I was recently told that I complain a lot. While one’s immediate reaction is to become defensive and try to argue against the accusations laid against you, age has taught me it’s futile.
The truth of the matter is I DO complain a lot. There – I admitted it.
And while at times I feel like it’s warranted, it rarely produces any positive results.
I recently read something that I have to keep reminding myself. Cleo Wade wrote an inspiring book entitled Heart Talk and in it she sums up my complaining perfectly.
“Sometimes our habitual thinking takes over and we end up complaining or being upset about things that don’t actually matter to us. Break the habit. Before you get worked up about something, ask yourself, Do I really value this enough to exhaust myself emotionally over it?”
What a powerful statement – Do I really value this enough to exhaust myself emotionally over it?
The answer is NO!
Richard B. Joelson (DSW, LCSW) – a psychotherapist in New York City – says that, “It appears that complaining, for many, is a communication made in the hope that someone will recognize their suffering. Once recognition is achieved, something inside the complainer feels satisfied.”
Yeah, I’d agree with that statement.
Though some might not be willing to fess up to this, we’re all guilty of complaining from time to time – it’s human nature. But as we grow older, the repetitiveness of this behavior becomes mentally exhausting.
Shantideva, a Buddhist scholar and monk, once said, “If something can be changed, work to change it. If it cannot, why worry, be upset and complain?”
I’ll take that one step further.
Do we really have anything to complain about at all when we look around at the realities of our life?
Yes, there are things I wish turned out differently in my life (careers, relationships, etc.). But at the end of the day I think we must all, myself included, change our habitual thinking so we don’t “end up complaining or being upset about things that don’t actually matter to us”.
“You are in charge of how much space a thought takes up in your life. Take the time to carefully consider what you let be a part of your being and your spirit.” – Cleo Wade, Heart Talk