Home Blogging People Who Refuse to Change What Makes them Miserable Makes me NUTS

People Who Refuse to Change What Makes them Miserable Makes me NUTS

by My Journey to Millions


In the beginning of the year, I let everyone know what The Wife does that pisses me off (hint: they are four little words), well, there is something else that others do that angers me even more.  It is clearly my problem, but it makes my head spin, even if I just meet the person.  I go crazy when I meet, talk, know someone that is miserable with some large aspect of their lives and do literally nothing. I don’t mean that they hate the color of their kitchen, I am talking about their job, their whole house, their love life, etc.

If I were to look a little inside myself (or if the 2 buddies who know my domain can answer) I think the reason that this topic makes me crazed is not compassion or general caring of my fellow man.  Rather I think it has more to do with me, not getting ‘it.’  I get particularly annoying with questions when I don’t understand something.  I think that is why a lot of posts on this blog are either posed as a question or provide information I had to look up.

Back on topic – Life is way too short to be miserable!

Where is this Rant Coming from?

Remember when I told you about my buddy who inadvertently reminded me about wanting needing multiple streams of income?

I got to the guy’s house at around 8pm…he walked in with me.  I asked if he normally got home around this time, his response was yes.  As we walked in he was with his daughter and wife for about 20 minutes before it was time to put his daughter to sleep.  I have known this particular individual for years and consider him a buddy, so I know this is not an ideal situation for him.

This was a couple weeks ago.  When I saw him again, I asked if he sent out any resumes to try an change his situation? Not a one.  I mean Come On! You are miserable, your home life is miserable and you couldn’t take one step to making life more bearable.  Maybe I am too close to his particular situation, but every day I run into people who hate an aspect of their life…why not make a proactive change?

Am I happy with every moving part in my life? Nope.  But, I am trying to fix those aspects.  It is the doing nothing that I can’t even wrap my head around.  The only thing I can come up with is that trying to fix that particular aspect of their life is too big and they don’t know where to start.

Does this hit too close to home? Do you know people that fall in this category?

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Mrs. Accountability 06/03/2010 - 4:47 am

Usually when we find something which grates against us so strongly it’s because we have the same tendency but we hate that part of ourselves. I know I personally have a hard time with change so I tend to stay stuck in a rut; it’s hard to move when doing so paralyzes you with fear. I think it’s great for you to encourage your buddy to make a change. Maybe he’ll do something with your urging. I knew my place of employment was a soul sucker from the time I started there, but I’m still there, with no plans to leave anytime soon. Why? I don’t have a degree and I don’t know if I can find a job making ~$40K to work 32 hours a week. I want to work less, not more. Anyway, I can relate as I have my fair share of things that drive me nuts about other people. 🙂

Evan 06/03/2010 - 8:22 am

” Why? I don’t have a degree and I don’t know if I can find a job making ~$40K to work 32 hours a week. I want to work less, not more.”

I don’t know if you can find a job either, but why not TRY? Put together a resume and submit it to a few job boards? The only possible downside risk is someone at your company is on the same site (which would be rare).

Mike 06/03/2010 - 7:40 am

It’s not just your problem, because it drives me nuts too. For me, if you are complaining about something that is easy to change/fix then shut the hell up. Your buddy doesn’t really fall into that category, but he could still be taking action.

The small stuff is even more annoying to me ie if someone is watching tv and complains about the show, why can’t they change the channel or just turn it off?

Some people don’t learn from experience either – if you keep getting speeding tickets and complain about it then I don’t have much sympathy.

Evan 06/03/2010 - 8:24 am

Thank you for empathizing! My buddy’s situaion is NOT an easy one to fix, but it is an easy one to start and try to fix.

Kevin M 06/03/2010 - 8:41 am

I understand what you’re saying, Evan. Inertia is a hard thing to overcome for some people. Perhaps your friend is scared to rock the boat by starting to look because he’s afraid his employer will find out and he could lose that job. Maybe a little far-fetched but it is possible. Maybe he really doesn’t know what he wants out of his professional career so he’s sorta stuck. That’s how I feel sometimes.

