't want to be a dull dud that mooches off of everyone else's good ideas, and you want your friends to know you value them. When you are invited, let them know that you had fun and that the party can be at your house next time, for example. Friendships are two-way streets, after all.
  4. Image titled Be Nonchalant Step 14
    Let it slide. When Idina Menzel sang, "Let it go, let it go" she wasn't kidding. Whenever your mood pendulum feels the urge to swing left or right, stop for a second. Count to 10, and let it pass. Concentrate on being calm, cool, and collected. You got this. Sure, you're happy, or sure, you're sad – but you're not gonna let it get to you. What would be the point in that?
    • If you're struggling with something really bothering you, try telling yourself that you'll worry about it tomorrow. But it off in your mind, knowing that you'll get to it in under 24 hours. Then what happens? Tomorrow comes and either you don't remember to worry about it, or you feel much better (or at least more in control) about what happened.


  • Remember that neutrality is best shown during times of emotional burden. It's the best way to hide your feelings and not freak people out. It can define you as someone tougher and more stone-like.
  • Be sensitive of people's feelings.Too much nonchalance can offend people and drive them away. Unfortunately, it can drive your crush away too, if you're not being careful.

Article Info

Featured Article

Categories: Featured Articles | Personality Traits and Attributes | Social Interactions