It's interesting to me how much time and effort people will put into arguing for their limitations.

They will talk incessantly about the things that have gone wrong in their lives - even when they know that life will bring them more of what they focus on.

They will justify, defend and rationalize all the bad things that have ever happened to them as though they are especially cursed in some way.

And they will often reject, dismiss and ignore any form of helpful advice or suggestions saying it won't work without even trying it.

And yet, even a tiny fraction of the thought, time and energy they spend arguing for those limitations would transform their lives beyond what they could imagine, if only they made the decision to focus a little differently.

I've seen this behavior happen so often in so many people and, not really being of that mentality myself, I've found it difficult to understand the thought processes that lead to it.

Anyone have any idea what lies behind this apparent need for people to argue for and defend their limitations?

asked 19 Jan '10, 08:18

Stingray's gravatar image


edited 03 Sep '12, 12:14

Barry%20Allen's gravatar image

Barry Allen ♦♦


Seems like they're in a negative holding pattern. Unconsciously controlled by their ego, which doesn't care where the attention comes from as long as it's all about ME 8-)

(20 Jan '10, 02:48) Eddie

simply because of the stone that they did not lift and wood that they did not split. so people compare and judge each other and are rebellious and are self-righteous that is the darkness of their little ego. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

(03 Sep '12, 16:14) white tiger

The answer is extremely simple. Imagine you are playing a game, let's use Monopoly as an example, except it is not just a game for the night but your actual life. Now one of the players starts cheating. You try to cheat too but the other players don't let you get away with it. Someone comes that is not even playing the game (we can call this person Uncle God) and starts taking your houses and putting them in someone else's property. You argue in the hope of not being taken advantage of.

(15 Jan '13, 11:57) flowsurfer

It is not that they argue even though they know it doesn't help them. They argue because they don't know. If they knew, they would not do it.

(15 Jan '13, 11:59) flowsurfer

It's the sense of powerlessness that makes people "argue for their limitations".

(15 Jan '13, 12:07) flowsurfer
showing 1 of 5 show 4 more comments

Hello:) well, that just seems to be their mentality. Many don’t really seem to want help; they just want to air their grievances, perhaps that makes them feel better.

It’s almost like sticking up for yourself or maybe feeling the same as those around you so that you identify with them, as you said, lots of people do this so therefore they are then blending in with the crowd [of sheep – no offence to the sheep]. Maybe it’s done for comfort, safety, security or maybe they feel victimised in some way and talk about it to somehow justify that they have been ‘done wrong’ that it most certainly was not their fault.

Many people do not like difference or change and that seems to be a fact. To them, those things equal The Unknown, and Risk and they don’t seem to consider it as possibilities, fun, excitement. Some people just seem to want to stay in a place which they consider safe, predictable and controlled and for their entire life too!!yikes! And perhaps the very act of talking about change makes them feel more secure as it’s then more familiar once they’ve ran it though their mind, and yours.

Seems it’s a bit like living with an alien nation whichever ‘side’ you are on!

Many years ago a young person said to me, “some people will complain about anything” and it’s something I can’t help but keep in mind to this day although I do try not to think about it as it's so negative, it jumps out at you in conversations with people all the time.


answered 19 Jan '10, 12:12

DivineHammer's gravatar image


People argue and defend their own limitations because they don't have the awareness to do otherwise. In 'their world' what they are arguing for and defending is right - they have closed their minds to all other possibilities; they argue vehemently because they are afraid or feel threatened when their perceptions are questioned and they feel safe in the cocoon of the world they have created for themselves - they are afraid of 'their world' falling apart so they cling tenaciously to their viewpoint. They are generally stuck in a developmental stage because of some trauma in their childhood and until something happens to push them to wake up and become aware of where they are stuck, they will remain stuck where they are and hold steadfast to their limited beliefs even when those beliefs are not serving them well.

Since realizing this I have found it easier to feel compassion for such people because they are stuck in their own little prison and the world doesn't really begin to come alive until we open our minds to all possibilities.


answered 19 Jan '10, 19:14

Michaela's gravatar image


Conceptually, I think that people argue for their limitations in defense of the ego.

People blame others for their problems so they don't have to take responsibility for them. Taking responsibility for their problems means they would have to change, to do the work of getting better.

These people have an ego problem. If they blame something or someone outside of themselves, then they don't have to be "wrong," because they don't have to assume responsibility for being "wrong."

Forgiveness is a powerful antidote.

For those of us who have been victimized by another, we continue to be victimized only to the extent that we hold on to the pain and the righteous indignation of being victimized. We stop being victimized by taking our life back, and we do that by changing our mind.

The ego prefers to believe that it is separate from others and somehow different (dare I say better) than others; in so doing, it inflates itself to believe that it is larger than it is, but actually makes itself smaller and less powerful in reality (because it takes in less of the whole). This is illustrated in the person who is a bully or braggart; they give the appearance of confidence, but in reality they are actually profoundly insecure.

Much of our modern world is set up to highlight this contrast; I have a boat, and you do not. I have a nice car, and you do not. I have a nice house on an acre of land, and you do not. I have an education, and you do not; etc. These things serve as proof that we have taken the actions that are required to be "successful." In other words, they are a way of keeping score.

Most people believe that power or control (in the form of wealth, political position, etc) is the means to achieve these things. Within that spectrum, there are people who believe that hard work will earn you the prestige and power to have these things, and there are others that merely believe that you have to play the game better than others, i.e. be more cunning.

