"This food is terrible!"
"Why do I have to do all the cleaning?"
"Oh God, I hate him! Why is he coming over here?!"
"You always make us late for everything!"
"My outfit is ugly."
"Don't make me sit next to her."
"I don't want to get up. It's too early!"
"Why is this taking so long?"
...and so on and so forth....
Complaining. It's happening everywhere, right now. As part of my Power Project resolutions (January's theme is letting go), I resolved to not complain.
I quickly realized what a daunting task this is! It seems almost everything out of my mouth is a complaint.
Part of this could be that I do not seem to possess a unfailing optimistic demeanor like some people. Take Julie Andrew's characters for example:
I might be thinking: God, why is this place so far away? Are we there yet?
While Julie is all like:
When my friends are sad I'm likely to complain on their behalf: "Hell yes, that person is a dick! Forget about him!"
I mean the closest she comes to complaining is by stating simple facts:
Far is actually defined as "at, to, or by a great distance" so we ALMOST have a complaint here, assuming a person dislikes running
And if my lack of endless positivity isn't to blame, it could be the large and encompassing definition of complaining:
1. to express dissatisfaction, pain, uneasiness, censure, resentment, or grief; find fault
Kory's example: "This coffee tastes like burnt rubber."
also this kind of complaining can appear as a question:
2. to tell of one's pains, ailments, etc.
Kory's example: "I have a horrible cramp in my butt!"
3. to make a formal accusation
Jack: "It's your fault the rum is gone!"
Take all this and combine it with the fact that complaining often proves to be useful. When I complain things happen:
* people sympathize with me
*Often someone is nice enough to help me deal with the complaint
*It offers a means for connection with others: "Oh god, yes! I hate our boss too! What a twat!"
*It feels GOOD to complain.
So if it has benefits why would I eliminate complaining?
Because even though it has some benefits and feels really good, it also has negative repercussions.
1. A lot of people hate listening to people complain, especially whiners. Being that person who complains too much can make you bad company. You're going to be that Debbie Downer of the group
2. While you may be looking for connection, you're actually focusing on yourself, making the connection one-sided. It's great to have someone to commiserate to, but so often I get wrapped up in the joy of complaining and I overlook the fact that the person I'm talking to can't relate, or worse that they have a very different experience. For example, if you were to complain that children are hellspawn that should be pushed out to sea on the melting ice caps, but then realize halfway through your diatribe that you're talking to a person with two kids.
|Remind me not to invite you to Jillian's 3rd birthday party new month|
3. Complaining is not powerful. The whole point of my 2016 Power Project is to explore ways to utilize power. Complaining is not powerful. When I complain, I'm asking someone else to do something for me, I'm making the situation worse with my negativity, and I'm inviting myself to be pathetic rather than a go-getter.
Instead of complaining, I should fix the problem.
If the problem is something I do not have the power to fix, I need to:
1. Question my judgment-is this really a problem?
2. Practice acceptance and letting go. I can
a. stand here all day and complain that my office only has 1 window (not enough light!)
b. shell out the $$$$ to have more windows installed (fix the problem)
c. be grateful the room has a window at all (letting go)
d. go to a coffee shop and drink a soy latte in front of a huge
window and get over myself. (half fix/half let go)
My point is that complaining narrows my vision and ties my hands. It robs me of my power rather than empowers me. For these reasons, it's got to go.