Why Your Complaining Is Toxic & What You Can Do About It

We are a nation filled with people who love to complain. On average we complain 15-30 times a day.

Sometimes we even bond with others over our love of complaining. Sounds funny doesn’t it? It’s a strange way of forming a friendship or relationship with someone.

Why Do We Complain?

It is easy to complain when things don’t turn out the way we wanted them to. We have this image in our head of how something should be. When it doesn’t turn out how we pictured we can’t help but complain.

The funny thing is that it is the small things that tend to annoy us the most. Something as small as getting stuck in traffic or being stuck in a queue. Come to think of it we complain the most when we have to wait.

I could understand the need to complain if it makes us feel better but it doesn’t.

You could be having a great day when out of nowhere another driver cuts you off. All of a sudden you are filled with anger and start to hurl insults and offensive gestures their way. The driver who cut you off is oblivious to what he did wrong as he speeds away. Yet you are the one who is angry.

“If I get What I Want Then I Won’t Complain… I Promise”

Say you have always wanted to own a Ferrari. By some stroke of luck you find yourself sitting in your new sports car tomorrow morning.I’m sure you can picture it now; driving your Ferrari with the top down, the sun shining down on your face and getting looks from people who either want to be you or want to be with you as you say to yourself, “Does life get any better than this?”

The problem is that even if you get a Ferrari like you have always wanted your mind will still find things to complain about; the rising cost of fuel, a driver who cut you off, any damage that occurs and the huge bill that you will have to pay etc.

“But I Had No Choice, I Had To Complain”

A friend said that to me last week and I had to laugh. He felt that it was his right, almost his duty to complain. In his defence it was a valid complaint; his flight was delayed by 7 hours meaning that he missed his girlfriend’s birthday party. Upon hearing this I remembered a phrase I once heard:

Complaining is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere

Sure, sometimes complaining might get you somewhere; the service is so terrible at a restaurant that they give you a free dessert or you received a faulty item so the store gives you some free vouchers. But in this case, there was nothing that could be done. My friend’s complaining wasn’t going to make the plane leave any sooner.

You might feel as if you have no choice but you always do. Your choices couldn’t be any simpler: complain or don’t complain. Only you can decide which one to choose, no one else can.

While it might be true that the situation you have found yourself in is no fault of your own, complaining more than likely will not fix it.

So What’s the Answer?

People have come up with several reasons when it comes to how to stop complaining; changing perspective, being grateful for what you already have, putting yourself in the shoes of the person who has to listen to your complaint. What it really all boils down to though is Acceptance.

Nothing will ever negatively affect you if you start to practice acceptance and not resistance. When you realise that complaining is futile the urge to complain is no longer there.

The 7 Day Challenge

I challenge you not to complain for 7 days. This doesn’t just mean to stop complaining about any bad service you might encounter when you are eating out or in a shop but to stop complaining about everything; the weather, the traffic, adverts, everything! And yep even your boss.

After 7 days you can complain to whoever you want all you want.

However, after the 7 days are up you will find that the urge to complain is no longer there. You will see that life appears to be worse than it really is when you start to complain about everything.