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Thread: People who refuse to change their unhappy situations.

  1. #61
    No Array Thalassa's Avatar
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    May 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    If depression is all in your head, what about OCD?
    Depression can be from simply needing to change life circumstances, a poor diet, no exercise, and a lot of other physical factors....but it can also be caused chemically. Clinical depression is just as much of an illness as cancer or diabetes.

    Same with OCD. If you suspect you may have some kind of mental illness, please get help. Don't sit and beat yourself up if you've tried other things and are still severely depressed or have OCD "checking" behaviors or panic attacks.
    "Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul." - Edward Abbey

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  2. #62
    Senior Member Array Lark's Avatar
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    To a certain extent I dont understand it, I dont understand people failing to attempt to change it, I'll put it like that, but some people are afraid enough or unwilling enough not to even want to try and that I dont like.

    Especially if it is something pretty simple, which they have received some pretty unambiguous, clear and consistent feedback which is not difficult to do, ie "do not speak to me when you are drunk, no good will come of it, I am willing to speak to you when you are sober".

    On the other hand I can understand people enduring shit situations, like a job or manager they feel is disatisfactory, because they have commitments, dependents and/or feel responsible.

  3. #63
    (blankpages) Array Xenon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortnsweet View Post
    It must be harder for some introverts to come to snap decisions regarding the outside world. (Just as much as it is for some extroverts to actually sit down and regroup and think about what they are doing.) I thought of that opposite argument when I went to bed last night.. Seems like it's more acceptable by society to be a "mover and shaker" so thankfully we don't have to answer that question!
    Well, you might if one of your snap decisions ends up being stupid or destructive. Generally though, I think it's true that the inactivity is harder for a lot of people to accept: "strong people" are supposed to keep moving, keep going, keep looking toward the future, keep being optimistic. And many of us internalize these notions ourselves, and beat ourselves up over our passive behaviour. That's one reason we hate hearing "just get up and do something about your situation" talk. We get it from the plenty of other people, we hear it in the media, and a lot of us frequently beat ourselves over the head with it all the time. Chances are you aren't saying anything we haven't heard or repeatedly said to ourselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by shortnsweet View Post
    It's difficult to try to stick up for deep psychological mindsets and personality traits that just- *are.* You do so quite well here. So what did it/would it take to bring you into a more "productive" state?
    I wish I knew, or I'd be making that happen. I can say that for me, it has a lot to do with perception of control. If I feel like I can clearly do something about a situation, I'll eventually do it. The times I stay stuck are the times I feel as if I don't have what it takes to work my way out, or I don't have any hope of a way out, or I'm completely confused about which action to take. Sometimes it helps for awhile to break it down into small pieces and try to take on a little at a time. And to remind myself that it's okay not to fix it all at once, that I can't expect it to turn around overnight. I have a hard time maintaining this attitude though.

    Anyways, I'm glad my post made sense to you.

  4. #64
    Member Array Cheshire Grin's Avatar
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    I really like the insightful posts by Halla & OrangeAppled.

    It might go something like this:

    1. I'm working this 9 - 5 job that I hate and I can't identify with / like anybody that is around me. Even my friends don't understand.
    2. Meh, but even if I change jobs it'll probably be crap as well because I haven't any solid proof that things might possibly get better. Besides, I've tried in the past and it never worked out anyway.
    3. So if I don't have proof that things will get better and I put in effort this time round, it would just be wasted energy.
    4. So why bother.
    5. I'll just make do with how things are now and even though I'm miserable I'll be even more miserable if I try and fail.

    So this cycle of thought results in a defeatist attitude which in turn is derived from a mental system that has been built due to past failures. As children we learn what's right and what's wrong through this:

    If I help out around the house mummy will be pleased. (reward = approval)
    If I am good during dinner tonight I will get dessert. (reward = ice cream)

    But what happens when, as an adult, putting in effort and trying hard does not result in a reward? What happens when we are met with constant obstacles and frustrations whenever we try to "be good" ? It results in negative reinforcement. Then sometimes people give up because they just can't see what good could come out of taking action.

    So maybe they turn inwards (into their own heads). For them, their reality is different from what is actually real but they've already taught themselves to think a certain way. And in the end, it just turns into the acceptance of a perceived futile/unhappy existence. It gets up to the point where people become comfortable with their way of thinking and it's very hard for them to break free.
    The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me. --A. Rand

  5. #65
    Plumage and Moult Array proteanmix's Avatar
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    There are some really great posts with excellent explanations for possible motivations and how they play out.

    Sometimes people really have no choice in the situations they're in, or they have choices between several horrible things...the proverbial rock and a hard place. From my own personal experience, I have seen people stay in bad marriages because they're not financially solvent without their partner to make it alone, stay at thankless, unsatisfying, dead-end and low-paying jobs because they lack the education and experience to move elsewhere (which ties into the money factor because school costs money), stay in bad neighborhoods because they don't know a life outside of their zip code. Their self-esteem and confidence has been beat down so they don't even think they have the ability to do anything else or change anything in their situation.

