General Question

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Why are so many people unable to solve their own problems?

Asked by Captain_Fantasy (11431points) April 19th, 2010 from iPhone

Is it a self confidence thing?
Maybe it’s how our parents raised us.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

38 Answers

ninjacolin's avatar

ignorance.
people can only do what they’ve learned is right to do.
and often what they’ve learned is right is actually wrong.
fortunately, i never have this issue

wonderingwhy's avatar

It can also be a lot easier to objectively reason out a solution when you’re not directly affected by the problem and all the baggage that comes with it.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Laziness and big whiny baby-ness—yes,I am a poet. ;)

jfos's avatar

History shows us that humans are social creatures, and naturally flock together in order to live in a society. Perhaps it is human nature to lack individualistic motivation.

gemiwing's avatar

If I were to walk up to you while you were on your way to work, and I asked you to build me a bookcase on the spot you wouldn’t be able to. You need the right tools.

Same thing. Most people weren’t given the right tools to repair themselves, so they have to go find them.

Cruiser's avatar

It’s a by product of the disposable society we know live in. It is cheaper and easier to simply throw it away or abandon their responsibilities and let the Government clean up their mess.

erichw1504's avatar

Because they’re lazy.

ninjacolin's avatar

i’m gonna go out on a limb and say.. it’s not because people are lazy.

partyparty's avatar

Perhaps because a problem shared is a problem halved?

jfos's avatar

@partyparty Or is it doubled?

CMaz's avatar

People are most comfortable kidding themselves.

cazzie's avatar

People often can’t see the woods for the trees. Sometimes, you need someone from the outside to show you something that seems obvious to them, but you can’t see it yourself. Also… it often means making changes and change can be scary. It’s not that people are lazy, but they are frightened. There are the odd cases of ‘wallow-drama’ (my term). Some people are addicted to having dramas or complaining constantly and feeling sorry for themselves. It does take a trained person sometimes to help people change their mindset or to guide them through decisions that will change their lives in real ways. AND, asking for help and really wanting help are two different things.

(do I SOUND like the adult child of alcoholics?)

The_Idler's avatar

A symptom of the tendency towards anti-authoritarianism in schools and childrearing since the second world war. Apparently we even have special people at school now for kids to go cry pathetically to about their problems, and then they sort it all out for them and everything is OK.

So on the one hand the anti-authoritarian movement has produced pathetic, dependant saps with no confidence, and on the other it has produced short-sighted, often-violent, disrespectful idiots.

Both are useless to me, and both are so, because at school they got “helped” if they cried about getting bits of paper thrown at them, or they got “helped” if they spent their whole time throwing bits of paper at other kids.

Paternalism might be bitter, but at least it works.

Maternalism might be sweet, but what use is a Mummy’s Boy, when he’s all grown up?

thriftymaid's avatar

A lot of the problems discussed here aren’t even real problems; they are just things we deal with in life. I have to say that these sites draw the whiners and the forum members are extremely indulgent.

Fyrius's avatar

I think it’s usually for the same reasons that caused the problems in the first place.

Which can be any of a variety of things. Laziness is not a bad example; if you get in trouble with unfinished work brought on by laziness, then that same laziness (manifesting itself as lack of motivation and being too quickly distracted) is going to get in your way when you try to do something about it.

Which is a complicated way of saying there’s often one cause (or one combination of causes) that gives you more and more of a problem over time, and sustains it so it’s harder to solve.

I’ve been having procrastination problems myself lately. It’s come to a point where I’m now working on a consciously planned gradual bad habit unlearning program in order to deal with it. That’s how much active effort it can take to get a fighting chance against bad habits.
Not to mention it takes being honest to yourself, understanding what causes the problem and being able to think of any way out. It’s easy to understand how anyone could get stuck at any of those hurdles.

partyparty's avatar

@jfos Suppose it depends on each persons perspective GA :-)

Vunessuh's avatar

Many people are incapable of taking responsibility for their own actions.

loser's avatar

Mental illness should be a consideration as well.

cazzie's avatar

Well, being incapable of taking responsibility for your actions is one of the definitions of being mentally ill…. but there are LOADS of people who have problems, big or small, that need someone to come along and bounce things off of, or help them see their thoughts a bit straighter… or to come to some concrete conclusions and make some changes. It’s not something to point fingers at… or criticize. Everyone should remember…. we all live in glass houses.

bharathbothra's avatar

Na actually we able to solve other person prob, but when its comes to us we get lost some were….!!!!

Fyrius's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille
@Cruiser
@erichw1504
@The_Idler
^ People who have never been faced with any problem too difficult to handle alone, or just believe they haven’t.

