- Mental Health
Addicted to Complaining? When To Know Enough is Enough.
Worth Complaining About?
Definition of addiction (n) from bing.com · Bing Dictionary
Definition of addiction (n) from bing.com · Bing Dictionary
ad·dic·tion, [ ə díksh'n ]
1. Drug dependence: a state of physiological or psychological dependence on a potentially harmful drug
2. Devotion: great interest in a particular thing to which a lot of time is devoted
Synonyms: habit, compulsion, dependence, need, obsession, craving, infatuation
Quote - Richard Carlson
"We should be graceful with our low moods and grateful for our high ones."
Complaining - What Do You Really Gain?
I am in the process of reading Co-Active Coaching, 3rd Edition: Changing Business, Transforming Lives and came across this exercise for complaining. "Exercise: Make a list of 25 complaints in your life. Things that just are'nt going your way. They don't have to be reasonable. If you have a complaint about the weather, write it down. Acts of God are not off limits for complaints or requests.
When you have your list of 25 complaints, compose a request that addresses each complaint. Target your request to a specific person whenever possible, someone who has the power and the ability to do something about your request. Then, for as many as possible on your list, actually follow through and make the request. And remember, there are always three legitimate responses to your request: yes, no, or a counteroffer."
This really got me thinking.
I had also recently read in Supercoach: 10 Secrets to Transform Anyone's Life about complaining, or more specifically "No Complaints".
"Since complaining is the opposite of creation, one task I often give my clients when we first start working together is to put them on a "complaint fast" --that is, I ask them to go a day or a week or a month deliberately not complaining (out loud!) about anything."
In essence you would create a "complaint fast" for yourself. You could start by going one week without complaining. The rule is, if you complain even once during that week you start over again with day one. The author admits it took him, "the better part of a year to complete the first time".
When I read this, it appealed to me. I even discussed it with a few friends because I was intrigued. I considered starting a fast myself, but thought I don't complain very much so it would not be very beneficial for me.
Quote - Supercoach: 10 Secrets to Transform Anyone's Life
"Your day doesn't create your mood; your mood creates your day."
Now, keep in mind that between reading both of these books and complaining coming up as potential roadblocks or barriers, I had a realization of my own. Just last week I spoke with my personal trainer the day following our training session. I was making a comment about how the workout kicked my butt. I specifically said, "Yeah, I felt like ass after our workout", but before I could completely finish that sentence my trainer chimed in. "No, you weren't an asshole, you were just complaining a lot." Well obviously I corrected him and said, "No, I meant I felt like I literally had my ass kicked, and continued to make excuses about why I was complaining." I am sure he felt great about calling me out too, but after we hung up I began to think about what he said.
"Do I really complain that much?" Denial sets in, it had to be just a one time thing. So last night as I was reading, Co-Active Coaching, 3rd Edition: Changing Business, Transforming Lives, and I came across the exercise for complaining, I could not deny my addiction anymore.
My ADDICTION to Complaining!
My Complaints List
"Enough is enough", I thought. So I decided to make a complaint list of my own. Mind you this is more of an all inclusive list of random thoughts that go through my mind, come out my mouth, and potentially pollute others' thoughts. So here goes.....
- Weather - Too Hot, Too Cold, Too Dry, Too Wet
- Is it Spring or Winter - Damn Groundhog
- My allergies - Damn Spring
- I want my hair to grow
- I am having to shave too often
- I am sick of cleaning: up behind you, myself, our pets, etc.
- My car is dirty
- I don't want to wash and vacuum my car
- I have no energy
- I have to wake up to go workout with my trainer
- I am over weight
- I am sore from working out
- I don't have time
- I have too much time
- This weekend flew by
- This weekend drug by - It's the weather
- My family drives me crazy
- No one ever calls me
- You snore too much
- I can't sleep
- You were gone all weekend and I missed you
- My skin is dry
- My skin is oily
- My hair is dry
- My hair is too oily
- I'm hungry
- I am stuffed
- This is too expensive
- That is too cheap
- I don't have enough money
- That is too loud
- Turn it up, I can't hear
- I have too much to do
- I am bored
- I want to go out
- We spent too much money
I could probably keep going, on and on. However, I am sure you get the point. In and of themselves some of these "complaints" are not so bad or have good intentions, but as a collective list they are daunting.
What complaints does your list consist of?
An addict is just that, addicted to drugs, alcohol, lying, complaining, food, fill-in-the-blank.......
So as an addict do you really know you have a problem? An addiction? Can you quit what you don't know you have a problem with? Does it require Divine intervention or just an intervention?
After doing this exercise and creating my list of complaints, I have decided that I am going to utilize a dry erase board to write my complaints on. As I make the complaint, I will write it on the board. Once I go a week without making that complaint, I will erase it, ideally from the board and my mind.
I think this will also be a great way to get my husband involved and potentially anyone that sees my board. When asked about it and what it is for, I can hopefully help liberate others to do the same. Identify they have a problem and begin to take steps to rectify that problem.
This was really eye opening for me. I consider myself an optimist, my glass is always half-full. I believe in Positive Mental Attitude, benefit of the doubt, everything happens for a reason, etc. How did I succumb to my addiction of complaining? Now, I could beat myself up about it, or I could take action.
I am taking action. How about you?
What do you complain about, and how often?
Is it time to admit you too are addicted and could benefit from taking a "Complaint Fast"?