What No One Wants to Hear

“Our generation has an incredible amount of realism, yet at the same time it loves to complain and not really change. Because, if it does change, then it won't have anything to complain about.” ~ Tori Amos

How much complaining do you do on a regular basis? What are your favorite topics? The weather? The pandemic? Your favorite sports team? Business? The economy? The local "politicos?"

A more important question ... how much time do you spend complaining ... without even realizing it? Negative habits and patterns seep into our daily behavior without our ever realizing it. We, as humans, have a tendency to perpetuate these cycles by filling our days with what the television media calls “news.” The 24-hour news cycle is not the friend of folks who are slightly pessimistic. More than 30 minutes of news television per day can turn that “Negative Nelly” into a full-blown Eeyore in less time than you can say, “Isn’t (fill-in-the-blank) just AWFUL?” Try reading the news for a change. It’s much easier to turn the page than it is to turn the channel!

Another key question … how does complaining serve you? How much energy does it take, and what kind of energy do people sense when they are around you? You’ve probably walked into a room full of people, begun to chat with someone and thought, “How long do I need to put up with this negativity before I can politely excuse myself?” Keeping up to speed with local events and news is not a bad thing. However, continuously harping on your biggest bone of contention with your city’s mayor does not make for a good conversation. If you want to be “that” person at the event whom everyone else avoids, go ahead … keep complaining. This is particularly important for those in the coaching and consulting field. Who wants a coach with a negative attitude?

Remember ... Your words move others. Your words move you. Let your words send everyone in the right direction.

Here are some tips to help you stop complaining:

Take Action Try to shift your focus to solving problems rather than having them. It’s okay to comment on a negative situation if you can use it as a springboard for doing something about it. Set the example for others and you’ll be surprised at how many people will follow your lead.

Awareness is Key Seek out those repetitive negative-feeding activities hiding in your typical day. Minimize your exposure to them, if you can. Remember, grumbling is a complete waste of energy and boring for the folks who have to listen to it.

Be Grateful Don’t wait for Thanksgiving to roll around to be thankful! Regularly reflect on all the good in your life whether it’s people, opportunities, or tangible items. Think about how lucky you really are. Start a gratitude journal and write down at least one thing you are thankful for every day.

Make Someone Smile Replace a complaint with a compliment. Seek out small comments you can make to brighten someone’s day. You will be amazed at how effective one short sentence about the color of someone’s shirt or the brightness of their smile can be in shifting your energy from “No way” to “All day!”

Striving to shift your own energy can impact all aspects of your life and the lives of those around you. It’s time to kick Eeyore to the curb!