There is no day more perfect than the day after midterm elections to examine complaining one more time. Yesterday was Super Tuesday (or is that only for presidential elections?) and today is Complainer Wednesday. The grumbling, whining, kvetching can be heard as far as Alaska. On a day where bemoaning results whether your people won or not, let’s look at yesterday’s challenge and how it evolved into today’s.
Yesterday, I took on giving up complaining and making requests instead. For me, that challenge heavy enough to warrant a second go-round today.
Today’s challenge: Give up complaining and really ask for what you want.
As you can see from all the post-election rhetoric, complaining is an intrinsic part of American–if not human–society. No complaining these last two days gives me a deeper sense into the nature of complaining and the role it plays in my (and maybe your) life.
Complaining is a smokescreen
I noticed today that complaining is one of the ways we Jedi mind-trick ourselves into believing we’re in action when we’re doing absolutely nothing to affect the situation. We give an unfavorable weather report with no intention of putting up an umbrella.
When we complain, we seem to get away with not liking a thing, doing absolutely nothing about and pretending that the complaining changed something. Even a basic “complaint letter” to an airline works best when, after outlining the offense, you request they take actions to amend said transgression. Focusing on what’s not working gets you more not working. A request will move you past it regardless of whether the request is fulfilled. The request breaks the cycle of illusory inaction.
Not complaining makes me listen
When I’m not constantly looking for what’s wrong, I have to listen. Listening, especially when I have an opinion about something can be scary. When I listen I am frightened that I will forget my position & won’t get what I want.
You know how you have to fight for everything, right? Wrong. Fighting begets more fighting. Giving up the fight goes against the skilled verbal pugilist who can eviscerate with a few precise words that I have trained myself to be. I no longer can take pleasure in hurting when I feel hurts. Listening negates the fight and for some reason, I win.
No complaining is peaceful
When you give up complaining, you’re left with finding a solution or just being bothered less. If you’re committed to not complaining, you can’t latch on to things in the same way. Things become less annoying…Interesting.
No complaining may affect your relationships
When you stop complaining, you may realize there are some friends that you now have nothing to say to. Your only connection was the trauma share. Now that you’ve committed to patching up your usual oozings, you have no relationship. At least not that way anymore. Create a new one.
So…giving up complaining has me be more forgiving and compassionate and a better listener. I’ll take 2 scoops of that!
Today’s victory: I was able to listen to a distressed friend and instead of fixing her or telling her not to complain, I was able to ask her the questions she needed to hear so she could save herself.
Gratitude: I am thankful for the people who believe in me when I do not and remind me of my greatness.
On the horizon: A no complaining bracelet and my adventures in NaNoWriMo!
How’s your challenge going?