Evan 06/03/2010 - 9:05 am

That fear about the employer finding out can be debilitating I get it, but if he doesn’t know what he wants ou of his professional career when is he going to know? That sort of career puragatory could make a man go ape shit.

I see that A LOT with attorneys. They literally hate their chosen career, but do nothing to change it.

From the comments you leave here, it seems like you have head screwed on straight (even agreeing with me on political issues lol) – so just break it down if money wasn’t an issue what would you do? Do I finally hear a guest post from you.

Kevin M 06/03/2010 - 10:28 am

If you want a rambling post with more questions than answers, I may be your man! I’ll start working on something and send it over to you for feedback. The problem of course, is that money is an issue.

Evan 06/03/2010 - 1:01 pm

“If you want a rambling post with more questions than answers”
I think it would fit in perfectly lol

james 06/03/2010 - 11:42 am

some people are doers and some are not. i have seen this happen time and time again in the work place. people wanting more money or responsibility but then don’t even show up on time every day.

it can be hard to take people serious when you know they don’t even take themselves serious.

MJTM Buddy 06/03/2010 - 12:09 pm

As being one of the buddies that knows your domain, I can 100% attest towards your strong feelings on the issue. This is such an interesting topic because there are so many reasons why people don’t change. Personally, I feel that this is because of one of three reasons: People’s self worth, their definition of success and motivation (not necessarily in that order).

Self worth – Does a person feel limited in their abilities to succeed? As the previous post said that they are earning $40K because they don’t have a college degree. Just a few things to think about…did Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Richard Branson or Rachael Ray let college degrees hold them back from succeeding? Sure they all had passion towards unique ideas that made them who they are, but maybe there’s a hidden passion lying deep within that is waiting to explode out, and can be worked on after we leave our 9-5 job. Also, no matter where you work (ps – I am not directing this at the particular post, but everyone including myself), there is always some form of competition that allows us to move up the ladder, corporate or not. Whether you are a salesperson at a Crumbs bakery (by the way, the BEST cupcakes everrrr), or an analyst at Goldman Sachs, management is always looking for something that sets one person apart from the rest to promote. Is there something that you can do better than the rest? Is there a professional certificate that you can obtain (even at night, on the internet) that makes you an expert over your peers? Lastly, if you still feel that your lack of education is still holding you back, why not go back to school? We all know how expensive the cost of education is (how bout a post on that soon, by the way???), but Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you don’t need to get your education overnight either! There are plenty of accredited universities that offer ALL online courses (and also offer life experience towards college credit). On top of that, sometimes employers will reimburse for tuition, and financial aid could be used.

Next, people’s definition of success. Everyone has their own definition of success in both their personal or professional lives. We have a monetary figure in our head of what we aspire to earn, and how many hours we want to do it in. There is no difference between a person who makes $25K a year and $250K, as long as they’re doing everything they want in life and living within their means.

The problem comes in where a person is unable to live within their means or is not doing everything they want. This is where motivation comes in. I believe motivation is innate and cannot be taught. You can tell someone to change, and the person can admit they want to change, but if they lack motivation (or self-worth), nothing will happen. As someone else pointed out, we all get stuck in “ruts.” The difference is that someone who is motivated will call it a “rut” while someone who is not will call it “life.”

MJTM Buddy 06/03/2010 - 12:10 pm

PS – Sorry for the long post…

Evan 06/03/2010 - 12:57 pm

Wow my first real life friend comment! and Jesus is it long.

“Next, people’s definition of success. Everyone has their own definition of success in both their personal or professional lives”
100% in most cases but we are talking about being miserable which I would assume means unsuccessful for anyone?

“I believe motivation is innate and cannot be taught. You can tell someone to change, and the person can admit they want to change, but if they lack motivation (or self-worth), nothing will happen. As someone else pointed out, we all get stuck in “ruts.” The difference is that someone who is motivated will call it a “rut” while someone who is not will call it “life.””

