Why do people create their own drama when life is good?

I was sitting at school 2 days ago and chatting with 2 people from my class. The girl was complaining about how people in her home country had to dodge bombs and kidnappings and she could not understand why people in North America worried so much when they ate 3 meals a day, lived in safe and comfortable homes and had easy access to health care.

I thought she had a point. Why do people get upset when life is good? Why do they react as if the minor details in their lives are life or death situations?


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Most Helpful Guy

  • It is human nature to dwell on the have-nots, instead of what we do have.

    I definitely get caught up in what I DON'T have, then I realize that when I take a deep breath and truly observe my life, the life essentials I definitely have.

    Damn consumerist capitalistic mentality gets us all from time to time. Make sure to exhale and be grateful for what you DO have!

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What Guys Said 5

  • Because knowing that other people have it worse won't just make you feel better. I have empathy for that girl but if she believes that, she hasn't understood human psychology. It doesn't even have to do with how rich or poor exactly you are. Even the people in her home country might take certain things for granted. For example they might take having a house in the first place for granted. There are hundreds of thousands of people in Africa and India who literally live on toxic waste deposal sites and try to make a living by collecting stuff like half-empty batteries etc. with their bare hands. Or an other example: her folks might take certain bodily senses like seeing and hearing for granted, although there are millions of people in the world who don't have the privilege to see or hear.
    However, contrary to what this girl believes, it has nothing to do with ungratefulness. It doesn't mean you're a shallow idiot just because you can't feel humble about literally everything in life.
    Human beings are primed to compare themselves with those who have it better, not with those who have it worse. Biologically, this is quite important. If we only rest on our past achievements, we will eventually be hit and rolled over by current events. Also, and perhaps more importantly, we all have certain ideas of happiness and fulfillment and they are all of value. For example a "rich" American or European might have a house and a car and a dog and an Iphone but if he has a fight with his girlfriend or boyfriend, that is still upsetting. You can't just say "rich people don't have the right to be unhappy" becomes money and safety are not everything. They're important, but they're not everything. We also strife for love, friendship, acceptance, fulfillment of our very individual dreams and wishes etc..
    It's normal for us humans to always want what we don't have. If we live in a war-torn country, we long for peace. If we live in a rich and safe country but we have something missing in our own lives, that can still be very tough.
    Blaming people for not being thankful enough totally misses the point because you fail to recognize an individual's struggle in life. I can give you a very personal example here: I have been almost blind on both eyes since I was born. This has made my life in many way much harder than other people's lives. Already as a little child, I had to go through many surgeries and hospital-stays. When I was 12, my doctors told me that it is almost certain that

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    • one day I will become completely blind. There's nothing anyone can do about that. All I can do is wait for it. It might happen in two months, it might happen in 20 years. I'm also not allowed to do many things such as drive a car or a motorbike. I'm also not allowed to do sports (except from swimming). HOWEVER, I have never used my disability as a means to make other people feel bad ("What, you're crying because your boyfriend broke up with you? What a pussy you are! Look at me! At least you have two functioning eyes! You don't have to worry about being completely dependent on other people!") Such statements would have been very insensitive in my opinion because they don't help anyone. My struggle is big - but that doesn't mean the pain of another person doesn't count. Through my disability I've learned one incredibly important lesson in life already as a child: we all have our heavy baggage to carry in life. Some people's bag are heavier, others' are lighter. What truly matters is HOW

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    • you carry your bag. There are completely blind people who've managed to climb the Mount Everest. There are Tutsi people in Ruanda who have forgiven and befriended their Hutu neighbors who have brutally killed their children, parents, siblings, wife and husband in the civil war genocide in 1994. And there would be many more example like these. I myself am very proud to have made it to university despite being almost blind, something that in my country is only possible for the top 15% of all students. It's because I've never compared myself to other people but I simply tried to make the very best out of what I was given. It doesn't matter what other people have been given because they have their own problems and struggles and what matters most is never giving up hope, believing in yourself and playing the cards well you have been dealt.

    • @asker: Well see, that is a good example then. I'm sure your uncle had to work hard to get where he is as well. Though, when you speak of 300 bucks an hour and having a daughter who is a wallstreet banker, I should maybe add that it's not even so much about materialistic stuff. It's about working hard for what is important to YOU, personally. For example this girl you talked to might consider wealth very important (as do most people from poor countries) but I for instance don't. I don't need to become a rich man to be happy. But I do have certain wishes that are worth fighting for. Accusing other people of ungratefulness comes across as self-pity in my opinion and that's not good. You can ALWAYS find somebody somewhere who has it even worse. You don't have to become a multi-millionaire to "have achieved something". The richest man on earth, IKEA-founder Ingvar Kamprad lives an incredibly humble life. What matters is only that you take your fate and make the best out of it.

  • Contrast.

    She went from a shitty place to a substantially better place, so life is amazing to her.

    People take what they have for granted when they don't realize and appreciate what it is they have. So they'll pick out the little problems and make them a bigger deal than it is

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  • She was absolutely right!
    We're used to all our comfort and the slightest setback makes us nervous and frustrated.
    What is a drama for many of us is not even a setback for a Syrian refugee on a sinking boat on the Mediterranean :o :o

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  • Controversy keeps us balanced

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  • I guess because Americans are wilfully ignorant about the rest of the world.

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What Girls Said 3

  • They've probably grown up around a lot drama and subconsciously assume it's normal

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  • Nor everyone in America eats 3 meals a day

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  • Internal emotional conflict that is unresolved

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