    Sometimes it's not about not being able to conceptualize and believe things could be better. I think many people are stagnant because they know and see their situation could improve but they lack the access, tools and knowledge of how to do it. It's like they know it's out there and they want it, but it's an ocean separating them from it and the thought of crossing that gulf is daunting and feels insurmountable. Sometimes it is...sometimes people do "die" along the way trying to attain something. Sometimes people traveling the path see the bones of those that have fallen before them or get so tired of fighting themselves they just turn back around. Some make it and some don't. That's just the fact of the matter.

    For me, it's a basic life tenet that I be one of those that makes it, or dies along the way trying. Let my bones serve as a warning to turn back or a motivation to go forward (or vice versa). Life isn't easy and no one should be so tragically misinformed to think it is. There is a lot of figuring out if what I'm trying to attain is worth whatever the consequences of my efforts are. I think some stagnation also arises because people think (myself included), "Is it supposed to be this hard?" I believe that if you think the road of ahead you is something to be tossed in a microwave and fully cooked in five minutes, then you are bound to suffer disappointment, disillusionment, dissatisfaction and it's very easy for those feelings to competitively spiral downward into a muddy and dark pit. I'd much rather believe life is an obstacle course so that I'm training and ready to duck and dodge, than believe it's a cakewalk and encounter my first difficulty and crumble.

    The belief that life is a breeze can work out well too. It's like that Staples, "That was easy," button. If you look at life's difficulties as things that are not insurmountable then you're more willing to climb over, dig around, under or through whatever problem is in front of you. If you believe, this is just a detour, this is not the end of the road then you may be able to give yourself the patience and forgiveness to begin to chip away at whatever the issue is.

    I often use the scared straight method and fear to motivate myself: fear of losing my quality of life, fear of losing agency/control over my life, fear of being a victim of fate and circumstance, fear of being oppressed, fear of being taken advantage of.

    Fears like the ones I listed above scare me more than fear of failure and jolt me out of inertia. I can always take solace in knowing I tried and I have taken solace in knowing I put up a fight, even if I didn't succeed. This isn't something that happens overnight. In one particular area of my life, it has taken me four years to finally be proactive, instead of hiding and hoping things would just would work themselves out.

    When I do beneficial and healthy things for me, it makes me feel good and I want to do them again. They activate my pleasure centers. Bad things I do to myself also activate my pleasure centers, because oftentimes being bad feels good. What I try to do is play mind games with myself and associate bone-crushing negatives with the bad things that in the long run hurt me. I put a cause and effect into play...if I do this, then this will happen. Do I want that to happen? No. And if that happens this other thing will happen. So on and so forth.

    I understand that the disconnect is between the will and the action, the trying and the doing. How do you get yourself over the hump?

    A large part of me having the confidence to move forward in something is to educate and inform myself about whatever it is that's intimidating me so that it stops being this huge scary monster in my life. I look at it as turning on all the lights in a room so that everything is illuminated. The biggest thing I did is look for ways to educate and gain some control and agency and not feel like a leaf in the wind. Bite things off in small manageable chunks, don't set expectations for change too high in the initial stages. Spread it out over months if you can. Realize you will have false starts and learn how not to crucify yourself after a few false starts. If it helps, find someone else you have to answer and be accountable to.

    When I first started seriously job-hunting nearly a year ago, I entered into a friendly competition with a friend of mine that we had to apply to four jobs per month. We had to forward the emails to each other as proof that we sent it. There was no penalty for not doing it, but I felt good for reaching my monthly goal, which made me want to improve my resume, which made me want to take my resume to networking events and job fairs, contact recruiters, and even send out cold resumes if I didn't see anything that I liked for that month but still wanted to reach my goal. Even though I haven't gotten a new job yet, I've had a couple of interviews and have gotten some excellent feedback on my resume. This makes me feel validated that I did do something that is indeed paying off.

    I hate to say platitudes, but the feeling that you're accomplishing something snowballs and motivates you even further...even so much that you feel like you can take a few hits and not be floored.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
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  6. #66
    A GOD Array Mace's Avatar
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    I think we never base our fortunes on God - or whichever Omnipotent Being, any more. Instead, we choose to search for recompense in whatever skill, means for resourcefulness, or experiences to help alleviate us in whatever circumstance we're brought to that causes us any kind of worry. And I don't know - we all worry about different things. Therefore, I'd presume we'd rather keep hang of those kind of circumstances than to change them lest it may offer newer kinds of worries.

  7. #67
    . Array Urarienev's Avatar
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    Some people just like to complain. A lot.

