I am a Recovering Complainer

This is no surprise to those that know me.  I grew up listening to dad talk about how so many things were done wrong by those surrounding us.  Complaining was normal to me.  It took me 25+ years to realize complaining wasn’t helping anyone.

Negativity fever is so strong and easy to get we don’t realize it controls our lives.  It starts with a tiny justified burst of frustration, evolves to daily complaints and ends with a chronic case of victim mentality and finger pointing.

Here’s how I sound with the negative fever:

  • He doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
  • There’s no point to even try.
  • This file is a piece of crap.
  • Why is he leaving early with all this work to do.
  • That won’t work because…
  • Why can’t you just do it like this

When I have the fever I end up sounding like I have all the answers and the world is just out to get me.

What I got from all these negativity?

  • Everlasting stress and frustration
  • Solitude – the more I complained the less people wanted to be around me.
  • Bad reputation – complainers don’t get their good ideas heard.
  • Lack of career progress – whiners don’t get more responsibility.
  • Lack of productivity and emotional balance

Finding a cure

After reaching a personal low, I was forced to reflect on my ways.  Below are some medicines I use to combat this disease.

  • What I’m going to do about it?
    • This question forces me to decide if I’m going to take action or not.  If the answer is no, then I’m just wasting energy.
  • Is it something I can control?
    • If I can’t effect change, there’s no need to get frustrated about progress, all I can do is offer an idea to the person responsible and let he/she decide what to do with it.
  • Limit it to a few minutes
    • It’s okay to express frustration every now and then, but it’s good to limit it to a short rant and move on to action.
  • Look for the Good Stuff
    • Pick out what’s good of an idea and improve on it.

What tactics do you use to avoid this fever?



4 thoughts on “I am a Recovering Complainer

Add yours

  1. You are so right. The first thing I do is to recognize and stay away from complainers, because they will bring you down to the complaining place where they are. Stay POSITIVE! There are two sides to every story and coin. Look for the POSITIVE! You’ll feel much better! 🙂

  2. I grew up reading Dear Ann and Dear Abby – and as trite as it might sound, I remind myself every day of their mantra: that I choose. I choose how I feel. I choose how I react. I choose how I respond. It is always my choice when I am happy, angry, sad, frustrated or bored. With that top of mind – I choose to have a good day and to bring a positive attitude forward. When I start down the negativity path – I try very hard to be reflective of what I want from my current feelings: do I want to vent? do I want a solution? do I want a pity moment? do I want to be heard? do I want my way? It usually boils down to something I want – so it is important to identify it and then get the satisfaction that comes from realizing what you want and getting it. This way I can quickly move from letting the negativity overwhelm me.

    1. I have actually used these same principles but instead of complaining I use them for worrying. Thanks for the cross reference. 🙂

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