I read somewhere, on some inspirational quote meme or something (off to a vague start, I know!), something along the lines of going an entire day without complaining and watching your world change.
I decided that this was a worthwhile challenge. Of course the day I can across this and decided to attempt it my day fell a part at work and with everything else. Anything that could of went wrong did go wrong and I couldn't let any of it go.
I have a hard time holding things in, so I vent, trying not to be on the complaining side of things. But where do you draw the line?
Essentially, what is the difference between venting and telling someone about your day and complaining?
I think the main difference is that venting will normally get you a sympathetic response from your listener. If you cross the line into complaining, or worse, whining, you'll see a different response in their body language, such as furtive glances at their watch or eyes glazing over - all signs that they'd rather be anywhere else. Watch out for the signs.
When you really consider what you complain about, does it really matter? There's always bigger problems and there's always smaller one's. It's all relative.
On WorldStarHipHop I saw a mother dragging her infant by the arm and slamming her on the concrete while people just drove past. In another video a man was burned to death for stealing potatoes (not kidding). Considering that, my complaints are petty. It's hard to complain about anything after seeing that. I'm not suggesting you watch the videos but it really puts life in perspective.
I completely agree! THat's generally what I keep in mind. Usually myi ssues are with my job, and the constant stress it causes me - the reality is that I'm the manager of a coffee house. My complaints are EXTREMELY petty, in some cases. But I do happen to work in what could be considered a hostile environment as well (As far as coffee houses go that is).
When I was a waitress in the UK we had all sorts of snotty people coming in, that would just get outraged by anything to do with food, whether it was something we had just ran out of, that their appetizers took longer than 5 minutes, they didn't know that the roast vegetables included eggplant - whatever. And a few times I asked them if it was going to matter in the morning, in 24 hours, in a week. They didn't like that question, but it got the point across that it wasn't something to be as irate about as they were.
I always keep that in mind. Is this something that is going to be cumbersome in the future or is it just a current annoyance?
I think that you can draw the line like this:
Venting - talking once, to one (maybe two) other(s);
Complaining - going on and on about your 'problems' all day with everyone, even when you get home;
The best which you can do is to let it all bounce, or fall, off of you. Just smile and keep on living.
One way to help stop complaining is to silence the complainer inside. Every time you start to have a negative thought, think of things you're grateful for. I am grateful for all the big stuff (kids etc) but also for a lot of weird things. They seem strange, but they really do make me happy.
Having toilet paper.
Full tank of gas.
Having a job.
When you retrain your brain to focus on the positive, complaining becomes less natural or at least it's not the loudest voice in your head.
Sounds like great advice, Beth37:). I would advise venting to a close friend whom you can trust and likes you for everything you are. Make sure it isn't an officemate. Complaining in the midst of everyone around you can get twisted up and used against you.
I do that with my boyfriend. When he gets upset, I make him count five good things that are in his life, whether they are related or unrelated. He hates it, but it does the trick!
Great advice Beth! I am feeling like I am complaining too much (I am even tired of hearing it!), so I am going to do less complaining. Being more grateful is certainly the way to go.
In general, I find that either complaining or venting does nothing to solve or end a problem. In the short term it can (depending on the individual) make someone feel better just to vent but that's all.
It also, at the same time, spreads negativity all around that person. Negativity which does absolutely nothing towards improving their life and in the long run will affect them negatively. I've gotten to the point I wish to surround myself with positive people, not whiners and complainers. When the venting starts I simply fade out to the background, leaving the complainer to themselves. I'm not interested.
So...best practice is generally to keep your mouth closed. Learn to control your emotional state instead of spreading it to someone else. If complaining stands a good chance of correcting a problem, fine, but simply venting anger or dissatisfaction will only hurt over time.
I read somewhere that there are over 1 million formal in court complaints filed each day in the USA.
I have found that people who complain quietly and not formally are fearful folk. If we look at the world around us and find everything is near perfect then certainly we should not complain. But if we see gross waste, negligence, malice or bureaucracy run amok then as ancient as Plato's Republic we as human citizens must complain.
Complaining is the pointing out of something we see as wrong. When we stop doing that for ourselves and others what will ever get fixed or even have light shed upon it?
With all that said and OTOH if complaining is more about the complainer than an issue we have problems. I work a lot in "Risk Management" so I get paid to resolve complaints and to pose them.
As for me personally I really am a glass completely full kind of person -- I see it as half filled with water and half filled with air. But I complain if I think an issue needs attention, and a lot of people attack me for it. I suppose I could complain about that ;-)
Let US ALL have a COMPLAINT-FREE day at least and work up from there!
The cat's pregnant. The dog did it. Getting sued for negligent cat-keeping.
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