The world in which you live is not what many would want it to be. The career path is not going according to plan. Marriage is more struggle than you thought going in. Kids are constant work. Schedules are too packed. Routine dominates.
So what can you do?
Most choose this opportunity to let everyone know just how unhappy, dissatisfied, or disappointed they are in the form of a complaint. It’s harmless right? I mean it’s just a little complaint.
The problem is that complaining offers no real solution. After the complaint is shared, you’re still in the same situation. It’s like sitting in a rocking chair. Its comfortable, you feel like you are accomplishing something, but you don’t get anywhere.
Complaining also sends negative energy into the world. When you are emitting negative energy, you can’t help but feel negative. Your perspective changes and it’s easy to begin seeing everything as half empty. This leaves an empty feeling inside that many people go to great lengths to try and fill. Complain long enough, you end up alone. Who wants to be in a relationship with a “glass is half empty” complainer?
Interestingly when I set out to complete the 21 day complaint free marriage experiment, I believed I was firmly in the half-full camp. Optimistic. Upbeat. I quickly discovered was I was not as complaint free as I thought. While trying an experiment like this will not change the fact that the world is not what I want it to be, it does change the way I view it.
Complaining is too easy of a way out. If I complain, I pass the buck. It’s not my fault, it’s yours. This has been happening since the beginning of time. Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the serpent. Other people are responsible for our lot in life.
Once, I worked with a lady who continually complained about relationship failures and each man’s responsibility in those failures. Each time she found herself in a good relationship, they would do something to screw it up. This continued for several relationships and each time her response would be to complain to anyone who’d listen. After hearing her complaints, I asked her one simple question, “what’s the common denominator in your stories?” The answer, her.
When you take charge of life, complaining doesn’t fit. If there is an issue going on between you and your spouse, keep it between you and them. Bringing in another person by complaining to them only makes things worse. If I keep it between the involved parties, I increase the likelihood of finding a workable solution.
An added idea is to address the issue between you and your spouse, not the faults of your spouse. There’s a drastic difference in the way you’d respond to being informed of a co-created problem between the two of you and being informed by your spouse about how much they think you suck.
When I take responsibility for my life, I take charge of my life. As this continues, I take charge of my marriage. My family. My career.
Now, when things go on that would normally produce a complaint, either keep quite or speak up in the form of possible solutions. Taking action keeps complaining at bay. When I am active in the world around me, I change the world.