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The culture of complaining.

Complaining is a slippery, slippery slope. Once you spout out one thing that annoys or bothers you, more and more things somehow seep out – and it can get ugly pretty fast. We complain about bad weather and good weather and the shallow, insignificant things that annoy us about other people. We complain about our boyfriends and girlfriends {or lack thereof}. We complain about that missed promotion, missed bus, missed opportunity, missed dinner plans.

This quote from Rhonda Byrne really stuck out to me: “Remember, if you are criticizing, you are not being grateful. If you are blaming, you are not being grateful. If you are complaining, you are not being grateful.” Complaining is the opposite of being content and it’s the enemy of thankfulness. If you’re living life in thankfulness and gratitude, there’s no room for complaints.

The worst part is how wrapped up in complaining we get when we are surrounded by other complainers. This Fast Company article is over 12 years old, but offers smart advice on how to transform a culture of complaining into an agent of change. I love this part: “..once people stop thinking of themselves as complainers — which is not an ennobling way for anyone to feel — and start thinking of themselves as people who are committed to something, that sets the stage for them to do something about their problem.” Instead of complaining about something, go fix it. Be proactive and change it to the best of your ability, rather than wade in a puddle of self-pity. Here’s four alternative things to do when you feel a complaint coming on:

  1. Change your behavior
  2. Change the way you look at the situation
  3. Speak out and offer possible solutions
  4. Accept it as something you cannot change and recognize the futility and destructiveness in complaining about it.

So what do you do when you’re around people who just won’t stop complaining? Rather than jump on the complaint train and toss around your own annoyances and insecurities, re-route the conversation. Empathize with your complaining friend or colleague, but don’t let that mindset rule you – or your day. Please don’t feel like you are responsible for fixing their problems or making their complaining stop. You only have direct control over yourself. To eliminate the culture of complaining, watch what you think and what you say and choose to not fill your environment with stale, unproductive words and thoughts.

Instead of starting your Monday off in a culture of complaining, I encourage you to try to transform your day-to-day life to a culture of cheerfulness, of contentment, of joy. That’s what I’m working on today. Enjoy your day, friends! xo

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One response to “The culture of complaining.

  1. It’s also been proven that people who eat more seafood tend to be more calm, and tend to complain less.

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