Today’s challenge caught me a bit off guard. While I don’t consider myself a big complainer, I do get swept away when a solid offense comes my way. Given a truly sore subject, I will dissect and lament it until the end of time.
Often, when I do complain, it’s usually to people that cannot do a thing to address my problem. I may tweet about it cryptically or interrupt my bestie’s workday to air it out, yet those people/forums do very little to change my predicament. Sometimes I spark a conversation that opens up something new for me, but often, that conversation is usually with the wrong person.
On the occasion that I do speak to the involved party, I may whine my way out of being heard or it’s a totally bust and I end up with more to complain about. Complain to “the internets” or friends or the offender and end up with more to complain about. Not working.
If complaining isn’t working, what’s there to do?
A seminar leader once suggested “Instead of complaining, make requests”. Huh? Ask for things from the very people that won’t give me what I want? How now?
Then I thought about it: I tolerate the people who complain to me. Regardless of whether it’s about me, I want to ignore them or figure out how to fix it.
Today’s challenge: Give up complaining and make requests instead.
That’s a tough one. Looking at complaining’s role in my life forces me to notice how often I’d rather be unfulfilled if it spares me uncomfortable action. I pride myself in being a great communicator and will talk myself hypoxic to gain and give understanding but I keep finding that it makes no difference. Talking louder and longer works as well in my life as yelling at someone who doesn’t understand English.
So I’m committing to asking for what I want and need instead of belly-aching for the rest of the month (if not my life–whoa!). On the flipside, I will be listening to people who complain to me with an ear out for “What are they requesting? What do they need?”. I may become a better communicator and listener to boot! I’ll let you know how it goes.
Great Resource: The Seven Challenges Workbook: A Guide to Cooperative Communication Skills for Success at Home and at Work, http://www.newconversations.net/w7chal4_pff.htm
Today’s victory: By giving up complaints today, I’ve had the opportunity to focus on what I’m grateful for and how good life is. Today’s victory is simply a greater sense of peace and ease in all that I do and experience. I like!
Gratitude: I am thankful for the wonderful people I know and continue to meet. Relationships are the spice of life and mine is well-seasoned! Ha!
On the horizon: NaNoWriMo!
How are you doing?