“We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.“—Carlos Castaneda. With those words in mind, here’s how to stop complaining.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a whiner. I’ve blamed others for my mistakes, I’ve made excuses for everything and I did all of this to make myself feel better about not making the changes I really needed to make in my life happen.
The last few years have been quite the learning experience: I had a falling out with my best friend/roommate, I was working a job that physically and emotionally exhausted me and going to school at the same time, and I gained so much weight in what seemed like a small amount of time.
I broke and then I found Castaneda’s quote, which taught me to fight for myself since no one else was going to. It isn’t easy, but I’m here to help.
This is what we’re going to accomplish today: We are going to learn how to stop complaining about small events that won’t even affect us tomorrow; we are going to stop feeling bad for ourselves and instead start fighting for ourselves; and we are going to to decipher which things in life we can put up with and which ones we can accept.
Just let it go
Scenario 1: You wake up late and assume your alarm didn’t go off even though it goes off every other day. You scramble to get ready for work. When you’re finally ready, you can’t find your keys where you thought you left them the night before. Five minutes pass and you are about to cry; you feel like this day is just crashing upon you.
Finally, you find your keys in your jacket pocket. You race down the stairs to your vehicle and seem to hit every red light on the drive. You clutch the steering wheel until your hands turn white…. Have I lost you yet? Is this feeling all familiar? What if you approached this situation differently?
Scenario 2: You wake up late, and instead of blaming the alarm clock, you remember that you were out a little later than usual the night before and probably just slept through it. You wake up and scramble for your clothes. You get a whiff of that coffee that you put on and your soul starts to melt with happiness; you take a second to indulge in the scent it’s fresh: it’s strong and it’s about to turn your morning around.
Let that moment go and find those keys. Look back: “What was I wearing last night? Oh, that cute jacket I always get complimented on.” You find the jacket and the keys. You grab your coffee, power walk down the stairs and start your daily commute while jamming to some Shania Twain because, let’s be real, Shania knows what you’re going through and she will lighten up your day.
Now, let’s compare these scenarios:
Instead of blaming the alarm clock, your keys and the traffic lights, blame the one who is responsible—you. What about all those other factors? Well, those items don’t have a vendetta against you; they don’t know you’re late. You did this. Get over it!
Your boss doesn’t care if you slept through your alarm; they care that you’re late, but if you come in ready to work without a sourpuss attitude and a simple sorry instead of a story, they will respect that you know you made a mistake. If you’re frequently late, that’s a different story. My point is, assuming you’re a responsible adult who doesn’t make a habit of being late, this will not affect your life in the long run.
We have a tendency to linger on the negative because it gives us something to talk about it, and it gives people a reason to feel bad for us and our sad lives. Here’s the secret though: nobody wants to be good friends with Negative Nancy, so get over the small issues and move on to the next day, which I am sure will make you forget about the day you had yesterday.
This is my fight song, take back my life song
This is my jam. I know it is cheesy and common, but it is catchy and has a great message.
It’s 6:30am. You wake up as usual, do a little stretch, get up, start brewing your coffee and get in the shower. While waiting for the water to heat up, you look at yourself naked in the mirror.
You start pinching your waist, flapping your underarms and turning from side-to-side to check your profile. You look at your face in the mirror, and shake your head in disapproval. You’re disappointed in yourself. You shouldn’t have had that pizza; you should have worked harder at the gym. Now you think, “Why did I let myself get to this point?”
You jump in the shower just feeling down on yourself. You stay under the hot water for longer than usual, wondering where you went wrong, why your life is the way it is, blaming the way you look on why you can’t have or do certain things.
This feeling resonates with you for the rest of the day—while driving, at work, drinks with co-workers and later when you finally get back home. You’re comfortable at home alone where nobody judges you—except yourself.
It’s 6:30am. You wake up as usual, do a little stretch, get up, start brewing your coffee and get in the shower. While waiting for the water to heat up, you look at yourself naked in the mirror. You smile at the progress you’ve made in keeping your body healthy. Then you think about the conscious decisions you’ll make about your meals for the day—maybe skip drinks with the girls and go to the gym instead—but maybe you need a treat.
You turn on “Fight Song” and hop into the shower. Maybe you do a little dance while washing your hair, maybe you even shave your legs. You have some fun picking out your outfit, shoes and accessories. Finally, you check yourself out in the mirror and give yourself the sign of approval for the day.
As women, we are pressured by beauty standards on a daily basis. It starts as early as childhood when we wanted to be Daphne instead of Velma because she got to be with Fred and always got to be the damsel in distress.
The reality is that we can have anything we want if we work hard enough for it. If you want that hot bod, work for it! Or, If you want a new job, don’t stop applying for things positions that will make you happy. If you want to meet someone, go out and mingle; show the world who you are. How will we ever know if you’re hiding out all time?
Put up or shut up
Nobody likes the person who is constantly whining—trust me: I’m naturally a little whiny especially when I’m bored. You know what I do when I’m bored and feeling really whiny? I tell you guys what’s up! So, there are no scenarios here because it’s simple: whining isn’t venting, it isn’t confiding, it isn’t cute.
I’m not saying that your main goal in life is to be cute, but somehow women have developed this helpless tone in their voice that they think guys love. They don’t; nobody does.
If you want something, ask for it. If you want something, make it happen. Also, if you’re going through something heavy, talk to your friends, but be prepared for a solution; be prepared for people wanting to help because nobody likes to see their friend hurting. Many of us have been conditioned to play the victim; let us stop that habit. We want to be victors not victims.
Instead of focusing on what’s wrong, focus on what’s good in your life. Take time to appreciate the positive things and people in your life.
Recognize that complaining doesn’t solve anything. Instead, take responsibility for your actions and work to make positive changes in your life.
Do you realize that complaining can ruin your relationship? Here are six ways complaining destroys your relationship, and why you should just relax a little.
Remember, breaking the habit of complaining takes time and effort. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you slip up, just keep practicing and working towards a more positive mindset.
So, this is how to stop complaining. Do you feel women are known for being too whiny? Have you ever found yourself down about something in your life and not knowing what to do about it? Let us know!