We are always told to stop complaining so much that this has become a meaningless cliché, that kills us slowly
My friend was so excited about his new job, until the end of his first day.
“everyone complains!” He complained.
He went on for 5 minutes about how the staff is under qualified and everyone has a bad attitude.
This can’t be complaining, right?
Actually, it can’t be anything other than complaining.
Expressing dissatisfaction is so common that we do not see how harmful it actually is.
In order to complain, one thing must be true. we must feel like we have no control over our dissatisfaction. What we expect to happen almost never happens in the way we expect. And when our reality doesn’t match our expectation (how we think things should be), we tend to feel dissatisfied.
This dissatisfaction has nothing to do with the complainers at my friend’s new job or his under qualified coworkers, it has to do with how he chooses to perceive his job.
A perception that leads him to complain about complaining, complaining that may seem harmless now, but it was really creating more dissatisfaction in the future. Complaining is a way of convincing yourself that you do not have the ability to change a certain aspect of your life. This shuts down your ability to be curious and creative, and you just become another complainer at the office.
My friend realized this when I asked him this.
“when are you going to start complaining to yourself about your own complaining?”
he looked frustrated and then confused.
“I’m not complaining, I’m…”
“Defending something that you don’t want to be true?”
His perception shifted just enough for him to be curious instead of critical. He stopped complaining and started thinking differently about work. We began talking about what he could do to make work better and more enjoyable. He put himself back in the driver’s seat of his future.