Putting complaining in perspective and finding ways to stop
Complaining. Everybody does it. Sometimes, well...actually occasionally, we do it from a positive perspective for the purpose of effecting change and that’s good! But most of the time we complain because someone or something is irritating us, or putting pressure on us or challenging us or contradicting us. Most of our complaints are not for the purpose of truly solving any issue; rather, they are for the purpose of being heard, of having our position or circumstance or opinion verified. We complain for attention, for sympathy and to reinforce our ego. We often use complaining as a tool of destruction against those we oppose. For the most part, complaining doesn’t sound all that productive. So, what do we do about it? How do we stop our complaining or transform it into something good?
“Enough already! Just stop your complaining!” We have all either heard or said this very thing at one point or another in our lives...and most likely it had to do with kids. Whether you were the adult or the kid doesn't matter – what matters is the exasperation response that complaining can produce. What if, instead of going down that road of response, we responded to the incessant whining of a child with, “Look, I know this isn’t the way you want it to be and instead of lamenting so boisterously, why don’t you learn to reframe your complaints in a constructive manner and express them to someone who will not get emotionally caught up with you and will instead help you manage the burden that you are carrying!” I know – that’s ridiculous. But the thing is, it’s true! Can we minimize the role complaining plays in our life?
David, the writer of most of the Psalms, was a complainer – but NOT like the example above. On the contrary, David perfected the art of complaining to such a degree that we now read many of his complaints and walk away inspired for good! How is that possible? Instead of complaining so much that one would lose count, David made his complaints count. That’s right, David found and taught a formula for constructive complaining. One of the really cool things about this is when you read current studies about complaining and how to turn the tide towards a positive result, you realize that David, thousands of years ago, did exactly what these experts say we should do now! Very cool!
The good news here (actually, the GREAT news here) is that David’s constructive techniques are not only transferable, they are easy to understand. This means that we – you and I – can learn how to reframe what we complain about, how we do it and to whom we do it to actually achieve positive results. This means we can complain, in the right form, place and delivery, so it is a positive exercise to help us to grow and mature! It sounds weird, so check out our December 11, 2017 podcast, “Does Complaining Ever Help?” and see for yourself. Complaining may never sound the same to you again!
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