This philosophy that proposes indifference to pain and pleasure has been of immense help to many people. Indifference, as I understood it is not rejection or numbness to pain or pleasure but rather a prevention of the outward manifestations of such conditions of life. A good philosophy restricts or redirects one’s particular instincts or emotions to its proper course, meaning those who are overly sensitive and emotional may consider subscribing to stoicism which helps curtail their reactions. On the other hand people who take life too seriously and as a result do not even get the time to enjoy life may subscribe to Epicureanism or any philosophy that proposes such things as hedonism.
In real life we are all hedonists. There are no true stoics because we can only curtail our emotions at a superficial level, we cannot uproot them. Every individual has a peculiar emotional setup, even if born of the same parents, lived in the same family home or attended the same school with others, co-joined twins not excluded. The indifference to pain and pleasure is nothing but an outward indifference since almost everyone we meet are likely to judge us by what we do and say. But at home, in our private lives, who will know whether we ate hot spicy chicken or drunk beer or enjoyed with our love ones or went through pain at the loss of our loved ones. No one will know unless we confess these things with own mouths. So stoicism goes a long way to reduce our troubles in life and bring us peace of mind.
Revealing emotions is generally not helpful in business dealings. If one works in an organisation where colleagues insult or poke fun at the boss behind his or her back, stoicism says simply be indifferent and mind your own business. The reader will agree with me that by this stoic attitude one is likely to avoid 90% of his of her problems not only in that organisation but also in life. But keeping too many painful experiences to oneself can also cause mental or emotional instability. The key then is to share your thoughts with those you trust and those who are like-minded. Perhaps the only area that stoicism doesn’t help much is when one is in love. In love the emotions carry more messages or meanings than words so one shouldn’t hide them. And also in family life, stoicism may be misconstrued as hardheartedness.