Moan less, complain better.
“When you complain, you make yourself a victim. Leave the situation, change the situation or accept it. All else is madness.”
– Eckhart Tolle
Moaning, ranting, whining, venting out, complaining, whinging… One way or another we all do it, some people do it all the time. You may even live in a country where it’s national sport… But does it do you or anyone any good? In short: No. Unless you actively do something about it, it’s just a bad habit.
On the flip side, when you feel that steam building up (or already coming out), you have a great opportunity to pause, investigate where is it coming from and turn the moaning into a healthy behaviour. Here’s a few things you can do to stop moaning and complain effectively:
Ask yourself what is your true motivation: Does something really need to be changed or done differently? Are you being realistic? Are you simply calling for attention? Is it out of habit?
If you realise there is no strong reason behind it, let it go.
Otherwise, check if you can do anything at all about it, if not, let it go.
If you can do anything about it, do it. Now.
OK, maybe before you do it, take a few deep breaths and consider for a moment what would be the more effective line of action, eg. using affirmation instead of whining.
If by this stage, you still believe complaining is the best way forward, by all means go ahead! And consider the following:
Write down what you want and how you want it. Be clear and specific. Even if you are making a phone call.
Voice one complain at a time, otherwise it gets confusing for everybody.
Be firm, but polite.
Make sure you are complaining to the right person/department/ministry…
End on a positive note, “I wish you all burn in hell” is just not a nice closing line.
If you find this whole process too difficult, you’re in luck: practicing mindfulness will help!
WHY IS IT GOOD?
Science shows complaining less and effectively has plenty of benefits:
It increases your chances to get what you actually want.
You will actually feel better, often the wrong reason why many complain in the first place.
People will like you more, whinging makes people desperate and frustrated.
You will feel better avoiding stress, anxiety and burnout.
It affects your mental health by rewiring your brain towards positivity and optimism.
Find the contact details of customer service and write or call with your complaint to them, and leave your cat alone, it doesn’t understand you anyway.
Never expect anyone to do anything you want them to do if you have not specifically told them to do so. If by sheer chance they do it, allow yourself to be surprised and grateful.
The traffic is not affected by your insults, it really doesn’t care about your anger… And neither do other motorists, they’re too busy with their own insults and anger. You can jog or walk to work instead, or take public transport and listen to a great podcast like On Being, or you can change jobs, or move house, or...
Did we mention how good practicing mindfulness is?
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