The most aggravating thing you can tell a person who thinks like this is that their efforts don't really matter, that it is the way they think that is the most important thing, and that if they just change the way they think, they can have whatever they want, seemingly without effort (the universe provides).

For most of these people, changing the way they think means relinquishing the ego, and the only way they can do that is to give up on the idea that the status symbols somehow mean something; that the house and the car and the boat are not a way of keeping score, because the people who have their thinking right can have these things "for free."


answered 19 Jan '10, 19:52

Vesuvius's gravatar image


edited 20 Jan '10, 00:15

i am he the one they blame and judge. but when i will judge them it will be the last judgement.

(10 Nov '11, 18:03) white tiger

Easy Stingray, I think you know the answer!- it's merely habitual! Humans are creatures of habit, and it's more satisfying to go about same thought patterns.


answered 10 Nov '11, 10:04

Nikulas's gravatar image


I think they argue for their limitations simply because they believe them. And they'll continue to believe until their belief no longer serves them.

A mother, for instance, may whinge and moan about minor aches and pains in order to keep her adult children visiting her. When, and if, the children ever realise they're being manipulated they may stop visiting her.

At that point mum has two options. Complain about being victimised by her children to get sympathy from others (thereby becoming more dysfunctional). Or, do something about her aches and pains (if indeed they are real) so that they are not the focus of each and every visit with her children.

Of course, if the children never realise they're being manipulated or decide to play along anyway, there is no reason for the mother to change.


answered 20 Jan '10, 00:38

shazsays's gravatar image


First of all, not everybody is aware that life will bring them more of what they focus on. Many people have been decieved and actually think the opposite. Have you heard the expression - Knock on wood? Some people say that when they say something and are afraid that by saying it, it won't happen. People are told when they make a wish, not to tell anybody because that will make it not come true. People are constantly telling others that they can't have everything they want. People use other peoples suffering to try to manipulate people. For example they will say to eat all your food because kids are starving in Etheopia. Or how selfish you are for wanting that when it was made by children in a third world country. Life's a bitch and then you die, and life is hard are a couple of sayings that can get stuck in people's head. There are many many ways that people use to unconciously decieve themselves and others that you can't have everything you want, don't tell anybody about your wish, if you say something good knock on wood so you don't jinx it.

Secondly, I think that what people are looking for is love, acceptance, help, connection with others, etc... When someone is going through a tragedy, that is their world. It is difficult to see outside of that to find anything positive to talk about. People become trapped in the vicious cycle of putting out and recieving negativity. They are not aware of it. Their world becomes small, dark and lonely. They don't want it, but don't know how to get off the bus. From this position, it is difficult to see beauty, or imagine what we desire.

Thirdly, if someone had an experience where they wanted something bad, like the death of a loved one, and then it came to pass, they would fear wanting anything ever again. They could be afraid of what they think they can do. They could become very confused about what to desire or not to desire and get themselves in quite a messed up place.

Then, there are the ones that are fulfilling expectations. If someone is in pain, but goes on about life with a smile, avoiding, quietly, activitities that would make the pain worse, people might not believe the person and say things like I'ts all in your head, or you're a fake, etc... So in order to not be told these things, the person starts letting the pain on the inside show on the outside by telling people every time they are in pain, etc...

So many people don't know that life will bring them more of what they focus on and some do, but are agraid of what they can do.


answered 10 Nov '11, 14:22

Fairy%20Princess's gravatar image

Fairy Princess

edited 10 Nov '11, 14:40

This is because the reality they believe in is the reality they experience. Anything against that belief is against what they perceive to be reality of the way things are.

This is like the twins that grew up influenced by their father and one turned out to be a well to do man and the other turned out to be a degenerate. Both when asked what influenced them to their current position credited their father. Both said the same thing, "It was my father. he was a drunkard, he was always in trouble with the law, he had a lousy life." But here is where the story changes when it gets personal, the well to do son says, "So naturally I wasn't going to end up like that, I would do everything in my power to correct the mistakes my father made and make the best choices for my future." The brother said, "So naturally it was in my genes to be like my father. What could I do about it? That was what I learned how I grew up, life is unfair!"

Consider there are two people in an accident, both with the same exact injuries. Both are told by their doctor, "I am sorry but you will never be the same, you will never walk again." The one resigns into depression and accepts this verdict, "What can I do, this is just the way things are. Life sucks, I lost my ability to ever walk again!" The other says, "Hey doc this is my body not yours so push off, I will walk again! I don't care what your test and charts say, I will walk again!" He resolves to walk and starts right away working on it with determination even little steps at a time like trying to bend his toes first. Little by little he walks again, until there is nothing wrong with him anymore. Both say, "That is just the way things are.", but the one says "So there is nothing I could do about it." and the other says, "So when the going gets hard, I must work hard to overcome!"


answered 10 Nov '11, 19:29

Wade%20Casaldi's gravatar image

Wade Casaldi

well stingray that is easy people are stuck in duality so they need to judge and believe and because of that they are still stuck at the ego level and that is their limitation.once they will have pass those limitation harmony will exist between all people. so experience and enjoy.


answered 10 Nov '11, 17:59

white%20tiger's gravatar image

white tiger

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Asked: 19 Jan '10, 08:18

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Last updated: 15 Jan '13, 12:07

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