Friends, family, colleagues, better halves or our customers and clients, tell us so many stories and random things. But if we observe, wouldn’t you agree, at least 50% of the times, the most common conversations revolve around complaints?
Sometimes it gets so ingrained that we don’t even realize that we’re complaining. I’ll share an incident about two people I knew at work. Both of them taught me great deal about why need to stop complaining. The first person I knew, let’s call her Sarah, loved to incessantly gossip at work and talk about what someone did to her or immediately speak ill behind someone’s back. She would constantly complain, and live happily in her own martyrdom. It seemed that nothing and no one escaped her negative spin. She had a closed mindset, she got jealous of everyone around her. Neither did she grow in her field nor in her personal life.
On the other hand, I knew a person, let’s call her Anna, who would spin the situation into positive and inspiring moments. Everyone loved her optimism, except for Sarah, who found her highly annoying (obviously). One would feel not only in awe of Anna but also love to see how she would always find something positive to say about a person. She was always optimistic in situations and turned every moment in her favor. She not only lead but also achieved a lot more appreciation. Mind you, this is cent per cent a true situation.
If there is a task for you to do, it should be this: find the Growth Mindset people around you, like Anna. Locate the negative mindset people like Sarah as well. You will know which way you need to choose to move your thoughts and actions.
Since I’m a performance coach and an instructional designer, I get to speak with a lot of L&D professionals. Whenever I speak with them regarding any consulting projects, the first thing that they speak of is either employees complain about training or employees complaining about work, in general. A culture of happiness and appreciation seems like a utopian idea, these days.
I wanted to delve a little deeper and explore this complaining mentality at work and even in life, generally. I also read sort of an infamous book on the “complaining attitude” called as: The no complaining rule. I realized that we actually spend about 70-90% of of our time complaining about situations, people and more. To get you out of even that tiny teeny bit of negativity and complaining habits, I’ve carefully observed and designed these seven rules to go by (trust me they work wonders):
- Decide and be firm with your decisions: The first and foremost thing to do is to take ownership of your life by choosing your options and making decisions for your well-being first. When you stop sabotaging yourself (if you’ve subscribed to my newsletter you would have received the saboteur test.) When you carefully align your positive thinking to your actions, it ultimately transforms your decision making capacity.
- Be an undeterred force for good by affirming the positive and happy: “Instead of complaining that the rose bush is full of thorns, be happy the thorny bush has roses.” It is true that it takes courage and a lot, mentally, to be positive and happy in life. This is absolutely true, once you’ve understood the power of positive affirmations, you will not only thrive but also vouch for living a better life.
- Get rid of your negative consumption to make a mind shift: You will be surprised to realize, when you choose to be a force for good, you will shift towards a growth mindset. You will stop complaining and getting affected by another person’s complaints when you shift your mindset. It is said, when at work, gossip ends at a smart person’s ears and similarly, even in life, there might be situations which will always exaggerate the negative and attract you to lose your frame. Once you reflect within and consciously choose to eradicate the negative, you will be extremely positive.
- Rationalize your situations: For any individual to not get affected in negative and complaining situations : whether it is a difficult day at work or a difficult time in personal life; rationalization of situations allows one to look at situations from different lens. Indeed it is best to look at situations from a calm and composed mind and channelizes the cogent thoughts into the right direction.
- Be compassionate, without judgement: Compassion is an essential skill to actually empathize with another person, even if he or she is not being their most optimistic self. Compassion is a skills most individuals and organizations are investing in. It not only allows you to imbibe situations in a better way but makes every moment more opportune. Truly, try it with your bosses, colleagues and even other teammates. This allows you to sometimes actually take a back seat and hear a person out in situatons where their complaint might actually be genuine.
- Get rid of the term ‘busy’: The disease of busyness is actually hindering your productivity and making you complain more in life. You might want to read the blog post on the same as well.
- Hire a coach to gain better habits or seek skills training: It is absolutely important to be a lifelong learner and to maximize your potential and aid your performance at work and in life. Ensure you have a coach for the same or enroll in professional training.
There is a famous saying by Lou Holtz, “Don’t complain. Eighty percent of the people you complain to don’t care and 20 percent are glad you have problems.” By this statement I definitely don’t mean that you shouldn’t talk about your problems with someone, or share your stories with a dear friend or discuss things even with official help (psychologies or therapists). By all means, if it helps you just talk about certain issues and get rid of them then do so. However, don’t become a container of all the negative emotion.
Now, I want to hear from you: Do you complain? I’m sure you do. We all do, but how much and to what extent? I want to hear from you. How do you stop beyond a point and where do you realize it is constructive or destructive to complain? Yes… write on.
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