A Secret About Complaining

A Secret About Complaining

Complaining is expressing dissatisfaction or annoyance ABOUT a state of affairs or an event.  Judgment is a critical component of any complaint.  The secret about complaining is that there is a difference between complaining and expressing YOUR feelings.  Expressing your feelings is healthy.  Complaining is not.

In business and life, many people believe they are expressing their feelings when they complain.  This is not the case.  When you express a feeling you say, “I feel…” and state a specific feeling such as frustrated, disappointed, irritated, peaceful, happy or pleased.

Complaining focuses on judging someone or something.  “I don’t like the way they built out my office space, what idiots!”  “The keynote speaker at the conference was so boring.” People think that they have expressed their feelings when they complain but, as in these examples, there is not one feeling word expressed by the complainer.   An expression of feelings could be: “I am disappointed in the way my office space looks.”  “I feel frustrated that I didn’t learn anything from the speaker.”  Complaining doesn’t create positive change or contribute to improving your situation.  Expressing feelings without judgment allows you to more easily let go of negative emotions and move on to make constructive use of your energy and talents.

I used to complain when my business was slow.   “My clients say how much I help them, but they hardly ever refer business to me.”  Complaining never helped me feel better.  What worked better was to acknowledge and share my feelings.   “I am very frustrated when I don’t get referrals from the people I have helped.”  Expressing my feelings allowed me to change my focus and realize that I needed to actively pursue referrals instead of relying on my clients.

Your real power to create meaningful change comes from becoming a better emotions and feelings manager for yourself.  For example, express your anger by writing it out, screaming in your car or simply telling someone that you are angry.  Watch your power and energy expand exponentially!

You probably already knew that complaining is a waste of time, but now you have another option.  Try it out and let me know how it works for you.

MarGO!

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Blog post written by Margo Geller and Debra Livingston

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