The Frog In Boiling Water: Don’t Complain, Do Something

I have an acquaintance who is constantly complaining about her dog’s veterinarian. He’s too expensive, customer service is poor, and he’s a pusher of unnecessary drugs and treatments. Every time the dog has to go to the vet, I hear the same story. I’ve given her a recommendation to my vet who is probably better suited for her, and I’ve given her the names of vets my friends use. Despite her dislike of her current vet and the availability of alternatives, she continues to go to the same vet and complain about the expense every six months.

A relative of mine behaves in a similar fashion, except it’s her cell phone she complains about. She complains about th


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10 Responses to The Frog In Boiling Water: Don’t Complain, Do Something

  1. Carol says:

    I often wonder too if people just enjoy complaining because it’s the only way they know how to have a conversation!

    There are a number of chain stores (Walmart and Target, to name two) that I won’t shop at because I don’t care for some of their policies. I know of many people who complain about Walmart…but yet still shop there. I ask why, and they say “because their prices are cheap.” So they keep shopping and complaining.

  2. Jay Gatsby says:

    Here’s how you deal with complainers. Before they get started, ask one question:

    “Do you want me to help you solve your problem, or are you just complaining?”

    This question will only annoy people who want to dump their problems on you. People who are asking for your help will respond positively to such question, while complainers will find someone else with whom they can “share” their problems.

  3. Carol says:

    Jay, that’s a great question to ask. I’m going to remember that one.

  4. typome says:

    It seems like a lot of your acquaintances and neighbors are people who hopefully don’t read your blog, since you talk so much crap about them in your articles!

  5. Bill says:

    Your friend’s one-upmanship can probably be traced back to when the western world was conquered by the Romans. They taught trades and built huge (by comparison) domestic dwellings. The conquered nations were encouraged to trade, as the Romans had the effective monopoly of money, the ultimate trade necessity. People were encouraged to be upwardly mobile as they’d have to, literally, trade up. The aspirational society was arguably born here in those days. To a large degree, we’re still in it, it’s just, the Romans having gone home or merged with the locals early in the fifth century, it’s the bankers who have the monopoly on money now.
    All true!


  6. Tightwad says:

    LOL! @ typome!

  7. gaelicwench says:


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  9. Arthur Nijkamp says:

    I’m sorry, but you got the analogy the wrong way around. According to the frog he would jump out of water that is already boiling. This would mean that we would NEVER enter the wrong package to begin with.
    However, the frog stays in the water if it is slowly warming up, meaning that we would stick to the plan even if the situation slowly worsens.

    In my opinion it is a great example, just not for the point you are trying to make…


  10. Cheazy says:

    Awesome post. I completely agree and found myself saying to myself out loud “EX-FREAKIN-ACTLY”. Good read and a good way to stick it to the man.

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