Sometimes people seem to prefer feeling powerless and believing that there is nothing they can do to affect a situation. That belief helps them avoid feeling responsible or guilty about inaction. It also avoids the cost of trying to change the situation—making an effort and risking failure, which might cause the person embarrassment. But while this feeling is understandable, it does not affect the reality of what the person might accomplish by effective negotiation. It is a self-defeating and self-fulfilling attitude.
-Getting to Yes, Second Edition, pp178-179.