Chances are, you are a complainer. The truth is most of us are. Whether or not we broadcast our complaints or keep them to ourselves, we are still complainers. We are also complainers no matter if our complaints are directed internally or externally.
Sure, there are some individuals, who are particularly well evolved, who aren’t complainers, but most of us are. That’s just human nature.
Things will never always work out as we plan, and we will always have a reason to be dissatisfied. The problem comes when our internal and external complaints impact our ability to have truly happy and fulfilling lives. When this becomes reality, it is time to learn how to stop complaining and start living.
Don’t Complain Without Taking Action
What would happen if you only gave yourself permission to complain, if you were going to do something to take action about that complaint? Wouldn’t it force you to put your complaints into perspective? Think about that.
If a situation isn’t worth making a phone call, sending an email, or even making a personal change, is it worth the time you spend complaining about it?
If you don’t want to take the time to figure out why you are unhappy and to effectively communicate that to somebody who can make a difference, it may be time to rethink whether you have a valid complaint or not. As you honor this commitment, you may find that you are developing communication skills that you never knew you had.
Adopt a Compassionate World View
So many of our complaints are a result of our everyday experiences and interactions.
- We become annoyed because the person in front of us at the grocery store spends too much time chatting with the cashier.
- The person driving in front of us on the freeway is going to slow, and the person behind us is going too fast.
- When we call customer service, we either don’t get the results that we want, or they simply don’t come to us quickly enough.
Each of these experiences can be genuinely frustrating and inconveniencing.
Unfortunately, what we often forget is that there are human beings behind all of these interactions, and for the most part these human beings are doing the best that they can. For example, that brief chat the person in front of you has with the cashier may be the only social interaction they have all week. The customer service person may be in a position where they have no authority to solve your problem, but they are still required to listen to your complaints.
Learn to Enjoy Things Even When They Are Flawed
One of the worst things about complaining is that it can ruin an otherwise good time. You’ve probably experienced this yourself.
Have you ever been in the company of somebody who let a single negative experience ruin an entire evening or outing? Something negative happens and they declare the entire experience ruined, or they spend the duration rehashing what happened, rather than focusing on the positives.
Maybe you’ve even been guilty of this yourself.
It may help to remember that in large part, enjoyment and happiness are conscious choices that we all make.
We can choose to let an inconvenience or problem be the reason we declare something ruined, or we can decide to recover from that and move on. More importantly, we can consciously choose to ignore other people whose chronic complaining endangers our own happiness.