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Old 12-20-2010, 08:35 AM
 
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Default People Who Complain But Do Nothing About It

Why do some people complain about things, but then do nothing about it? I have one friend who, every year around the holidays, complains about not having anywhere to go or no one to spend it with. She vows that next year will be different. But then next year rolls around and it's the same thing. If I ask her why she doesn't do anything about it, she interprets it as an attack.

There are some things in life that you have no control over. Traffic, the weather, the job market, etc. So complaining about those things seems rather pointless. But if it's something you have some control over, like your personal life or finding a job, how can you complain about it while sitting back and doing nothing to change it? I guess I'm trying to understand the psychology behind this sort of behavior. Is it fear? Are these people afraid of trying to change their lives and not succeeding? Is it inertia? Do they genuinely want to change their lives, but can't find the energy to start? Is it just a way to deflect blame and not have to take responsibility for their own lives? And if you're on the outside, how do you help such a person, assuming you even can?
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Between Philadelphia and Allentown, PA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DennyCrane View Post
Why do some people complain about things, but then do nothing about it? I have one friend who, every year around the holidays, complains about not having anywhere to go or no one to spend it with. She vows that next year will be different. But then next year rolls around and it's the same thing. If I ask her why she doesn't do anything about it, she interprets it as an attack.

There are some things in life that you have no control over. Traffic, the weather, the job market, etc. So complaining about those things seems rather pointless. But if it's something you have some control over, like your personal life or finding a job, how can you complain about it while sitting back and doing nothing to change it? I guess I'm trying to understand the psychology behind this sort of behavior. Is it fear? Are these people afraid of trying to change their lives and not succeeding? Is it inertia? Do they genuinely want to change their lives, but can't find the energy to start? Is it just a way to deflect blame and not have to take responsibility for their own lives? And if you're on the outside, how do you help such a person, assuming you even can?


I've definitely had friends like this. They just have the same complaints all the time and after you offer advice time and time again and they still complain and don't change their situation, it's really frustrating. I'm convinced that those are the types who just love to hear themselves talk and love to complain.
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:39 AM
 
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You can't help them. Just stop being their friend before they drag you down with them. I've had to do it plenty of times. Everyone advances at their own pace and they are deaf to anyone else's advice but they always want you there to hear them moan. The best thing you can do is sever the relationship once you're sick of it and, if you ever run into them again, let them know why you did it.
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Vegas, baby, Vegas!
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OH MAN do I know someone like that, I dedicated this song to her;


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBrKDpNAVSU

Jonathan
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:45 AM
 
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I have a friend like this! She complains endlessly about her career angst and lack of a partner but does nothing about it. She is all about drama. Every conversation with her is a re-hash of all that is bad about her life/situation and when I make suggestions, she always thinks of some reason why she can't do it/why it won't work. It gets very annoying.

The thing I can't figure out is how she has so many friends, since she freely admits that she dumps her problems on her friends constantly. I, on the other hand, am finding it very hard to make friends and I never do this sort of thing. I'm starting to conclude that a lot of women like drama, and they like to be around people who have this type of drama in their lives. I, on the other hand, am drama-free, and maybe people think I'm boring, because I've had difficulty making friends in the last few years.
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:50 AM
 
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People often fall into a subconscious pattern. They don't realize they're setting themselves up for the same situation over and over, but subconsciously, they have undirected anger or sadness, and their ego is trying to find a "reason" for those feelings. So they land themselves in the same negative situations again and again so that their ego can find a "reason" to be sad or angry. We all do it to some extent or another, but it's just more obvious in some people.

Sometimes it's also because they genuinely do not see that they have control over the situation. Some people live in a victim mentality (I don't mean that as an insult) because that's all they know. It doesn't even occur to them they can do something about it, and exert some control over their life. Often it takes them realizing it themselves because if they truly believe they have no control, other people telling them won't help.

I know this because I used to be one of those people. But I kept spiraling further and further into depression and anxiety until I finally realized I actually have the ability to change my thoughts which in turn changes my emotions and how things play out in life.

If you think positive, you feel positive emotions, it shows on your face and in your interactions, people pick up on it, respond positively, and your life turns around. For someone who is stuck in the cycle of negative thoughts, they haven't come to this realization yet. It can be painful to watch but it's one of those things people often have to come to on their own.
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:57 AM
 
Location: On our boat!
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Wife and I complain about our weight, but mostly just to each other. We both need to lose 20 to 30 pounds, but with age (early 60's) and past surgeries it isn't easy and darn near impossible. We eat "ok", but not necessarily right. We get some exercise, but mostly during the summer months when we can walk and use our boat. After looking at some of my classmates from 1968, I definitely know that we aren't the only "60 plus" year olds with this weight problem.
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:59 AM
 
7,488 posts, read 8,080,036 times
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Originally Posted by fatmancomics View Post
You can't help them. Just stop being their friend before they drag you down with them. I've had to do it plenty of times. Everyone advances at their own pace and they are deaf to anyone else's advice but they always want you there to hear them moan. The best thing you can do is sever the relationship once you're sick of it and, if you ever run into them again, let them know why you did it.
I've had to end friendships before as well. But I usually make it clear to the person why I'm ending it rather than just hoping they figure it out. It won't surprise me if I have to end this friendship someday, although I'd rather not do so right before Christmas. But I agree that some people just like to complain. It's easy to talk about all the things you don't like about your life than to actually do anything about it. But people like this probably aren't looking for advice. I think they just want to be heard, not be told they're wrong or that they're at fault.
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:10 AM
 
Location: On our boat!
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Some people will complain about anything and not do anything to change. To some extent, it is much easier to complain than do something about the complaint. Doing something can be and is SCARY!! People complain about relationships, family members, friends, where they live, the job they have, their salary.......heck, the list goes on and on. Sometimes, people don't want to voice help to a complainer because the help they give them could turn out bad or wrong......then what?
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:15 AM
 
7,488 posts, read 8,080,036 times
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Originally Posted by nimchimpsky View Post
Sometimes it's also because they genuinely do not see that they have control over the situation. Some people live in a victim mentality (I don't mean that as an insult) because that's all they know. It doesn't even occur to them they can do something about it, and exert some control over their life. Often it takes them realizing it themselves because if they truly believe they have no control, other people telling them won't help.
My friend adopts the victim mindset. If something goes wrong in her life, something that's either directly or indirectly her fault, she acts like it's a curse, as if some higher power is running her life. And it doesn't have to be big things like a job or a relationship. Sometimes, it can be little things. For example, the other day, she forgot her phone in her car. She was already tired after a long day at work. But then she said, "I can never catch a break." Catch a break? Isn't that something you say when you have bad luck? Her phone didn't end up in the car because of bad luck.
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