That trend is complacency.
FitnessSince waking up to how the world works, I notice things differently, especially in regards to self improvement. Let me begin with fitness. I have been diligently tracking calories, and keeping a lot of my strength training, since I started in 2011. I now have several years of daily logs documenting what I've eaten, and what I've lifted. It's no effort anymore; it's just habit.
Throughout this time period, several of my friends have noticed the transition under which my body has gone. They have asked what I've done to achieve these results. I tell them it's very simple. I use a simple app (MyFitnessPal specifically) and a simple strength training program (Stronglifts 5x5). There's nothing more complicated than that. Consistency (dedication) is all that it takes.
So at different times over these past few years, some of my friends have tried these two programs for their own self improvement. The results are as I expected. They felt great, and saw results for the first 6 weeks. They noticed changes in their body, and their mood and self confidence improved. Then every single one stopped after around the 6 week mark.
They reverted to their old, complacent habits. They made excuses how it wasn't worth tracking calories, or they avoided conversations regarding fitness, or they said they'd rather just do what they wanted in the gym. It was all about being happier, right? And if moseying around made them happier, why not?
Today another one bit the dust. He tried working out with me for a few months, but today said that it wasn't worth it for him. He still wants to go to the gym as frequently, but he just doesn't want to try to improve his strength by lifting more. That simply screams that his apathy was worth more to him than actual self improvement. He wants to still go to the gym so he can rationalize to himself that he's making an effort and sleep comfortably at night, but doesn't actually want to put the work in.
CareerFitness is an easy one, though, and I've noticed this trait with other aspects of life. Another such example is career. Several of my coworkers have complained about the current work environment in which we operate. I do join them in voicing my complaints, because I agree with them.
But I have quit and decided to go out on my own because it wasn't worth it to me. Some of them have talked (and talked and talked...) about quitting, or looking for another job. They were even ready to pull the trigger with another job lined up. But at the end of the day, they decided it wasn't worth the risk. They preferred to stay complacent in their current job.
Note that none of these people to whom I am referring have dependents, so throw that excuse out the window.
But what they do have is comfort in their current position.
Talk is cheap. It's easy to talk about doing something, but at the end of the day, it's actually rare to overcome your complacency.
JealousyA side effect of this, however, is how people are now treating me when they realize I am talking less and less, and actually doing all the things I state. It's subtle jealousy. They will talk about how improved I am from the gym, but try to shame me into saying how much time I must spend to achieve that look.
The ones who have joined me in the gym in the past avert their eyes. The ones who have decided to stay in their comfortable jobs try to tell me what I should do with my life. And it's not altruistic advice, which which I would have no problem. It's more trying to convince me to take a safer route.
Because by me taking a risky other job and leaving a toxic environment to strike out on my own, they would have to really do some introspection and think about their own choices. And that's too difficult. It's easier to protect their egos by doling out unsolicited advice.
RelationshipsThe worst is in regards to relationships. My male friends in submissive relationships keep rationalizing their reasons for not ending the relationships. The real reason, despite whatever they may say, is because they are comfortable, and it's easier to complain than to take any action. Making a bold move such as breaking up with somebody and having to be single for a while is scary, even though it may be healthiest in the long run (even for people who build and define their lives with LTR's).
But when the conversations turn to me, and they see me happy, it bothers them inside. Again, it's easier to tell me why I am (should be?) unhappy, and how "there are plenty of fish in the sea" than to think about their own choices. I am certainly not unhappy, have made no claims as such, and have never claimed I am looking to catch a fish anyway. I actually think part of them is jealous of my freedom and happiness, but it's easier to fit me into their worldview than to consider alternatives.
The overall trend is complacency in their own lives. The fear of leaving their comfort zone and taking control of their own lives. Such is the allure of the comfortable blanket which is the life society has carved for them. To each his own.