Apathy is an important attribute in the city. You can't take people and situations too seriously or too personally. If you care too much you won't make it here. You can't waste your time being upset when people break their promises and leave you in a bind. Otherwise you'll be upset everyday. You can't get worked up about poverty or injustice because it's constantly in your face. All you can do is choose not to care. All you can control is yourself. When you see the guy you were out with last night holding hands with a gorgeous leggy model in the meatpacking district, you have to let it just roll right off you. When your ex boyfriend/love of your life is with a prostitute on the very same night you must just shrug and brush that dirt off your shoulder. (True story. Tonight in fact. Did I just stop being polite and start getting real?) I am anything but apathetic. But I am learning . . . because in New York, only the strong survive.
In order to be apathetic, you must recognize that you are expendable to most people in your life. Just mentally prepare yourself before you become friends. Thus, most people in your life must be expendable to you. You have to remind yourself that your time doesn't matter to certain friends and so certain friends' time cannot matter to you. It's important to accept that most people will ditch plans with you if they get a better offer. So it follows that when you get a better offer, you must ditch plans these friends. You can't feel guilty. You cannot allow yourself to care. It's not easy for a super reliable, trustworthy person who grew up with strong Protestant values. Unfortunately, it is necessary.
When dealing with men in the city . . . my new mantra: "I am a robot. I will not cry."
Or . . . I could just move.