I agree and disagree, I think one can inspire motivation, and that may be different than teaching.

Kristine 06/03/2010 - 1:20 pm

The thing about not wanting to change is hard. Some people may have the idea in their head that working till 8 and missing out on your child’s life is the way it “has” to be done. There’s a values conflict. To your friend, the idea of earning money may mean that you “have” to sacrifice your family. I think it may help to resolve that conflict to actually make the change in the situation. Too often, what we want in life is hindered by what we put our focus on. If he could change the degree of what he focuses on, (earning a great living can mean spending loads of time with his family), he may stumble upon a solution.

Craig 06/03/2010 - 3:34 pm

I think I’ve been on both sides of this. Sometimes you don’t like your job but you’ve built up to a point where at least you make decent money and you get used to the routine; you know what to expect, so you don’t change it. Add to that a lack of confidence and you are immobilized.

On the other hand, living like that is reigning yourself to almost killing a part of your life. Some of us don’t realize the massive worth we really have and what we can offer. Sometimes it takes an outside influence or person to get us moving on to better things (for me that’s my wife).

It’s ok to be frustrated with your friend but try to be supportive. Maybe he needs a little more “holding his hand” to move on?

Oh, and I can attest that Crumb makes great cupcakes!

Evan 06/04/2010 - 8:19 am

“(for me that’s my wife).”

Within my first month of blog I told the world I agreed with you:


Lets do up crumbs one day there is one right be me! But you can’t tell anyone that I meeting some guy off the internet for cupcakes lol I don’t think I could survive the verbal bashing

Craig 06/04/2010 - 8:33 am

It’s a date! I mean, umm, we can pick up some for the Mrs’ after we go wrestle some alligators or something.

Darren 06/03/2010 - 3:56 pm

I think complaining can become a habit. You may know you’re complaining and not doing anything to change your situation, but after doing it for years, it’s hard to break.

Hate to say it, but maybe your friend needs to hit rock bottom first. Then the pain of not changing will exceed the pain of making changes. Pain can be a motivator that way.

Evan 06/03/2010 - 10:14 pm

Maybe I made his situation seem beyond grim, it isn’t. He has a great Wife and a beautiful daughter, it is just his work situation that is HORRIBLE (and it is affecting the time he gets to see those two women).

MyFinancialObjectives 06/03/2010 - 9:27 pm

Yes you have definitely struck a nerve! I decided a while ago that I was not going to be content with simply going to work, and coming home and going to work and coming home. That’s when I started grad school, extra IT certification training, and then later my blog. If I am not satisfied, or if there is a specific goal I am trying to attain, I will actually WORK for it…. how else do you expect to attain it??? Really!?

Financial Samurai 06/03/2010 - 10:54 pm

E-dog, have you ever thought that your friend actually doesn’t want to change since he’s not that miserable?

I always take the rational side of things. If he was truly miserable he’d change. Since he’s not that miserable and can tolerate his life, he’s unwilling to change! MAkes sense no?

Evan 06/03/2010 - 11:57 pm

The only reason I thought he was miserable because he told me.

“If he was truly miserable he’d change.”

SEE! That’s what I don’t get it! I think you and I are in the same place lol

Financial Samurai 06/04/2010 - 12:04 am

He’s lying to you man!

It’s like.. if someone said you were going to DIE if you don’t stop eating meat for 6 months, wouldn’t you stop?

Of course you would! He’s yanking your chain. Secretly, he identifies himself with work and wants his own time away from family!

Evan 06/04/2010 - 8:20 am

YES! I love that you can’t wrap you head around it either.

“if someone said you were going to DIE if you don’t stop eating meat for 6 months, wouldn’t you stop?”

What about all those people who are told quit smoking or you will die? What about all those people on the biggest loser who they told just stop eating crap or you will die?

I can’t (and apparently niether can you) understand those that refuse to react to negative stimuli

Financial Samurai 06/03/2010 - 10:55 pm

Tried to tweet this, and it has the entire link (not a bit.ly or shortener), so it doesn’t fit fyi. Anyway to fix it?

