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The constructive element of complaining

“When you complain, you make yourself a victim. Leave the situation, change the situation, or accept it. All else is madness.”

Eckhart Tolle

Do something about it!

Anxiety, frustration, mistrust, betrayal, and many more complaining markers can lead to chronic complaining. In its spiral form, complaining is one harmful habit to avoid, but how? With patients, grit, and honest self-awareness, you can take back your positive mind by focusing your mouth on more positive things and fewer complaints. If you catch yourself in a spiral of complaining or find you feel worse and even complain more after a specific event or hanging out with a particular person, you may want to look closer at the root of what’s going on. You need to recognize something before you can decide if you want to change it or not. An honest self-examination to notice if the complaining is spiraling into more negative or cycling into something better can help recognize and acknowledge what’s underneath the complaining and make room for something new.

When Introspection does not present adequate solutions, ask a trusted friend. It may be helpful to ask others whom you can trust to be kind, sensitive, and also honest if they notice anything obvious about your complaining that you might not be able to see. Listen as openly as you can, remembering that whenever there is something we cannot see ourselves, it might be that we don’t want to see it. Know that you are always the final judge of what you need. Anything from an outside source needs first to be processed within before its wisdom can take hold.

Complaining can become an end in itself rather than merely seeing what’s not working. When complaining becomes too much of our identity, transforming it into a higher art form can be simply following a complaint or a group of similar complaints to its natural conclusion, finding a solution, and applying it. Transforming complaining into something positively useful begins with turning our complaining mind and critical eyes towards things we can actually do something about then take positive action. Our positive action then re-enforces the constructive element of complaining – the desire from within signaling us to make some changes.

  • What do I want to create in place of whatever I’m complaining about?

  • What do I want to create in place of whatever it is I desire to eliminate or change?

Next time we’re about to complain, ask and write down in a journal or aloud to ourselves rather than lashing out at an organization or another person a positive question around what we would like to create in the place of whatever it is we desire to eliminate or change. The positive action we then take completes the cycle and places complaining into its proper role of signaling that we want change. Channeling a negative habit into a creative process is one of the most empowering acts we can gift ourselves. It’s not easy. It requires honest self-awareness and compassionate action. When we do this, we transform negative energy from within to change the world around us in a positive way.

“Go 24 hours without complaining. (Not even once.) Then watch how your life starts changing.”


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