What’s with all the disrespect?
Remember you’re talking about everyone who ever needs help here. Do you really have to be such a lazy, irresponsible, pathetic tosser to have problems you can’t solve yourself? If your life has really been so easy that you can seriously believe that, count yourself very lucky indeed.
But other people sometimes need advice and support in order to handle what life throws at them. And in such a case there’s nothing objectionable about asking for help from people willing to give it.

There are also plenty of situations where a stubborn resolve to handle everything by yourself only makes the problem worse.

Not to even mention you would be denying that there’s any need in this world for doctors, psychologists, lawyers, and for that matter plumbers, electricians, any other kind of expert problem solver, and society at large.

Vunessuh's avatar

@Fyrius I think people are essentially offering just one reason why someone may be unable to solve their own problems. They’re not saying that it is the one and only ultimate reason. It doesn’t mean their life is easy or problem free or that they have everything figured out when shit hits the fan or that they disrespect people who need help overcoming their issues. So relax and reserve your judgement on those simply answering the question how they see fit.

ninjacolin's avatar

Maybe @Vunessuh, but they’re still wrong.

Jeruba's avatar

We’ve created a physical, economic, social, and psychological environment for ourselves in which it is possible to have problems much more complicated than we can grapple with using ordinary tools. We have also (or perhaps as part of the same thing) cultivated a cult of the expert, in which ordinary people feel helpless without the advice of someone specially trained in the particular area of skill.

Example 1: Computers have extended our capabilities beyond our wildest dreams, but they have also given us unprecedented ways to get into trouble, from forming imaginary relationships at a distance to identity theft.

Example 2: Television, an astonishing source of information and entertainment, skews our sense of reality and supplies us with an endless stream of uninformed opinions and compulsions to buy things.

Example 3: Multiculturalism, a great blessing in its ability to expand our social experience and broaden our world view, also takes us out of groups in which we occupy defined roles and follow existing social norms, casting doubts on our behavioral expectations and our understanding of the rules that others are following.

Example 4: Relatively few of us, compared with our grandparents’ time, have jobs that involve working with something real—something concrete, physical, comprehensible, and manageable. We have not yet sorted out all the implications of this for our bodies and minds.

Solutions to problems involve effort, insight, sometimes genius, and sometimes tools that have yet to be invented. The arrival of problems does not wait until the solutions exist.

Vunessuh's avatar

@ninjacolin Nope, they’re not. There are several different ways one can interpret this question because when it comes to dealing or not dealing with our issues, there are many different reasons for why people simply can’t or don’t.
Yes, it’s absolutely true that some people can’t because their issues are so overwhelming that they need help in overcoming them. Luckily for these people, they recognize this and reach out to others.
Then, there are other people who don’t solve their own problems because they truly are lazy or simply can’t see that it’s their issue to begin with. It could be because they are incapable of recognizing this or because they feel it would be easier to blame it on something or someone else.
@Fyrius response to the one’s offering laziness as a reason was snarky and itself judgmental to those members. In no way, shape or form does it mean they’ve handled all of their issues on their own or that they disrespect anyone who can’t. It was just the way they interpreted the question and they could have also answered it based off of personal experience from themselves or someone they know.

Fyrius's avatar

@Vunessuh
Point taken.

But I’m hardly the main culprit of unwarranted judgement in this thread. The posters I named clearly did show disrespect of people who need help overcoming their issues, at least the variety they tried to explain.

@Cruiser
“It is cheaper and easier to simply throw it away or abandon their responsibilities and let the Government clean up their mess.”
@The_Idler
“to go cry pathetically to about their problems”
“pathetic, dependant saps with no confidence”
“short-sighted, often-violent, disrespectful idiots”
“Mummy’s Boy”

Fyrius's avatar

Also consider this: this is a question with a different answer for every class of problems.
To present only one stupid cause for problems people could solve if they weren’t such wankers, as if it’s “the reason [singular; sic] why so many people are unable to solve their own problems”, is to disregard all the people with genuine problems that they can’t solve despite their honest efforts.

Well. This is taking us to semantics territory. Let’s not go there unless we have to.

Cruiser's avatar

@Fyrius Maybe we are both guilty of painting with too broad a brush…There is nothing at all disrespectful in my answer, I was simply calling a spade a spade. I have been around the block enough times to see people will take the easy way out until easy is no longer an option. This could be because of upbringing, circumstances both within their means and outside their control or outside assistance, government private or otherwise. I create and solve my own problems and know a lot of people who operate the same way. It’s been a long uphill climb in my life but I got to where I am because of me and the people who showed my how to accomplish goals in life.

