Stop The Complaining To See What Happens!
Have you ever heard of the concept where you stop the complaining to just take a break and see what happens? We all do it. We all complain. I know I am as guilty as the next person for doing it. In fact I think it is so ingrained into human behaviour that it seems to be more of a focus of our daily living than being happy is. In fact it seems to go hand in hand with a typical conversation. It’s as if we don’t know what to talk about so we find something to complain about as a conversation starter.
Who Even Said That?
Where is it written that we should live our lives like that? What does it mean to us and our state of mind to be always complaining? And who says that we have to remain that way? What if there was a different way? What if we could make a difference by changing that one single thing we do on a daily basis?
What Is This ‘Thing’?
It is very simple. Stop complaining! We hear it often enough, when we are having a little whinge about something that has displeased us, often this thing is something small and doesn’t really cause much of an impact on us except for perhaps create some minor discomfort or annoyance of not quite meeting our expectations.
“Oh Stop Complaining”
Someone, somewhere, usually a friend or a family member will say “Oh, stop complaining”. Let me be that person to remind you too. I do that quite regularly to people if they are having a whine about a task I have done, or food I have cooked, etc. Let’s face it, this is one of the most unbecoming traits of the human race.
The saying goes for some people, that “they aren’t happy unless they are complaining about something.” And it’s really quite true when you think about it. So stop it. Stop complaining and start living life as it was meant to be, with gratitude and happiness. If it is not going to cause you major distress, drop it and move on.
When Do You Find Yourself Complaining?
How many times do you go to a restaurant and you hear a customer complaining about the food, the service, or not having the napkin placed in their laps for them?
Maybe this time it was about the wait for their food, that it was too hot, or too cold, too salty, or bland. How about the fact that the waitress didn’t smile, or the bartender put one too many cubes of ice in a drink? There was something strange about that waiter, or that the person taking the money accidentally put it on the credit card by pay waving rather than allowing the person to select their account?
There’s A Fly In My Soup!
I’m not talking about ignoring a fly in your soup, or seeing a rat skittering over the restaurant floor, I’m talking about the little things. The things that don’t put your health at risk or cause us major discomfort. We just can’t seem to help ourselves, we automatically feel a need to complain.
Pay Attention And Take Note Of How Many Times A Day You Complain
Just for a bit of fun, not really, I want you to be able to see just how often this is happening daily, try this exercise. Pay attention to how many times a day you catch yourself complaining about anything, no matter how minor or major. Let’s go one step further and record it as tally points on a sheet of paper. Don’t write down what the complaint was, otherwise you will be prolonging the release of it, just note that it was one. If you like you can give it a score of 1 or 2. 1 for a minor discomfort, and 2 for a major disturbance to you.
Do You Complain More When You Have Had A Bad Day?
I’m betting you do. I know if I’ve had a bad day, it seems to come out of me in my own interactions with other people and I’m more likely to feel annoyed with someone who might make a simple mistake.
While I’m not the kind of person to make it known, or get someone in trouble for it, I still carry that annoyance around with me and tell anyone who wants to listen. Sometimes I tell people even if they don’t particularly express any interest in wanting to hear about my misery. For some reason, we seem to enjoy telling others about our misfortunes.
Catch Yourself, Stop, Reel Yourself In and Take Note
I’d like to suggest that you take a step back and process the information before allowing the annoyance to seep into your mind like a black storm cloud. I don’t know if complaining makes you feel better or not, perhaps it does temporarily, but what it does is bring you down and keeps you there. Especially if you are holding on to it for longer than a few seconds.
Break Free Of The Fog
Living a life with a focus on complaining means you can never see the good things through the fog and therefore you are committing yourself to a life of misery, pain and negative events. When you are always looking for things to complain about, you are blind to the things to be grateful and thankful for. When you complained about the food at that restaurant, did you realise that you at least had food to eat?
Remember, There Are Much Worse Things To Complain About
When we think about it from the perspective of “how badly did this incident affect my entire life?” compared with “how did it affect my day?” we begin to understand that these small things, are merely that, just trifles. As long as you have a roof over your head, food, and water, and your Hierarchy of Needs according to Maslow are met, then just let it go.
There is a saying that I’m sure you have heard of, “don’t sweat the small stuff”. Sure, you have every right to complain about those things that greatly affect your life, your health or your home to the point where recovery from whatever setback has occurred will take a lot of money or a lot of time, they are major upheavals and I’m not suggesting you have to hold that in. Just the small things.
Let It Go!
Even though the song “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen movie talks about not holding things in and even sounds like she is complaining with some of the words, which could be thought to mean that you should complain, it is more about not letting things get to you from my interpretation, and how looking back on things from a distance is when you can really understand that they were small things. In other words once you have given yourself time and thought about things, rather than in the heat of the moment, you will see that it really was just a small thing.
Learn To Control It
I believe the song is also about empowerment and not letting things that you can’t control, control you. When you can stop yourself at the first point of annoyance, you have learned to control your own reactions and gain freedom from the yucky feelings that follow your need to complain. It’s a much better way to live. Have a listen.
The Simple Way To Overcome The Complaint Cycle
Recently I set myself a task to improve my outlook on a life that was getting me down, that is, my life as a carer. I decided to do a 7 day challenge and for the next week I was to concentrate on not complaining at all, in any way.
3 Weeks And Still Going Strong
I am actually in my third week as I write this article, after continuing by choice and I am pleased to say that apart from one or two lapses, I have succeeded in not complaining for all of that time.
So that I would remember everyday, I set myself a daily reminder on my smart phone at the same time each day, which made it very easy to achieve my goal of no complaining. I wasn’t going to beat myself up over it if I forgot, as long as I got straight back on the task at hand.
Happy Me, Happier Environment
The interesting thing is that I expected to find it difficult and assumed that I would be complaining at least once for something on a daily basis, but I didn’t. It was like I had never started complaining at all and it didn’t cause me to not be myself in any way. But the interesting side effect that I was expecting certainly did occur. Which was that by not finding anything to complain about, or simply refraining from complaining, I was happier in myself, and it spilled into my environment.
My Tolerance Levels Improved
When my daughter found out I was doing this, she asked me if that was why we were getting along better lately. It may have had something to do with it, but not because I complained a lot, it was more likely because I felt happier in myself rather than with the fact that there was no complaining. I think I’ve been more tolerant of things that would normally have bothered me a lot more, which attests to the authenticity of this challenge and the results that show themselves to us.
I’m Not A Big Complainer After All
I also realised that I’m not as big a complainer as I thought I was, otherwise I might have found the task that much harder than I actually did. I was feeling like I was always complaining so to learn that I wasn’t so bad after all, made me like myself a whole lot more.
So Here Is My Challenge To You
Please go ahead and do this challenge for the next 7 days. Start today, or first thing tomorrow, don’t forget to set a reminder otherwise you just might forget. For 7 days, stop the complaining to see what happens and I can guarantee that you will notice a big difference in your whole outlook on life as a carer and your life overall too.
When the 7 days is up, just go with the flow and consider continuing to do it for another week, and then another, until it becomes a habit and your life will improve dramatically in terms of your happiness and also acceptance of yourself of others and also by others.
How Did You Go?
Please let me know in the comments below if you felt any different, if you had any trouble and if you have decided to make this a way of life. If more people did this everyday, we would have a much more happier world and much safer too. If you feel that way inclined, why not start a gratitude journal too and create a two-fold happiness factor to bring into your life.
Thank you for reading