A few years back I was sitting in a hair salon waiting to have my hair blown dry. As I was sitting there waiting, I overheard two women having a very loud conversation about their moms. One was complaining bitterly how she had to call her mom every other day because otherwise her mom would hound her about why she had not called. The other woman rolled her eyes and said, "I know. Isn't it annoying that they continue to treat us like we were still kids. I am having lunch with my mother tomorrow and I am so dreading it. Next thing you know she will be asking me to go shopping with her as well."
They continued on and on but I did not hear them anymore. My thoughts had turned inward and I found myself in tears. You see, my mom had just passed away about a month prior to that conversation and I would have done anything to have her hound me or invite me to lunch. Those women just didn't know how lucky they were to have someone who loved them and wanted to be with them. And they also did not realize the impact their loud complaints could have on others.
People complain too much. They complain about things that are plain silly. I think that some of them would not have a single thing to say if it were not for constant complaining. And they complain loudly and for all to hear. They impose their morose sense of the world onto others who cannot avoid the onslaught.
The weather's too cold; it is too hot. I wish summer were here; I cannot stand these kids home anymore. I cannot wait for fall; God I hate raking leaves. I wish it would snow; Boy, I hate shoveling. Let's go to a movie; can you believe how much popcorn costs? I wish I could go to a party; My God it is so noisy here and I have a headache and the food stinks. I love going to weddings; did you see what she registered for? I cannot wait to get away to the beach; can you believe all the traffic and crowds? The sun is too bright....WHAT!
We go on and on and on. We take a pleasure and turn it into a joyless event by our or someone else's endless complaining. We all do it. And we all need to learn to simply just shut up.
And I am not saying that many do not have good reasons to complain. But come on. No one wants to hear your endless banter. My hospice patients have complained less. And they have real problems. Seriously.
What ever happened to being polite? Or to being gracious? Why must we always have to tell everyone our feelings every single moment we are feeling them? Is it the "me generation" that started all of this? You know, the generation that never knew a world where duty came before self? The ones that believe that the needs of the individual come first?
We seem to live in a time when high self-esteem is encouraged from childhood, when people have more freedom and independence than ever before, but are also far more depressed, anxious, cynical, and lonely. And who do they blame for this sad state of affairs? Well, they blame a lot of people, but not themselves. Goodness no. So they complain loudly and bitterly and for all of us to hear.
And I just don't want to hear it anymore.
So please. Just. Stop.
And where does all of this complaining take us anyway? Does it really make us feel better to unload it onto others? Does it help us to see things more clearly and to better ourselves? I think we all know the answer to that. It doesn't. And as a matter of fact, I think it makes us all the more miserable and isolated at best.
We have become a nation of complainers. We complain about the bad foods available, but still purchase and eat them. We complain about too much sex and violence on TV, but watch the shows anyway. We complain we are too lonely, but complain about the people we might be close to. We complain about our politicians, but vote them in anyway. We complain that we are too fat, too bored, too busy or too stressed, but we stop there, like somehow simply complaining about it will make it all either go away or be alright. And neither turns out to be the case.
We need to start doing more and complaining less. We need to learn once again the fine art of conversation that includes talking about things that are of relevance instead of simply airing our dirty laundry. We need to learn to steer a conversation away from the negative and onto the positive. And we need to set better examples of good behavior for our kids.
So next time you are talking with a group of friends, co-workers or family, pay attention to how much complaining goes on. And try to stop yourself from doing it. See if you can be the one to rise above the fray.
It will make everyone's day just a little bit brighter.
There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.
When you consistently maintain a positive frame of mind, you’ll become known as a problem-solver rather than a complainer. People avoid complainers. They seek out problem-solvers.
~~ Joseph Sommerville
The people who live in a golden age usually go around complaining how yellow everything looks.
In the past few years, I have come to believe that you truly manifest your own reality. Positive energy breeds positive energy and if we continue to recruit positive we can outnumber and overtake the negative. Everyday I continue to strive to grow and learn as a person and struggle to keep my ego in check. Along the way it's important to remember to deeply love and forgive yourself, stay humble and take responsibility for your own life and live it, love it... passionately and furiously."
~~ Aimee Moss