If there is one thing I learned in my life so far is if you solve another persons problems they will only learn to expect that people will bail them out when times are tough. If you allow someone the means to solve their own problems they then will learn self respect and a sense of accomplishment which will allow them to posses the confidence to do it again and again according to their own devices. It’s is this very candy ass mentality you speak of that has turned our country into a bunch of soft lazy whiny babies.

Fyrius's avatar

@Cruiser
Fair enough.

Also, GA.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Fyrius-There are people out there that can’t handle their own problems,and they should seek help after making an effort to do it themselves.I have seen more often than not a certain laziness and willingness to let someone else take care of it.
As for thinking I have had an easy go of it?lol,not even close ;)

Vunessuh's avatar

@Fyrius I don’t think anyone meant it in a disrespectful way. I don’t think they meant to say that everyone unable to solve their own problems is lazy. I’ve seen more people jump down someone’s throat on this website for leaving out the ‘some people’ part than I can count. When someone answers a question, it’s not necessary to list every single damn reason they can think of. Most people just provide one or two as examples. Then, it’s always misunderstood by at least one person that that one reason must mean they think it’s the only reason. Perhaps if the question was worded differently, “Name a reason (or one reason) why someone is unable to solve their own problems?” it wouldn’t have appeared that way. We all have different perspectives and different ways of interpreting questions and answers. Not everyone thinks like you or has your same mindset. You also have to remember that a lot of people answer a question based off of personal experience.
With that said, I highly doubt it means they are disregarding anyone who can’t solve their own issues despite their honest efforts. It’s just not how they chose to answer the question, probably because it never crossed their minds (perspective and interpretation) as laziness never crossed yours.
And that is exactly what this website is all about. Sharing views and opinions and perspectives. :)

Fyrius's avatar

@Vunessuh
“I’ve seen more people jump down someone’s throat on this website for leaving out the ‘some people’ part than I can count.”
You’d think people would learn not to leave that out, then.

I think the reason why people still leave it out is often because they honestly forget what they say is only part of the answer, and not just The Answer.
I didn’t realise that nuance myself for a moment when I posted my own answer, even though (or perhaps because) it already allowed for much diversity. And I very much doubt I’m the only one who would make that mistake.

“We all have different perspectives and different ways of interpreting questions and answers. Not everyone thinks like you or has your same mindset.”
Indeed. That’s what I’m here for.

But all right, I suppose I misinterpreted. I take it back what I said.

Fyrius's avatar

Side note:

@Vunessuh
“probably because it never crossed their minds (perspective and interpretation) as laziness never crossed yours.”
Actually, it did.
I used laziness as an example of something that can create problems and make it very difficult to solve those problems once they’re there. A different, less judgemental perspective on laziness as a problem solving hurdle.

Paradoxically, lazy people need to work harder than industrious people to get the same task done, because they also have to fight those parts of their minds that would keep them from working.

Vunessuh's avatar

@Fyrius No worries. I felt it was just something that needed to be said.
It could easily be argued that you simply interpreted their answers in a different way and responded accordingly, but I guess it was the way in which you responded that sparked a response in me about understanding someone’s intentions and perspective in an answer.
For the record, if you were responding to someone who thought laziness was the only/main reason or someone asking for a reason why laziness isn’t the issue, your argument would be extremely valid. It’s not like I think you’re talking out of your ass or something. I totally understand where you’re coming from. I just don’t think the people you called out meant any wrong-doing by their answers.
According to your last response, indeed you did mention laziness. GA.
But @erichw1504 mentioned it as well in the most unbiased manner possible, so I don’t see how that translates to him having it easy and being able to handle all of his issues on his own. It was the judgment you bestowed upon the four users that I’m responding to, but please understand that I do see where you’re coming from. Really.

Fyrius's avatar

@Vunessuh
No, I think you were right to call me out. I did make a mistake in interpreting the posts I criticised to mean all people who ever need help are lazy, pathetic, irresponsible, and all that jazz. An understandable mistake, I think, but a mistake nonetheless.
Trust me that if I didn’t think your criticism was justified, I would have been a lot more stubborn about it. ;)

And by all means, do call me out on my mistakes. If anything I think I get away with making mistakes too often. I’d much rather have a bunch of observant critics around who jump me the moment I say something stupid. It would teach me not to say anything stupid.

It’s just my bad fortune that the sort of people who end up being my opponents are usually as thick as a tectonic plate but not as quick, and can generally be relied upon not to notice my mistakes and instead jump me for all sorts of other things that aren’t actually wrong.

(cough)
Okay, I think we’re done. Let’s get back on topic now.

lonelydragon's avatar

It might be a lack of self-efficacy, as you pointed out. But it’s also the result of a lack objectivity. When you are personally invested in a situation, you are prone to a form of mental tunnel vision. Since you can’t see the situation from other perspectives, you will struggle to come up with a solution.

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