But how should I react if I know that I shouldn't care? It's said that one should treat people accordingly, but I won't send the negative behavior back at people.
Getting over this bitterness and being care free is a huge step that I know I need to take. That, coupled with me starting to realize my continuing attachment to outcome, are 2 things I'd like to finally get past.
Caring or not caring is not an intellectual decision - it's not like you learn that you shouldn't care, and then you learn some appropriate 'not caring' behavior. The behavior arises from the genuine emotion (or lack of emotion). Making the commitment
to developing indifference and non-attachment IS a decision.
The place to start is to be brutally honest and acknowledge that you care when you care. There is no point being hard on yourself because you had no say in the matter, something happened, and the 'caring' arose. You didn't "do" caring- this is different than if you took a stupid action like texting a girl some BS, you can control the actions but not the actual arising of the emotion. That just happened. Everything you are talking about after the fact is just layers of bullshit on top of what already happened. Yes maybe you can learn behaviors that don't show your cards but why not get to the source so your ACTUAL reaction is to laugh, instead of getting pissed, but then thinking about what you've read, and then deciding to laugh because that is supposed to be more powerful. You get that fake laugh - not the alpha dog in the room who thinks the drama is cute.
When the caring comes up is when I try to walk right into it honestly, be with the discomfort of it, including the "i shouldn't feel this" and let it show you what it is that you actually care about.
It's always about something deeper and that's the best way I know to find what it is so you actually deal with it. It's like when dudes get heavily triggered if a girl doesn't talk to them or react positively to them. They don't actually care that this particular girl didn't talk to them, but what is getting triggered is not just some random chick, it's probably some whole story about why girls never liked them, some girl that rejected them that formed an identity, etc. Otherwise, you would actually see it as just a random girl who you didn't click with, instead of all the emotional charge.
It's easy to dismiss the thing as something that shouldn't trigger you because it seems silly - like someone just being a dick, but what it is actually triggering is something within you. There is no default answer you have to probe into it, and not hide behind trying not to feel it. It could be very surprising what it is. I used to hate anyone acting "cocky" when some times they were just confident, and what was triggered was my own lack of confidence making them wrong.
If you didn't have some unresolved shit in yourself you literally
would not notice or care a lot of triggers. You've been out with people before and someone will do or say something that flips someone out, something you didn't even notice, because it is a trigger for them.
So be brutally honest with yourself with whatever you feel and whatever your reactions are so you can confront the source of them. It's more painful but so much more effective than trying to learn behaviors to cover it up - it's the guy equivalent of wearing tons of makeup and acting fake.