So if you remember about a month ago I gave myself the challenge to not complain for thirty days on my personal Facebook. Then with everything else (i.e. verbally) I limited myself to two complaints a day. The type of complaints you have to get out before you go all ax murderer on someone. But I did allow myself an exception being that I could complain after I took immediate action to change things. I planned on channeling all the pent-up frustration into my writing. But as you’ll see… things never go as planned.
The first week I did great! Outstanding! Did not utter a single complaint. Killed my word count goals. Felt great! So I upped the ante and decided to not verbally complain at all (again unless I took action). Well, what the hell was I drinking that day…
Because the second week I fell flat on my face. Splat. I failed miserably. Miserably! And my words count… forget it. Maybe the pressure built up from not complaining and my body couldn’t take it anymore. Or maybe we’re just programmed to complain. And to make things worse I let my complaining infect others. Like the one morning my co-worker came in all happy and cheery… well I ruined that in no time. First thing out of my mouth a big fat ‘ol complaint. Next thing you know they’re in a negative angry mood all because of me. Yup, I did that. All me. Not something I’m proud of, but…
The third week I did much better. Only a few complaints escaped like the one night I had this massive migraine (or cluster headache, doctors aren’t sure). Moving made it hurt. Laying down made it hurt. My eye swelled, drooped and teared. It felt like a red-hot poker seared a throbbing hole into my temple. And after I dosed myself up with painkillers and migraine medicine, I let the toxic complaints spew (probably more like incessant whining; my poor husband). I figured, hey I took immediate action to change the circumstances, so what if it didn’t work; I think I earned some complaining points. Would my head have exploded if I didn’t complain? Maybe. Did I feel better after? No. And actually talking made it hurt too, so I just put myself through more punishment for nothing. And to top it off, I wrote a pathetic fifteen hundred words that week. Guess that serves me right.
So the last week I decided to try something different. Seeing how cold turkey didn’t work real well and being a garbage can of complaints didn’t make things better, I decided to go for being all positive on my Facebook (which, by the way, I wasn’t complaining on at all… actually wasn’t say much of anything at all) and verbally be constructive in my complaining. Meaning, I would complain, but talk myself through to a solution. Like complaining that you have wrist pain. Solutions: go to the doctor, perform self-care, or cut your arm off. And let me tell you… Bingo! Jackpot! This method let the pressure out, helped me realize solutions to my complaints (or things were out of my control like drivers cutting me off), and reminded myself, through positive posts, of all the good in my life.
So here’s my final thoughts:
1. Not complaining at all… bad.
2. Complaining all the time… bad.
3. Constructive complaining… good.
Overall, this little experiment made me realize it’s so easy to infect others and be infected by complaining. Not to mention, it’s super easy to get sucked in without realizing it. But when you do, take a breath, remember there’s always a solution, and if all else fails… picture something that makes you happy 🙂