It’s easy to notice when someone else complains a lot.
I bet as you read the previous sentence, you conjured up a picture in your mind of a friend, family member, in-law or even one of your children that fits that description.
How does it make you feel when you are interacting with your complainer?
I’m guessing depleted, frustrated and somewhat negative yourself.
It’s like second hand smoke… the complaining makes you feel just as bad as the person complaining.
But what about you? Are you a complainer?
Take a moment to really think about it.
Think about when you vent to a spouse, a girlfriend, whomever.
We call it venting, but isn’t it complaining? Unless you are actively looking for a fresh perspective to a problem you are experiencing and are intending to find a solution – you are complaining.
You know what’s interesting?
We complain about things we can do something about.
We are complaining because we don’t like an outcome or a result of some kind.
But here’s the deal – complaining doesn’t help create a different result. It keeps you stuck just complaining about something instead of doing something about it.
Why are we marinating in the negative juices of complaining?
Why are we making that choice?
What are we getting out of feeling frustrated or upset about whatever it is that we are complaining about?
I don’t have an answer, do you?
So, if we see it doesn’t serve us to complain, what can we do instead that will serve us?
We can analyze what we are complaining about and see if we can create a solution to it ourselves.
If we see that we need another person’s input or help to create the solution, we can make requests of others if need be. But make sure you are making the request to the right person.
Case in point…
I can complain to my girlfriends about how my husband doesn’t help around the house (he does, but he’s ok with me using him in my example for you) But what does this complaining get me?
Not only was I feeling pissed off during the moments that I witnessed him not helping me, but then I got to relive those crappy feelings when I told my girlfriends about it.
It was a 2 for 1 deal on crap-tastic feelings… not the kind of bargain I want.
I realized that it wasn’t serving me to complain.
So, I decided to go on a complaining diet. I decided to really recognize when I was complaining.
Just like when you go a food diet, where you journal your current eating habits to get a baseline – I approached my complaining diet the same way.
I would make a mental note when I started to complain and I would get my family’s help to tell me when they heard me complain.
My goal – to train myself not to complain and to replace complaining with:
1: thinking about the issue I would normally complain about
2: thinking about how to solve the issue on my own
3: thinking about who, if necessary, I needed to help me create a different result
4: making a request of that person to help create the change
So, with this game plan in mind, let’s got back to my former complaining about my non-helpful husband.
I thought about the issue (wanting his help around the house).
I thought about how to solve the issue (clearly list out what I needed/wanted help with and when he could do it based on his work schedule).
I thought about who’s help I needed to create a different result (I needed his help to offer more help around the house which would result in me not feeling resentful and acting from that place of resentfulness).
I then made the request of my husband by setting aside a time that was good for both of us to discuss this, sharing my initial plan and getting his input to create a solution that works for both of us.
This worked out so much better than the alternative which would have included me being pissed off while begrudgingly doing all the housework and shooting passive aggressive comments his way thus making our home life super fun* (*super fun being said VERY sarcastically).
So, stop playing the complain-game.
Start your complaining diet TODAY.
You’ll see you’ll invite more positivity into your days and you will feel less like a victim and more like a BOLD mom.
If you want support to initiate your complaining diet or in any other area that helps you live in BOLD – contact me. Let’s get started.