08 September 2010

Are You A Chronic Complainer?

"Whine, whine! How about some cheese with that whine!"

Our next victim-making gremlin, limiting behavior, is complaining. Do you constantly complain? Do you hang out with chronic complainers? What are the complaints about? Are there solutions to those plights or is it just better to complain?

If you have time to whine and complain about something then you have the time to do something about it.” ~ Anthony J. D'Angelo

My first job out of college was on a government complaint hotline. I heard complaints all day - for a living! After awhile, I could tell the genuine complainers from those who just wanted to complain. 

To complain means to express displeasure or discontentment. We all know someone who just likes to complain. They won’t do anything about changing the situation; they just want to complain about it.

If you have such a complainer in your life, then I challenge you to challenge them! Sit down with them and do the truth in love. Do not judge them (another limiting behavior) because it will only make them more defensive – giving them more reason to complain. Rather, ask them what would they prefer to see instead of what’s disturbing them. Can they do anything to bring that alternative about? If yes, then devise a plan to do so; and if not, then let it go and deal with something you do have control over.

And if you are the chronic complainer, then I challenge you to STOP, TAKE A BREATH, and ASK:
  • What am I complaining about?
  • What is the real issue here?
  • Can I control it or change it?
If you can control or change it, then get to it; and if not, then let it go!

We often complain because it makes up for the situation we don’t want to deal with. There is usually some underlying cause that we don’t want to look at – so we complain about a surface issue that really has nothing to do with the root cause.

For example: A mother who constantly complains about her son who has turned out to behave very careless and reckless. The son is mentally ill, though undiagnosed, and therefore untreated. The complaints are the son never takes care of his affairs – his children, his home, himself.
Root cause: The mother did not help the son in the beginning when she had the chance to make an impact – to get him the help he so desperately needed. Had she intervened earlier, she might have nipped it in the bud.

Now, there will always be extenuating circumstances to every issue, but the bottom line is to determine the root cause of the complaining; especially if it’s constant and about the same issue.

So, just for today, think about your complaining habits and make a conscious effort to eliminate complaining from your life.

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