During a three-hour conversation not too long ago, a friend and I briefly discussed what it means to truly be an adult. He remarked, for him, there was nothing definitive about adulthood and it was more of a gradual process. For me, it was hitting a milestone birthday and realizing the world didn't see me as a kid anymore and any mistakes I would make could no longer be blamed on youth or naivete.
One of the more difficult realizations as an adult for me was learning a great majority of the population hates change. Even when you think whatever really bad situation they are in now couldn't be any worse than death, hell, or what have you, most people refuse to take action and instead stay in the same horrible circumstance day in and day out.
I could never relate to this way of thinking or living life as I'm very much about learning, growing, and being the best person I can be. Granted, I may take some time to figure out a strategy or think things through to best conquer a situation, but that mental thinking through process is still action, awareness, and productivity. I want to live the best life I can, while I can, as I understand life is very short. So to sit back and do nothing, and waste each day away is one of the biggest insults of mankind to humanity.
I researched this, trying to understand why some people act and others don't. It took me a couple of books to find the most concise answer and reasoning behind why people refuse change. And here is the truth:
Most people prefer the certainty of misery than the misery of uncertainty.
No matter how bad life may be, most people become "comfortable" and learn how to cope with horrendous situations. Although they may be extremely unhappy, they reason at least they know how to get through it because they've done it before. It's easier for them to keep doing the same thing over and over again even though they may hate that same vicious cycle. When they are already down, it's much harder to try something new, plan for change, and to find the emotional and mental energy to find a better answer, way of life, or new coping mechanisms.
This insight, however unreasonable or ill-fated, truly opened my eyes to why a lot of otherwise smart, capable, and mature adults made really bad decisions and continued to stay in them.
The good news with this piece of insight is you'll no longer have to drive yourself crazy wondering why people stay in the same dead-end cycle. And, when that person is ready to embrace change and take the next step you'll be able to see their change of heart and be there to support them every step of the way when they are good and ready!