“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.” Maya Angelou
Everyone complains every now and then but, some people complain ALL the time. Are you a complainer? Do you know a complainer? They find fault in and complain about everything. It’s too hot! It’s too cold! The rain won’t stop! The sun is too bright! I don’t make enough money! I can’t find a job! Nothing good ever happens to me! etc. Do complainers know that they are complainers? Is complaining a form of self-pity? Are complainers victims? Is complaining a strategy to avoid taking ownerSHIP of our circumstances?
Complainers believe that their lives are much more difficult than others. People who complain have a tendency to concentrate on the problem and on the setback rather than focusing on the outcome or solution. They never view the glass as being half full instead they view it as being half empty. Their focus is clearly on lack. It’s easy to complain about what’s going on in our lives –good or bad– because complaining is a convenient way to blame others for our circumstances- our health, finances, relationSHIPS. too much work, unsatisfying jobs, etc. Yet, complaining changes NOTHING. Complaining is just another way to become a victim of our events, decisions, and choices. Actually, when we complain, we make ourselves powerless over our circumstances. Simply put, complaining doesn’t require us to take ownerSHIP of our lives.
We’ve all experienced a time when we’ve asked someone, “How are you? “What’s going on?” “How are you feeling?” and receive a complaining response. I recently had this experience at work. A co-worker has a son who is severely disabled. He has seizures so often that he literally dies for minutes and comes back to life. She shared with me that he had recently been hospitalized. So, while walking past her desk, I said, ” Good morning, how is your son?” She responded, “Good morning, He’s good …(Pause)…for now.” I responded, “and we can be grateful for these NOW moments.” I explained that it was in THESE NOW moments that she had to find her JOY. Her desire (and mine) for her son to have a better quality of life is real but so is the reality that he won’t and complaining wasn’t going to change that. I get it. I understand that caring for a severely disabled son alone is extremely difficult and almost justifies complaining, but it doesn’t, nothing does. I simply wanted to remind her to be mindful of and grateful for those crisis-free medical moments and insisted that we reenact our “good morning” scenario. So, I walked by her desk again and we re-exchanged our greetings. This time her response was infused with positivity. We laughed and she had the biggest smile. As I walked away, I could still hear her laughter.
For most of us, life can be overwhelming but no amount of complaining will lessen our load. As a matter of fact, complaining merely keeps us focused on that very thing we are complaining about and impedes our forward progress. Complaining also demonstrates a lack of appreciation. It alters the mood of others, it changes the atmosphere and energy of any room, and it’s just downright annoying. Most complainers don’t even realize their negativity.
Can complainers change? Yes. It is possible to live a life complaint-free but it takes a focused effort. But, how? It’s simple, by developing a mindset and an attitude of gratitude, we minimize our ability to complain. Having this mindset and attitude allows us to be more appreciative of our circumstances by enabling us to view things from an entirely different perspective.-appreciation. A positive attitude provides us with an overall acceptance of our lives and if we simply replace complaining with a positive attitude, we can change our circumstances. So QUIT complaining!!! Just change your mindset and your attitude and TAKE ownerSHIP of your life!!!!
SHIP TALK: Are you a complainer? What are some of your characteristics? Do you know a complainer? What do they complain about? Do you have an attitude of gratitude? Can you develop an attitude of gratitude? If no, why not?
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