A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“If you ran like your mouth, you’d be in good shape” (3/28)
“Do I like my coffee black? There are other colors?” (3/28)
“Sorry, I can’t go to work tomorrow. I fractured my motivation” (3/28)
“My favorite childhood memory is not paying bills” (3/28)
“If I ate beans and you ate beans how old would we be?” (riddle) (3/28)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from July 21, 2012
“Most people don’t care about your problems, and the rest are glad you have them”

A personal and a business adage holds that one should never tell people your troubles because “half don’t care about your problems and the rest are glad that you have them.” Sometimes specific percentages are used in the adage, such as “80 percent don’t give a darn and the other 20 percent are glad you have them.”

The saying is often attributed to football coach Lou Holtz, who wrote in Winning Every Day: The Game Plan for Success (1998): “Ninety percent of the people you meet don’t care about your troubles. The other 10 percent are glad you have them.” However, the saying was well known before Holtz even began coaching football.

“Don’t tell other people your troubles. Most of them don’t want to listen—and the rest are glad you have them” is from an “Uncle Phil says” newspaper column in January 1944. A World War II play (probably from 1944) contained the line, “My father used to say you shouldn’t tell other people your troubles because half of them didn’t care anyway and the rest were darned glad to hear about it.”


Google Books
Dramatics
Volumes 14-15
1942
(This can be seen in full on page 7 of the play There Are No Little Things: a war savings radio script for high schools, probably from 1944 and not 1942—ed.)
Pg. 16:
Wilkins: My father used to say you shouldn’t tell other people your troubles because half of them didn’t care anyway and the rest were darned glad to hear about it. (Chuckles.)

13 January 1944, Big Piney (WY) Examiner, “Uncle Phil Says:,"pg. 2, col. 6:
Don’t tell other people your troubles. Most of them don’t want to listen—and the rest are glad you have them.

24 January 1944, The Daily Courier (Connellsville, PA), “Sportorials” by John H. Whoric, pg. 5, col. 1:
Don’t tell people your troubles. Most of them don’t want to listen and the rest are glad you have them.

27 November 1954, Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune, “Good Morning” by Seng Fellowship News, pg. 13:
Whenever you are tempted to tell your troubles to other people, remember that half of them aren’t interested, and the rest are glad you’re finalky getting what’s coming to you.

6 December 1962, Ada (OK) Weekly News, “Strayed From The Herd” by Connie Nelson, pg. 4, col. 7:
Remember, when you are telling people your troubles, half of them aren’t interested and the other half are glad to see you’re finally getting what’s coming to you.

2 February 1964, Albuquerque (NM) Journal, “My Favorite Jokes” by Bill Roberts, Parade magazine, pg. 12, col. 3:
I find it best not to tell people your troubles. Half of them are not interested and the other half are glad you are getting what’s coming to you.

5 July 1965, Humboldt (CA) Standard, pg. 4, col. 5:
“Don’t Tell People Your Problems” by Walter Winchell,
Sallies In Our Alley: Vincent Lopez on why you should never tell people your troubles: “Half of them are not interested and the other half are glad to hear you finally got some at last.”

12 October 1977, The Sun (Lowell, MA), “Littleton landowner criticizes assessments” by Mary Rodgers, pg. 14, cols. 7-8:
After urging selectmen to take action before the tax bills are mailed, Conant concluded by saying, “Never tell your troubles to anyone. Eighty percent of the people won’t give a darn and the other 20 percent will be glad you have them.”
(Brewster Conant, one of Acton’s major landowners—ed.)

24 January 1979, Aiken (SC) Standard, “Be Positive, Courson Says,” pg. 16A, col. 1:
“You should remember that 85 percent of the people don’t care about your problems and the other 15 percent are glad you have them.”
(James C. Courson, a real estate salesman—ed.)

17 July 1979, Augusta (GA) Chronicle, “Lasorda can’t stop ‘snowball’” (AP), pg. 8A, col. 5:
“No need to cry,” he (Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda—ed.) said. “It sounds like an alibi. People don’t care about your problems. Eighty percent don’t give a damn. The other 20 percent are glad you have them.”

Google Books
The Ultimate Secrets of Total Self-Confidence
By Robert Anthony
New York, NY: Berkley Books
1984
Pg. ?:
A friend of mine used to say, “Never tell anyone your troubles. Half the people don’t care, and the other half are glad you have them!”

21 March 1987, The Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA), Smiley Anders column:
The value of silence:
Dear Smiley: An acquaintance says he never tells other people his troubles, because half of them don’t care and the other half are glad you have them.
L.J. “Shorty” Falcon
Berwick

15 September 1987, The Stars and Stripes (Europe), “Mets’ pitching reels under another blow: Everything bad that could happen has” by Mike Tully (UPI), pg. 25, col. 3:
The Mets could complain, but it’s an old story about telling people your problems: Half the people don’t care and the other half are glad you have them.

Google Books
The Hero’s Way:
Attitudes Make the Difference

By Dutch Boling
Atlanta, GA: Humanics New Age
1990
Pg. 83:
I once heard a speaker say, “Eighty percent of the people don’t care about your problems and the other 20 percent are glad that you have them.”

New York (NY) Times
Tobacco Country Is Quaking Over Cigarette Tax Proposal
By RONALD SMOTHERS
Published: March 22, 1993
(...)
Here in this southeastern North Carolina town, Larry Wooten, one of the nation’s 62,000 tobacco farmers, summed up the sentiment among growers by saying: “It’s a bit like trying to tell your troubles to people. Ninety percent of them listen and don’t care, and the other 10 percent are glad you have them. I’m not gloom and doom yet, but I am concerned and understand that this has serious implications.”

Google Books
Winning Every Day:
The Game Plan for Success

By Lou Holtz
New York, NY: HarperCollins
1998
Pg. 93:
Ninety percent of the people you meet don’t care about your troubles. The other 10 percent are glad you have them.

Google Books
Portrait of a CEO:
A guide to starting and growing a small business

By Bassem R. Mahafza
Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse
2010
Pg. 143:
It is my opinion that most people do not care to hear about your problems and the remaining few are glad you have them.

Google Books
Win:
The Key Principles to Take Your Business from Ordinary to Extraordinary

By Frank I. Luntz
New York, NY: Hyperion
2011
Pg. ?:
“Remember, most people don’t care about your problems, and the rest are glad you have them.”
(Said by football coach Lou Holtz—ed.)

Google Books
Extreme Money:
Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk

By Satyajit Das
Upper Saddle River, NJ: FT Press
2012
Pg. 313:
They learned the truth of an old Wall Street saying: “Never tell anyone on Wall Street your problems. Some don’t care. Most are glad you have them.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • (0) Comments • Saturday, July 21, 2012 • Permalink