One of the most annoying tendencies the Pattersons have is their resistance to doing things that would definitely improve their lives. The worst example of that is, of course, Elly; she could easily confront John about his toxic attitude, witless sense of entitlement, selfish boorishness and all-around tackiness but she does nothing useful to change him; it's far easier for her to make passive-aggressive remarks about a baffling stranger she never bothered getting to know behind his back. As for doing something to actively prevent the insanely vicious sibling rivalry that seems to have prematurely aged her, we can safely forget that; she looks back at her own crappy childhood and thinks that aggression at that level is normal. Trying to change it is like trying to fool with Mother Nature as far as she can see. The rest of the bunch vary in degree, not in kind; John is certain that changing his opinions has to be a bad thing because it takes too much effort. This resistance to needed change marks the Pattersons as being not only selfish but also lazy.