“If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain.” Maya Angelou
I recently attended a spectacular event and all I heard from the other attendees was complaining. Over and over again. One complainer started and the others chimed in creating a steady stream of negativity. I don't think they had fun or gave themselves time to enjoy this once in a lifetime experience as the moaned about their flights, their rooms and anything else that came up. Of course in life everything is not perfect everyday but looking at everything through a negative lens creates a shadow over everything.
Everyone has that one person in their life who complains at every single opportunity, it's all about them and their problems. According to The Squeaky Wheel, “The problem is that today we associate the act of complaining with venting far more than we do with problem solving. As a result, we complain simply to get things off our chest, not to resolve problems or to create change, rendering the vast majority of our complaints completely ineffective.” The next time you start to complain, think about what you are saying. Are you ranting and venting on a fairly regular basis to friends, co-workers and family? “This accumulation of frustration and helplessness can add up over time and impact our mood, our self-esteem, and even our general mental health.”
While it is great to have friends and family who will listen to us when we have problems, think about the mental burden you are placing on people when you are continually negative. Do you really want to transfer your negative vibe to other people? Strive to be a positive light for those who choose to interact with you. Having a bad day? Suck it up, buttercup. It happens. How you respond to the bad day is the difference between a positive attitude and a negative one: the choice is yours. Going on Twitter and Facebook to vent about your job, politics, other people or anything else is frankly a drain on those who read it and leads to people muting your complaints and you.
The universe will always respond to your song, so make your song harmonious with your desires, not your frustrations!
On the flip side, you can train yourself to complain effectively and boost your self-esteem in the process! Sure, this will be a little more work than continuing to complain. You can lead yourself to more satisfaction with your job, your relationship and your life by taking the time to learn some tips. At my last office job, we used to take short breaks to walk and get fresh air when we got to certain frustration level. We used the time to discuss the issues we were having and problem solve as a group. This was very effective and eleviated a lot of stress.
Four things that you can do instead of complaining:
- Make a pros and cons list for your problem and come up with a solution
- Set clear a clear goal that you can realistically work towards
- Do something that makes you happy (walk the dog, read a book, listen to music that lifts your mood)
- Create a list of resources for positivity for those times when you need a boost
“Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” Eleanor Roosevelt
Have that “friend” who is always bashing other people to build themselves up? Take a moment to think about why they do this and know that this person will surely bash you to the next person that will listen to their poison. Positive people are busy DOING and not worried about what everyone is is doing unless they stop to encourage and support their friends. There is plenty of awesomeness to go around for everyone. Surround yourself with people who are positive and working towards their dreams not the Negative Nellies who suck the life out of the day. From the Law of Attraction Library; “When you attract like-minded positive people, together you can focus on obtaining your desires. Positive people will encourage and support you. On the other hand, negative people will tell you that you can’t achieve your goals, and that they’re too hard or unreachable.”
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.” Henry David Thoreau
If you are feeling truly overwhelmed and this appears to be an ongoing problem for you, I urge you to seek professional help from a counselor. Talking with a professional who is trained to help people and can help you it isn't admitting defeat, it's smart!
What do you do when you are feeling frustrated and need to turn it around? How do you handle that friend or co-worker who always complains?
Does Complaining Damage our Mental Health?
How to Attain Real Personal Empowerment
How to Build Self Confidence: 6 Essential and Timeless Tips
Attracting Positive People into Your Life
Wonderful post Peggy! So much better to get to doing things than to sit back and fill yourself with negative complaining.
@reneedobbs Thanks, Renee! I appreciate your taking the time to read and comment. Everyone has the occasional bad day but no need to expand it.
Paul Woolley says
I digg this sister, was great to meet you via this article 🙂
@Paul Woolley Awesome! Nice to meet you too! I’ll look you up on Twitter. 🙂
Peggy – I suppose that we all need to complain, or vent, every once in a while. I suppose that is part of being human. What I don’t get are folks who complain about everything. Nothing is ever good enough. Nothing is ever their fault,look how bad that is, see how bad he/she is…
According to lots of psychological studies, humans are inherently negative so it takes some degree of desire and effort to overcome and be more positive. The benefits are huge. Positive attitude helps to change the very things you might complain about. A positive attitude keeps us coming back and trying again.
Imagine if Thomas Edison had given up after one failed attempt at making a light bulb? Imagine if Columbus had not believed he would find a route to India? Imagine if Bill Gates had the same negative thoughts that the folks at IBM had at the time? Where would we be if everyone was complaining and venting and fomenting negative thoughts and attitudes?
What good comes from trashing your neighbors? What good comes from complaining about something you cannot change? What good comes from worrying about “what ifs”?