Go ahead, try it. I dare you. Try to go twenty-four hours without complaining. I am incapable. I've tried several times. And I don't consider myself a real, true complainer (you know the type). Although regular readers of my blog may beg to differ, seeing as how I can sometimes rant on for upwards of five hundred words. However, being a whiner is not the way I would, or want to, define myself.
We're raising our kids to not be complainers. Whining is not tolerated in our house. And we put-up with very little drama. This is not just because it's all so annoying. (But it is mostly because it's all so annoying.) It's about the power of attraction. Complaining is a form of attention-getting for all the negative things in your life. And who wants to attract more negatives into their lives?
It doesn't sound very hard, does it? Just stop complaining. Yet the dictionary defines the verb "complain" as:
1. to express dissatisfaction, pain, uneasiness, censure, resentment, or grief; find fault.
2. to tell of one's pains, ailments, etc.: to complain of a backache.
3. to make a formal accusation.
By this definition, it would mean most of us would have to cease all conversation completely. Just listen, the next time you're having a conversation. As a fiction writer, I know stories aren't interesting unless they involve conflict, and complaining is a form of describing conflict, I suppose, but maybe we should come up with a better way to make our stories interesting (colorful, fictitious names for the characters perhaps?).
As any good new age woo-hoo knows, the first step in fixing a problem is recognizing you have one and I began to notice how much complaining I was actually doing. I'd find myself dumping all the negative experiences I'd had during the day on my poor husband night after night. I don't know if it was even conscious or not, this need for me to vent as a way to release all the negativity, but recently it occurred to me: Maybe I am a complainer. Not wanting to attract any more negativity into my life, I decided it might be a good idea for me to stop complaining about stuff. (A great idea, says the husband.)
It didn't sound too hard. Until I tried it. When I was paying attention, I realized so much of what I said could be construed as a complaint. I found myself hacking my watch to restart my 24-hour-no-complaining-clock every fifteen-minutes. Finally, I just gave up, vowing simply to try to do better. Of course I'm disappointed in my inability to stop completely, but I suppose I shouldn't complain about it.
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