Why nobody is lazy – it’s always an underlying problem

I have autism, in fact, I have the PDA type as well, and PDA stands for Pathological Demand Avoidance. On the surface this can look like laziness explained or worse – to rationalize laziness – but it’s really not. It’s a real thing, a real problem for me.

What is PDA? It’s common in autistic people and it’s when an autistic person experiences overwhelm due to being told to do demanding tasks or conform to societal expectations. It can then result in a sort of paralysis for adults or more commonly in children: a meltdown involving dangerous behavior, shouting, doing the contrary to what was told, or similar things.

This is not a result of bad parenting, it’s a result of a disability.

Let me explain.

It’s against our human nature to be so-called “lazy” or “contrary”. We want to feel productive and naturally to feel productive we also want to be productive. We cannot feel something that we are not. So we want to be productive to feel productive. That feeling cannot be tricked into us!

So if a person procrastinates or acts lazy, it’s almost always an underlying problem. It can be depression, anxiety, or something else. In my case it’s PDA. Sometimes I can’t understand why I cannot be productive enough. Why it can take an entire day to do one simple task… Now I know. It’s called pathological demand avoidance. I didn’t know about this until just recently. Believe me, nobody wants to be this way. Nobody wants to feel like a failure!

So how do we tackle this thing?

Or… “tackle” may be the wrong word. The fact of the matter is that fighting it may do more harm than good. But I would say, compassion is a big thing to strive for when it comes to understanding why people don’t always conform to the productive norm.

Also to understand that you don’t need to understand completely everything about other people’s productivity or lack thereof is very freeing. When I discovered that I could actually allow myself to not insert myself in other’s businesses I felt a lot wiser, and with the time of practicing this in combination with compassion, I felt so much better as a person.

This does not mean we should ignore others. It just means we shouldn’t judge why someone has another level of productivity.


When we’re thinking about it, it’s obvious. We are just humans and we are social creatures. We want to understand others, that’s why we ask about their lives. But to practice some level of just letting others be and go against our natural thoughts can be a good challenge. Because yes, it is challenging!

Just because something is challenging doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it, especially if it makes us better people.



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