Where Does Complaining Get You?

Would you complain if there were adverse consequences?

This is a completely unscientific observation, but I have yet to find it untrue.  To me, it seems like the people that are happy with their lives feel in control, and people who are unhappy with their lives feel like they are the victim of someone or something.  So I am going to take some time this week to talk about being in control and feeling out of control.

I think proof number one for me is complaining.  How many complainers do you know?  Are you a complainer?  I challenge you to listen to people (or yourself) complain and see what all of the complaints are about.  I would bet that 99% of complaints are people complaining about how someone or something did something to them that they could not control.  Work makes me have to miss this beautiful day.  This dress makes me look fat.  My parents didn’t treat me in some idealized way.  God hates me.  My job doesn’t pay me enough.  And on and on and on it goes.

It always seems to be someone else’s fault that the complainer is not doing exactly what he or she wants to do.  It is never the person who chose the job or the dress.  It is always someone else’s fault.

If you find that you are a complainer, take a moment to think about what complaining has gotten you.  Do people like to be around you when you complain?  If they do, think about what that says about the people you hang out with.  Has complaining ever been beneficial to you in any way whatsoever, save letting you blow off some steam (which is completely normal, and appropriate in some occasions).  Has complaining ever fixed the situation that you are complaining about?

My bet is that you will find that complaining hasn’t done much for you other than take up a lot of your time.  Come back tomorrow and I will talk about how to get over this complaining hump.

3 thoughts on “Where Does Complaining Get You?

  1. Pingback: Skip the Complain Train » Ryan j.w. Lynch

  2. I agree that complaining is often counterproductive, but sometimes it functions as a productive outlet of frustration so that you’re able to move on past whatever upset you, or it helps you identify what exactly it is or was that upset you and aids you in recognizing solutions that otherwise wouldn’t come to light had you not been forced to quantify your feelings in words. Perhaps it’s the abuse of complaining that we all despise–but I certainly can empathize with needing to come home from a long day at work and needing to vent.

    And also, complaining got me a free roundtrip flight when United Airlines ruined my life . . . 🙂

  3. Lindsay, I completely agree with you. In the post I even write that there are times when complaining helps you blow off steam. I guess what I was trying to get across was that looking for the negative will always find it, and looking for the positive will always find it. I personally believe that people will live happier, more productive lives if they focus on the positive.

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