“Complaining not only ruins everybody else’s day, it ruins the complainer’s day, too. The more we complain, the more unhappy we get.” – Dennis Prager
Have you ever asked yourselves what percentage of that rare commodity we call time, you spend complaining, moaning, winging? Have you ever thought of the possibility that inexplicable tiredness and lethargy could be in a direct correlation with complaining?!
The reason I am asking these questions, is the following… Last week a friend of mine set out on a 7 day complaints free challenge. And during that time she was under no circumstances allowed to complain, but instead accept and observe how her mind responds. I was inspired by her challenge and decided to join her:-)!
So below, you will read my experience with the challenge :-)!
Challenge - accepted!
Day one was brilliant, as I set out my intention for the day, that included a vital element – how I want to feel during the day…Clever, I know :-), as when you start your day with a clear intention of how you intend to feel, you are more or less guided. And so I started my 7 day complaints free journey, with a clear intention and a bag of tools at the ready, in case something ‘untoward’ happened…Mainly my mind drifting in the known and familiar territory of offering a constructive remark a.k.a complaining :-)!
You see, during the day, there are so many situations where complaining seems to be the only viable option, and so instead of becoming curious, most often we go to our default settings of complaining. And when we do that we end up not being able to influence those situations. And you will agree, that very often, things happen beyond our capabilities to change them. So in those situations the best thing to do is observe and accept. As things happen with or without us, we have a choice to see them either as a lesson or something lower and there to get us :-)!
In my life, I have come to this simple, yet very wise conclusion, and that is that complaining is just a habit. Nothing more. Nothing less. A plain old habit. And it is up to us to decide when and whether we want to stop it. Make a conscious decision to do so, and notice what happens.
Our minds are programmed and educated to react, rather than respond. Reaction is instinctive, almost animalistic, whereas response requires tact, subtlety, introspection, And it is response that we can choose if we so decide.
Sure, sometimes complaining serves a function.
Some people complain about the 1 percent, and the queen, and the USA, and thereby place themselves in a group of people that according to themselves are morally superior 🙂 – AND the same goes for those who complain about welfare recipients, about how easy it is to get a council flat.
Sometimes complaining is an actual attempt to get something fixed. This is what men tend to assume 🙂 - Have you ever complained to your man in order to get sympathy and understanding, and he was like totally unsupportive – providing you with suggestions about how to actually fix the problem – what an insult! As if you would need help with fixing it! He obviously doesn’t understand what it’s about at all! The cold insensitive bastard :-)!
On a more serious note... Sometimes complaining is just a habit which has forgotten its purpose. A habit which may or may not serve you – all you experience is something annoying happening, and you complain about it. Your free will is reduced to stimulus response. You allow yourself to be annoyed by the potentially annoying thing which happens, and you express your annoyance by complaining – and you are totally right and 100% justified in doing so! Seriously, you are. It is only that sometimes you may not enjoy your complaining, or you may not enjoy the consequences, or your surroundings may not enjoy it.
And this is where it’s the trickiest to change (assuming you do not have access to authentic NLP technology) because it’s just something that happens automatically.
With this in mind may we invite you to spend a few minutes reviewing the last time you were in a complaining mode. Not the way you usually review memories, but from the outside, as if you were watching a high quality video of yourself: what did you look like, from the outside, when you were complaining, what did you sound like - and how did the people around you respond, non verbally, to your complaints? Also weigh the purpose of the complaining; what it wanted to accomplish against its actual consequences, both negative and positive consequences. And if appropriate ask yourself what alternative ways would get you your intended outcomes more elegantly.
Now, if you know in your heart of hearts that you spend too much time complaining about the wrong things take on the complaint free living challenge – and write a little bit about your experiences in your secret diary (or on Facebook – your choice 🙂 ) you will discover a lot about yourself during a complaint free week – and you will certainly get some interesting material to perform an imaginary video review of!
Just consider what you will be able to accomplish, how your life will be transformed, once you stop wasting energy by complaining, and start using that energy constructively!
Sending you oceans of love and wishing you a week with no reasons to complain at all!
We would like to hear about your experiences and findings about complaining, so feel free to share them either on our blog page, or on our FB page Momentum Strategies Coaching.
Your complimenting NLP trainers,
Lidija & Thomas
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Lidija Markovic Rosati – ITA NLP (International Trainers Academy of NLP) Accredited New Code and Classic Code NLP Trainer and Master Coach, Hypnotherapist and Psychological Counsellor.
Thomas Björge - ITA NLP (International Trainers Academy of NLP) Accredited New Code and Classic Code NLP Trainer and Master Coach and Designer of New Code Game ‘Arrows’, to be featured in Dr. John Grinder’s upcoming book.