But, I hear you ask, complaining brings us together – it unites our worried souls! Why should we stop complaining?
Well, simply because it is bad for your insides.
Take this for an example:
You’re in Zara’s changing rooms and a fellow lady sneaks a look at you and **hurray** she sees that you’re looking back! She roles her eyes at you, lets out a heavy sigh that has clearly been dying to escape for months, and says, “cor, I’m two sizes heavier just looking at this shop! These clothes are designed for a tiny person, and **sigh** I am not a tiny person”.
Just like that, BOOM, you are united. You are united with this common ground. You are, in fact, a team!
You no longer feel like the only fatty in the store. You now have a surge of confidence and you are ready. You are ready to share this complaint with all the women in the changing rooms so that they too can feel liberated from the tiny clothes in ZARA. You’re no longer alone, WINNER!
The problem with complaining, though, is that letting such an unimportant statement free from your troubled mind won’t make you feel better.
In fact, most people don’t actually care much for our complaint about how annoyingly small ZARA makes their clothes, or the weather, or about how tired we are because we stayed up late, or about how we spent too much money at the weekend, or about how we didn’t enjoy the dinner we went to last night.
The uninterested listener on the receiving end of a complaint will nod their head in agreement to demonstrate how empathetic they can be, but all they’re thinking is…sshhh, you’re spraying me with your negative energy.
It was this months article in Marie Clare about complaining that made me think about my own complaining. I made a royal complaint about Black Friday this morning and I feel like it has probably seeped out badness into my brain and down through my body and now it’s evident in the grey tone of my dull skin.
This was my complaint: (it won’t make you feel great – because that’s what complaining does to you) – but there is a resolution at the end to make you feel GREAT.
As I watched CNN this morning I watched the animals that had obviously escaped their territory to scramble around the electronics aisle of a very large supermarket in Manchester (UK) on Black Friday.
I watched as they attacked each other and scraped their way forward to grab the ‘bargain’. This news of people fighting in England in certain supermarkets made it to CNN – world news. Now the world has seen the kind of consumer culture that is ruining England.
They had no shame. There really wasn’t any shame. New Zealand has now witnessed these wolves preying on the competition as they snatched the ‘bargains’ from each others paws and hurried back to their pack to show off their winnings.
I then had a good old complain about how ridiculous their behaviour was and how I couldn’t believe what I had seen. How has it got to this? Much of England will have missed the Thanksgiving dinner entirely and dove straight into the trap of our greedy consumerist culture. The big cheeses sure know how to trick us into scrounging for a Black Friday bargain!
And back to the point…
Now, I bet you don’t feel great. I bet you either disagree and feel a little bit negative, or you agree and feel a bit negative and annoyed, but nonetheless we’re now united in our complaint bonding! BUT, we need to find a way to STOP feeling this negativity, and the only way to do this is to stop complaining altogether – unless it really matters!
The journalist in Marie Clare had decided to try and stop complaining for 1 week because it wasn’t good for her health, or anyone else’s.
On day one of this test, at the train station, a woman turned to the journalist and rolled her eyes at her to demonstrate her irritation at yet another delay on a rainy day. Rather than agreeing, though, the journalist said with spirit, “at least we have caffeine”, to which the woman looked away feeling disappointed at the lack of validation she received for her complaint.
Then, I thought, wow, so why don’t we all just stop complaining?
So that’s what I am going to do – starting from today. Saturday 29th November. I am going to stop complaining for a week and see how different I feel at the end of it. There are loads of reasons why we should stop complaining – not just because there are worse things happening in the world but because I genuinely do think we will all be happier for it and feel positive on the inside.