Again I would just caution that you aren't always privy (as a player or even a staff member) to what risks other characters are indeed taking or have taken or what might have lead them to being 'defeatist' if they even genuinely are. If someone genuinely quits or is just coasting along long-term, it can be incredibly easy from the outside to prescribe what they should be doing / how they should be viewing their situation.
Perspective and insight are fickle and skewed, and motivation can be hard to come by sometimes if even the 'losing' journey (aka 'downswing RP') isn't very interesting.
No matter what, there are going to be things the PLAYER values the most when they RP. Whether it's gear, a feeling of progression, their character's reputation, their personal relationships, whatever -- the thing the player finds personally enjoyable about playing this game. And when their character hits the shit, and they're facing days or weeks or months of emotionally draining RP and their bank account is drying up and they're having to do RP over and over they don't really enjoy but maybe the RP is even rich....once they start getting down to having to give up the last things they really value and enjoy about playing the game, they're going to not want to play anymore.
This applies to everyone, regardless of whatever 'well that's just their feelings, the game isn't for everyone' people want to throw around. No matter how much anyone wants to pat themselves on the back about how much SD is -totally- for -them-, the game will absolutely put you in situations, sometimes for weeks, where you want to quit. Give it time, it'll happen.
This is why 'cooperative competition' is such an important concept. Yes, there are people for whom SD is 'not for them'. The theme just won't be to their liking. The mechanics won't be, the player personalities will be too much or too little in some way. They want a MUD, they walk in and want to murderhobo and level up and farm items, etc. We can name a hundred examples. That's not what we're talking about here.
Cutthroat, unfair, brutal in-game. Friendly, spreading the RP love, helping each other enjoy the game OOCly, that's the goal here. Does it mean you don't kill each other? Even perm someone sometimes? Of course not! But if your meta goal is to make someone want to literally not play the game one way or another, you're just being an asshole, which is literally against the rules. Whether it's involving people in RP whether it's -really- advantageous to you or not on paper, helping that immy with some flash and RP whether or not you think they'll disappear like most immies do or not, etc., -- that's what cooperative competition means. It means more people feeling less defeatist, it means more people feeling like they have a reason to log on, or keep a character going instead of boothing when stuff stops going their way. They come to your character instead because you gave them biz a couple times, or RP'ed with them when no one else did.
If someone is resistant to working with you, it's probably less them being lazy / flaky and more that they're scared or paranoid, which is....pretty themely! Push the RP and find out what's going on. Most people who aren't a week in the city have pretty good reasons to not just jump at any job they get offered or meet someone in a cube