Adult Crybaby: Why Are So Many of Us Afraid to Grow Up?

Adult Crybaby: Why Are So Many of Us Afraid to Grow Up?

Crybaby? We knew who they were, and we shunned them. They were wet blankets, whiners who must get their way or force their grievances on everyone else. I know. I was one. But when did being an adult crybaby become so popular?

By David Stone

Assorted Ideas, Large & Small/Support Indie Journalism

Adult Crybabies, the Phenomenon

Look, I was a crybaby. I admit that freely, and there’s a higher power, etc. But good grief, I was a kid with three older brothers who refused lowering the playing field to my level.

close up photo of crying baby
Photo by Pixabay on

Larry, Ted and Gary were athletes, outdoorsmen and popular. Never popular myself, I learned that keeping up meant making my own mark. As a result, I became the adventurer in my family, and my prowess lay in the arena of words and sentences.

I had to keep up, and when I couldn’t, I went into a rage. I was a world class profanity slinger, which prepared me for my later Henry Miller addiction. Searching my memory, I can’t recall where I learned my hot and colorful vocabulary, but the words and phrases must’ve been floating around freely. And I caught and mastered them.

But before blossoming into an adult crybaby, I learned that whining and moaning was a sign of weakness, ugly and a piss poor strategy for success.

What I learned from my amazing brothers was that failing to stand tall was a non-starter. Bitching about unfairness got me exactly nowhere. From one source or another, the other crybabies of my generation learned that too.

So, how, when and where did America become saturated with adult crybabies?

I’ll tell you the truth. I don’t know.

But there they are…

It’s not as if whining and complaining ever disappeared from public life, but practitioners were mostly venting. Nobody paid attention, and they made way for a new generation that must learn the lessons anew.

But, come on now, who ever foresaw the nation’s chief executive claiming the title of Adult Crybaby in Chief? Whining like a spoiled brat who dropped his popsicle when kicked out in a fair election… A billionaire complaining that the universe was rigged against him…

Born under Give ’em hell Harry Truman, growing up under war heroes Dwight David Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy, and civil rights champion Lyndon Baines Johnson, I swear I never imagined the slightest possibility of a finger-pointing whiner like Donald J. Trump.

And all politicians lie, of course, but Trump’s a legendary whopper factory. Millions follow after him, stirring adult crybaby conspiracy theories, desperate to keep alive a lost cause.

Responsible adults argue their cases. Whiners and moaners try kidnapping female governors, hanging the vice president and planting pipe bombs set to go off when they’re far away.

The thing I don’t get about being an adult crybaby…

Honestly, there are two things. First, where are their cojones? Because the vast majority are men, and they act like infants desperate for an unavailable nipple. What’s brave about throwing a shitfit when your cause is unwinnable? And unwinnable for a reason.

Their cause? Persuading a majority of Americans to turn their backs on their brothers and sisters in a divisive grab for power, led by an orange-topped adult crybaby who never outgrew the bully stage.

Our country is better than that, although puzzlingly tolerant of too many whiners and complainers.

We may never precisely locate the source yielding this outburst of toxic adult crybabies, but there’s a solution. The best prophylactic for whiners and complainers is ignoring them. Responding, even in good faith, emboldens the behavior, but ghosting them is disabling.

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