The Perfected Art of Complaining
by Karen Wolff
When people talk about the national past time in the United States, they discuss baseball or some other sport. But I believe it is complaining. There is nothing more destructive or paralyzing, but yet you would be very hard pressed to find a handful of people in your own life who do not complain regularly. Why is that?
Where did that overwhelming sense of entitlement come from? Is it because you live in a country that is blessed beyond comprehension and you won't settle for anything less than the best and most of absolutely everything?
Or is it because your sense of "me first" is so prevalent that complaining just comes as a natural after-effect?
It's easy to complain about your boss or in-laws. After all, those people were put on this earth just to test your patience and fortitude, right?
And it's easy to complain about money. After all, you can only chase so many blue light specials.....
And of course your spouse.....well, talk about Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde.......you married one person and somewhere along the line, when you weren't looking, you ended up with another. Now, if ever there was a reason to complain. In fact, you could probably write an entire book filled with complaints on this one.
An oh.....those kids. If only they would make every right choice you know is best for them. In fact, if they would just let you run things for them, you wouldn't have to complain so much. Yeah, that would really go over big, wouldn't it?
When you really think about it, complaining is disrespectful. Your message is that your spouse, your kids, and everyone else you complain about, just don't meet your standards. They fall short of your expectations and somehow, you have a right to demand better. You are the constant judge of their behavior.
How do you think it feels for the people in your life to be on the receiving end of this?
And of course, how disrespectful is complaining to God? Remember what happened to the Israelites? That whole "wandering in the desert for 40 years" episode didn't happen accidently. God seems to think whining and complaining has consequences.
So......what are your options? How do you stop this runaway train?
Stop the Madness.....
Complaining is just like any other really bad habit. Once you do something for a long time, your automatic behavior is to simply keep doing it. But, just like other bad habits, you CAN change your behavior. Here are some things that might help.
* Make it a point to focus on the positive. Deliberately look for positive things in your life, no matter how small, and send up a prayer of gratitude. Because your words reflect whatever goes on in your mind, focusing on the good stuff will definitely limit your time to focus on the not-so-positive stuff.
* Find ways to create the positive. Look for opportunities to be a blessing to someone else. There are open doors all over the place if you take the time to look. After you've done this, see how much better "positive" feels. Knowing you helped someone else is a great feeling. Notice how the irritability, the lack of patience, and the hostility disappear.
* Show your kids and your spouse what "positive" looks like. Find the good in every person in your family and point it out to them. Show them how things can change through your example. I can't think of a better investment in your family.
* Cut yourself some slack. Change won't happen overnight, so don't beat yourself up if you slip back into your old way. Be happy about the progress you're making. Every time you slip, just know there will be many more times when you say and do what's right. As long as your commitment is in tact, just keep moving forward.
Changing your family priority to focusing on the positive can be life changing, not only for your family, but for everyone that comes in contact with them.
You CAN stop complaining. You CAN be more positive. Just change the way you think and you'll automatically change the way you act.
Karen Wolff is the founder of
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