    I think having a lack of self awareness, and/or having the inability to accurately define what's your responsibility and what is not, also contributes to the problem. Because people become depressed when life starts to suck too much. Knowing the difference of what's yours to do, and what's not, can make life issues more manageable.
    I'm that person that embodies pretty much everything that you hate.

    Unapologetically bonding in an uninhibited, propelled manner

    "Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." ~ Eric


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  8. #68
    darkened dreams Array labyrinthine's Avatar
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    I've personally changed unhappy situations, and it is also incredibly painful. I can understand how a person would choose not to change, or more accurately, I don't presume to fully comprehend their situation, so I withhold an element of judgment. I don't know the cost or benefit to that person for making a change. There is always a cost. There is always loss.

    First they likely assume the alternatives are not better and in some case they aren't.

    It also take a lot of energy to change and some people might actually lack the strength to do it. Painful situations wear down energy, so you have to gather up a habit of internal adrenaline to change the situation. It's possible some people's physiology can't muster the momentum.

    Each situation is intensely complex, and as an observer, I only see a lower resolution of their reality. I don't know what the current situation is actually like or what it will cost the person to make a change. What will they lose? Possibly more than I can imagine.

    The majority of human being's assumptions and decisions are subconscious. One cannot fix everything on a conscious level. People choose hurtful circumstances because of unresolved issues from their development. Assumptions about reality are created in childhood, so the person must first be able to imagine a better situation before they can choose a better situation.

    Humanist psychologist Carl Rogers asserts that each individual is the master of their own life. Psychologists will also tell you that each individual has their own time-table for growth, and you cannot force or rush the process. It takes years to make significant changes because the person has to work out their internal and external issues in the process. If you pressure a change without addressing the internal issues, there is a high likelihood the individual will end up in the same situation again, but with different specifics, plus they will be more exhausted than before. People have to change when they have the inner stability to make sense of their reality, so their new choices are indeed new choices and actually a lasting, healthy change.
    The first man to raise a fist is the man who's run out of ideas. H.G. WELLS
    The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. FEYNMAN

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  9. #69
    So tired... Array Amargith's Avatar
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    Some people don't believe they can change it because nobody ever believed in them. On the contrary, they've often been badgered by the people who say they love them in their lives about the fact that they're useless, can never do anything right and should never trust their own judgement. Aka, bullies. And abusers - iow, all those that would disregard your 'no' and teach you that you're at their mercy and helpless to do anything about your situation - ever.

    So they choose what they believe to be the only choice left to them: live with the misery. It's the lesser of two evils because it is the known evil.

    And, as @fia has stated: it is incredibly painful, and requires actual ability to stay motivated and go the distance in the face of despair, misery and acute pain to make those changes. Someone who doesn't believe they can do anything right would never have the mental resources to actually make that journey.

    They need love, acceptance, compassion and someone who will believe in them - something they were denied their whole life. And then they need to discover self-love and care. And then maybe, they can actually go through the change.

    People who don't get this and judge them for it, often take for granted what they weren't deprived of in their lives and the fact that they actually have some self-esteem that got build up during childhood (or, they have a personality that just doesn't need to to believe in themselves. Inadvertently though, they're suffering in some other way and usually are incapable of trusting anyone else judgement other than their own, causing severe trust and social issues).

    Maybe their childhood was far from perfect, but somehow it didn't make them doubt their own abilities to actually affect your environment(which coincidentally is also part of the definition of chronic stress).

    The clinical term for this is Learned Self Helplessness. It leads to chronic stress, depression, addiction, apathy and a myriad of other conditions.

    The treatment includes being incredibly aware of the patient's signals and respect their boundaries at any given point, however ridiculous to you, and however small the signal or intrusion would be, so they can learn that, yes, they have a say in their situation and over their environment - as well as encouragement to try things out without being punished or yelled at for not being good enough, to learn that their abilities are just peachy.

    And it takes a lot of time, courage, psychological pain and old habits to overcome
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  10. #70
    breaking out of my cocoon Array SearchingforPeace's Avatar
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    I am this thread, somewhat. I was in a very bad relationship. I was locked into it due to a number of factors, including co-dependency, learned helplessness, depression, etc.

    I am still in a poor relationship. It is absolutely better. I would be much happier alone and a lot less lonely.

    I stay, for now, because there is improvement. Maybe I am just throwing good money after bad, but I don't feel I am. Given family obligations that will exist either way, it seems a better course to stay and grow through struggle than to just give up.

    I would be long gone without kids. I should have left pre kids. But I was blind and the pain from this relationship helped me to see. It just took a long time to actually see.

    Hopefully things improve enough to have an average relationship or even a good one. It could be a great one again, but there is limited hope for that......
    Quote Originally Posted by Archilochus
    The fox knows many things--the hedgehog one big one.
    And I am not a hedgehog......


    Jesus said "Blessed are the peacemakers" not "blessed are the conflict avoiders.....

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