Flexo 06/04/2010 - 12:54 am

Some people just like being miserable. That may be the case here, or maybe your friend just wants to vent rather than find a solution. Change can only happen when that person truly wants to change. You shouldn’t let other people’s decisions (or non-decisions) bother you so much. Everyone is free to live his or her own life as he or she sees fit.

Evan 06/04/2010 - 8:28 am

You are right, 100% correct,

“Change can only happen when that person truly wants to change.”
“You shouldn’t let other people’s decisions (or non-decisions) bother you so much.”
“Everyone is free to live his or her own life as he or she sees fit.”

but…I am a huge pain in the ass! I don’t see this buddy all that often so it won’t make me go bat shit.

Financial Samurai 06/04/2010 - 9:03 am

Don’t try to change Evan-san, just try to understand.


Don 06/04/2010 - 3:33 pm

Hmmm, I know where you are coming from. When I try to help such friends they get argry with me, so I’ve learned to watch and reply only if asked. Hopefully, your friend figures it out by himself and takes the appropriate actions to change.

RainyDaySaver 06/04/2010 - 6:54 pm

I try to use the reasoning that we don’t always know all of the story. So while it appears to us that someone isn’t making any attempt to improve the part of their lives that is making them unhappy, perhaps there is an important-yet-unknown reason why they’re stuck in their rut.

In the end, they have to make their own decision to change (or to sit back and do nothing), no matter how maddening it is to us. It’s not worth getting worked up over, although I’ll admit I can get pretty agitated sometimes!

Valentina 06/06/2010 - 4:44 pm

It drives me up the proverbial wall … and that goes for anyone who chronically complains about their life. The complaint is the same year after year after year.

Frankly, I think these people just like to complain and are happy in their misery – I mean what would they complain about if they actually did something about their circumstances?

Makes me think about the story of this man walking down a street. It’s a hot day. The sun is beating down and the streets are deserted safe for an old man sitting on his porch, rocking in his chair and a dog lying beside him.

The man walking down the street hears the dog howl every so often. He is curious and walks up to the old man in the rocker and asks

“pardon me, but why is your dog howling so?”

The old man in the rocker answers

“He`s lying on a nail”

“Gosh” the man walking down the street says, “why doesn`t he get off of it?”

The old man in the rocker answers

“Guess it don`t hurt him enough”

Dan Gazarek 06/07/2010 - 11:07 am

I would generally agree, as this sort of behavior tends to bother me as well. However, this topic always reminds me of an (excellent, albeit long) article I read when I took psychology as an elective during my finance degree –> https://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/94/open_change-or-die.html

“…90% of heart patients don’t change their lifestyles.”

Mike 06/09/2010 - 10:48 am

Dude, I love this post. I’m exactly like you…it drives me crazy when I see someone complaining about something but refusing to do anything about it.

One of my best friends is absolutely miserable in his job. It sucks. Long hours, thankless work, always have a bullseye on your back…its the kind of job where you can do 3000 things in one day with no issue but god forbid you forget to dot an i on one of them, BAM! you’re getting called onto the carpet.

He’s got a crap job where he can’t win no matter what he does. I know because I used to work with him. It sucked, so I said screw this and found something else. But its been years and the job has only gotten worse and he’s still there. I meet him for lunch and all he does is complain about how miserable it is and I’m like “Then do something about it!”

Find another job. Find a way to make the current job better. Start making money on the side somehow so you won’t need to rely on the crap job so much. Just do SOMETHING.

I think part of it is sticking with “The devil I know” but geez…I don’t get it either.

SB 08/18/2012 - 5:23 pm

Yeah this hits home, I know a guy who just refuses to leave work before 9PM. He doesn’t do household chores not even look after his 1 year old daughter. Anytime you talk to him he will count the number of problems he’s solving or why he has to stay that late every day, he’s under pressure, blah blah.

No doubt, he doesn’t have many friends at work.


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