Sadly, I've always been a complainer. As if it helps, as if it changes anything, as if it makes the world a better place. The following piece by Chuck Lorre gave me much to think about.
CHUCK LORRE PRODUCTIONS, #577
"There is an almost perpetual gap between my expectations as to how things should be and the way things actually are. This space, or divide, causes me a considerable amount of discomfort, which I try to alleviate through the use of repetitive thoughts, as well as spoken and written words. This activity is called "complaining." The fact that it rarely accomplishes anything, other than exacerbate my irritation, does not keep me from engaging in it. Furthermore, it appears that buried deep within my psyche is the firmly held conviction that complaining is therapeutic - even though experience shows again and again that it's not. In other words, I have a false belief that appears to be immutable, which drives me to take an action that only makes matters worse... and I like it. My only consolation is the knowledge that I come from a long line of complainers. One of my fondest childhood memories is looking up at the adult relatives gathered around the kitchen table, the men smoking Pall Malls, the women smoking Newports, everyone eating smoked fish, and all of them talking over each other, loudly bitching and moaning about pretty much everything. I remember that a rant would often end with the resigned, self-deprecating, seemingly rhetorical question, "Oh, well, who am I to complain?" Well, these many years later, it turns out it's not rhetorical. And I now know the answer. This is my birthright.
Who am I if I don't complain? (1st Aired: 21 Dec 2017)"
The above piece made me laugh and reminded me of the world I grew up in.
There is lots of new research in the area of "positive psychology". The more the brain pushes toward gratitude, optimism and problem solving (verses complaining) the more content and joyful human beings are.
This does NOT mean that people should not express concerns, fears and sadness - it is important to cleanse the body of these emotions. The problem is that people often get stuck in that place of complaining which then turns to anxiety and depression.
Do you want to join me today in noticing when you are complaining about something. Ask yourself: 1) I'm I truly problem solving here? 2) Is my complaining helping me to express true emotions? 3) Is my complaining helpful or keeping me stuck in a loop that makes my problems seem bigger and bigger? Notice what happens when you notice the complaining and see what changes might be helpful for you.