Ome of the most annoying things to have to look at is the way in which the Pattersons compartmentalize their lives. As I've said, your average Foob isn't especially grateful for the people in his or her life and is filled with so much self-pity he or she doesn't want to get involved in the other family members lives so as to avoid the realization that s/he, in fact, is a jerk. The admonitions "Don't make me feel bad" and "Complaining is good for the soul as long as you're not complaining to the person you're complaining about" come from the same impulse: to avoid knowing that other people have real problems that are more important than the imaginary crises that beset the sainted Pattersons. The has a rather nasty effect: since they try to avoid spending too much time with each other, it's as if each person exists in a separate world in which the other members don't intrude. This makes them look like a collection of strangers that happen to share the same last name. It also makes them look like creeps who try to one-up each other on how sucky their lives are.