Have you ever noticed that often times we complain to relate with others and talk about our misfortunes? We build friendships on our common misery; we come together around our “stories”. This rings even more true at work or in public places. Complaining is also something we use all day long to break the uncomfortable silence when surrounded by people we don’t know very well. Think about all the small talks about the weather – it’s always too hot, too windy or too cold! -, in the elevator, or even about how trains or planes are always late.
Because I work as a coach and do a lot of research on personal development, I have proof everyday that the way we choose to experience certain situation creates our reality. In fact, although we cannot always choose what happens to us, we can always choose how we want to deal with it. Our reaction will impact our day and ultimately our lives.
At any moment, we have the choice to live our life the way we want to, no matter what happens. Pain, failures, problems, difficulties…We can decide to consider ourselves as a powerless victim or we can’t decide that we won’t be a victim of anything or anyone We can choose to be overwhelmed or we can take our happiness in our own hands while celebrating what life gives us.
Very often, however, I notice that we are uncomfortable when it comes time to choose happiness. That’s because we are surrounded by people who prefer complaining, whining, and victimizing themselves. There is a complaint culture going on, and to choose happiness is to be “different”.
“There is no shame in choosing happiness.” – Albert Camus, The Plague Vintage (May 7, 1991)
This culture pushes us to complain to relieve our frustrations. We don’t really ask any questions, we just follow the trend, doing like everyone else and complaining about everyone else. For me, this challenge truly evidenced how we tend to feel secure when we come together with others about our problems. We are so used to complaining together that we think that doing otherwise would exclude us.
Fitting in is reassuring, we know what to expect when we complain: we expect to receive compassion from the other person, or perhaps he or she will chime in and feed our suffering.
In addition, a conversation filled with complaining is very surface, it allows us to hide, it is not threatening to others as we are not inviting them to join a conversation in a deep or elevated manner. We lightly talk about negative things without taking any risks. Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to discuss something we are against rather than something we are for?
Sometimes, in our little daily chats, we complain because we feel that if we talk about what’s going our way, if we celebrate, our happiness will be stolen or others will look at us funny and be jealous. So, we decide to spend our energy on what’s hard, what’s not going very well. At the end of day, we create complaining “feasts”. We focus our attention on our problems and thus attracting more unwanted things in our life.
Try it yourself, start your day with a little complaining and you’ll quickly realize that you’ll have all the excuses in the world to complain all day long.
Love & Respect,
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“Christine Lewicki is a Bestselling Author, Speaker, and Certified Coach. She is committed to help people quit complaining and become entrepreneurs of their lives. You can download your FREE ”I Quit Complaining Starter Kit” on her blog www.iquitcomplaining.com