Wow, what a book!
I was browsing through my Kindle last week, stumbled upon this title, and it grabbed me. As I read through this fictitious story heavily laden with lesson upon lesson, I felt like the story was written just for me! Hi, my name is Lisa, and I realized I had become a C.C. - Chronic Complainer. (Hi Lisa….)
I used to be a much more positive person. Somewhere along the line, I started to complain. And then I’d complain some more. And so on. I would wager that most conversations with friends/family likely included a heavy dose of complaining. So what was I complaining about? Probably complaining about complaining!
This book clearly defines the differences between mindless complaining and justified complaining. Complaining is not a sin, nor is it likely to go away forever. Complaining can be a positive thing, when it leads to a solution to a problem. That’s justified complaining. It’s the mindless complaining that’s the problem. Mindless complaining is never positive, since it’s usually shared amongst people who cannot (and usually do not want to) solve whatever problem is being complained about. The mindless nature fuels more complaining, where those involved may become even more dissatisfied or unhappy than when they first started their complaining.
Talk about an epiphany! Ever since I read the book, I’ve found myself self-monitoring my own complaining and noticing just how much others complain as well. It’s awful! The thing is, I don’t think we realize just how negative many of us can be. As an example, I asked a coworker how her Thanksgiving was, and after a long tirade of negative comments, there was not one good thing to report. How could that be?
Now, I’m not judging. At all. As previously stated, I’m a self-professed, and now recovering C.C. The author provided a great tool to assist with turning complaints into positives. He suggested that when you do find yourself complaining mindlessly, add the word “but” after the complaint. For example, “I didn’t really enjoy the food at Thanksgiving” can be turned into “I didn’t really enjoy the food at Thanksgiving….BUT at least I had my family to share the day with”. That was easy, right?
As I share this book and its fantastic lessons with some of my friends and coworkers, I’m receiving a very positive response. In fact, one coworker instant messaged me the next day, asking me, “Lisa, I need a BUT”. She was frustrated with something, prepared to complain about it, and was trying to find a BUT to turn it into something positive. I replied with a BUT, we had a good chuckle, and you know what, she seemed to be less frustrated by the end of this exchange. Interesting…..
The book also encourages attempting one day of no complaining. If that works, try one week. Asking ourselves what we’re trying to accomplish with our complaints is a good way to determine if the complaint is justified or mindless. Once you start thinking this way, you really do become more self aware of your own complaining frequency. Isn’t it more fun to write in a blog, post fun stuff on Facebook, or talk about happy things anyway? It’s too hard to smile and complain at the same time. That’s right up there with walking and chewing gum!
(This is my own opinion of The No Complaining Rule)