Wait, am I complaining here?
Of course, there is a difference between legitimate grievance and just plain ole complaining. But even then, there’s a way to go about addressing the issue without any sort of outrage.
Anyway, even though there are some situations that provide legit reasons to complain, for example, a cancer patient has a lot of room to complain about, for the most part, people complain about bullshit that ain’t a big deal. Seriously.
Every little ounce of imperfection causes them to get unreasonably upset, and “unreasonable” in this case is really any amount of getting upset because it’s not a reason to be upset in the first place.
It’s almost like they wake up every day and think to themselves “How can I be a victim today?” Then they find something, trivial, that’s not exactly perfect and could maybe be a little bit better and whine about it. Make it out to be a big ass deal, when it’s really not.
It’ll be something simple like the line at the coffee shop taking a bit too long...or, god forbid, having to wear a mask at said coffee shop during a freaking GLOBAL PANDEMIC. Man, the entitlement is real.
Ya know, there’s a reason people call it “first world problems”.
They’re not really problems. Not really. People just like to complain. And the fact that there is a such thing as a “first world problem” is enough proof of that.
No matter how good life gets, there’s always something people will find to complain about. Like “I can’t believe this! They didn’t put pepperoni on my pizza like I ordered.”
Dude, you ordered the pizza, sittin’ on a nice cozy couch, from your freaking smart phone! You ordered 3 other toppings...And you’re going to complain how there’s one topping missing?
First world problems, like the example just given, prove that no matter how awesome things are, people will nit pick and literally comb through it all just to find a reason to be unhappy. It’s like we have the pursuit of un-happiness.
But you know what? Quit your complaining, man. It’s all good.
Last week, we talked about how being thankful is the lazy way. After all, it’s a lot easier to sit back and appreciate what you have, in the present rather than stress out about that in which you lack. Besides, we tend to look back at the past with rose-colored glasses, forgetting all the worries and grievances we ever had at the time and remembering all the little things that brought a smile.
Since the good things are what leaves a trace in our memory anyway, it’s better to be thankful for the things that are right here, right now than to wait for nostalgia to kick in. It’ll make you feel a lot more relaxed and easy-going about life if you can appreciate what you have in the now.
You have to appreciate the little shit too. It’s the little everyday things that you otherwise take for granted that really spark nostalgia years later: Your first bed room you ever had before moving out of your parents’, the smell of perfume or cologne of your first girlfriend/boyfriend that they were every day; you get the gist. Basically, no thing is too small to appreciate.
Ya gotta show a bit of gratitude for the people and things you have in your life, while you have them.
On the flip side of showing gratitude is, of course, complaining. It makes the act of appreciating quite impossible.
I mean, you can’t be very appreciative if you’re always complaining about something. It makes you feel defeated and stressed. When you complain, you go insane.
But seriously, cheesy rhymes aside, complaining is the bane of feeling unfulfilled. It takes a toll on your mental and emotional health and isn’t the lazy way at all. Today, we’re gonna look at how to stop complaining so you have room to lean on back and actually appreciate shit.
Don’t be judgemental
It’s so easy to jump to a conclusion based on little information.
“My boss hates me so much.”
“ That waitress is such a mean bitch.”
Oftentimes, we’re quick to make an assumption and well, make a complaint about it. Of course, when you assume, it only makes an ass out of u and me.
Maybe your boss is going through a major divorce. Maybe that waitress just lost her dog and is having a bad day. You don’t know a person’s story and there’s no reason to be so quick to judge and think that the way they are acting is fundamental to who they are or what they’re about.
Have a bit of empathy and try to understand where they are coming from before slapping a label on them and name calling “BITCH!”. Sure, the way they are behaving may not be exactly kind, and there’s no excuse for being grouchy or belligerent but complaining about it does neither one of you any good either. All it does is stir more conflict and that’s no bueno.
Give people the benefit of the doubt before complaining about their behavior. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll find out there’s a legit reason they’re not in the brightest of moods today.
Now, again, whatever sort of shit they’re going through does NOT at all justify acting shitty, but just because they’re acting shitty doesn’t give you the right to act shitty in return. Take the higher ground and don’t stoop to their level. Sleep on the couch, not on the floor, even if they try to drag you down.
When I say don’t complain, I don’t mean just let it slide nor do I mean suck it up and let them act shitty towards you. No. What I mean is don’t fuss and whine about it. I mean handle it...like an adult. Address the issue without throwing a goddamn temper tantrum. Control yourself man n take it easy.
You do want to get to the bottom of the issue without making a scene or turning it into drama. The name calling, ceases. The insult, thrown out. What you’re left with is getting to the core of what’s really going on.
Approach the person about their bullshit,
But do it in a laid back “let’s see what all this fuss is about” sort of tone, as opposed to an aggressive “I’m gonna prove this asshole wrong once and for all!”
You could start with a simple question.
“Hey, why are you behaving this way?”
And if they ask “what do you mean?” You can tell them “Well I noticed you’re yelling quite a lot.”
It’s almost like you're bringing to their attention their bullshit in the same way you might point out a mustard stain on their shirt. You don’t get all like “EW GROSS! CLEAN YO GODDAMN SHIRT, BITCH! DAMN!”
You’re just like “Hey, you got something on your--”
In the same way, tell them how their behavior is bothering you. That’s not complaining. That’s being direct.
“I know you probably don’t mean anything by it. Maybe you’re just having a bad day. Are you aware that you’re coming across as brash?”
You don’t need to berate them about it or make some passive aggressive comment towards them. Just be straightforward.
Put your judgement aside and let ‘em share what’s on their mind or even if they don’t tell you directly and just write it off as something “personal” ,at least give them the chance to plead temporary insanity.
When you complain, you tend to make a scapegoat out of something or someone else. You place the burden of responsibility on external factors. You might complain you have no friends because “people suck” or you might complain you’re not getting paid enough money at your job because “my boss is an asshole”.
It’s this attitude of “The world is out to get me,” and anything bad that happens is somebody else’sfault. You’re never at fault. That can’t be! Impossible!
Anything wrong in your life is due to how someone has wronged you, not anything you’ve done wrong, no. And you know what? No matter how shitty your life is, or how shitty you believe it is for that matter, it’s even shittier to convince yourself that you don’t have something to do with your current situation.
Look, stop putting the blame on people and things. Take responsibility.
If you’re not making lasting friendships (or relationships for that matter), are you being a doormat and letting people walk all over you or are you actually getting an equal exchange of benefits?
If you’re not getting paid enough at your job, have you even tried asking for a raise or just expect “them” to raise your paycheck out of the blue?
You can sit and complain about how things “aren’t fair” all you want, but sometimes you create your own unfairness. It’s not always something outside your control that brings about your own misfortune.
As Bill Gates put it “: “If you are born Poor it’s not your mistake, but if you die poor it's your mistake.” In other words, you may be put (or born) in a situation that you can’t control, but in the end, it’s the decisions you make that determine what kind of situation you’re in.
You may not directly control the set of circumstances at hand, but you do have control over your reaction to it.
If you don’t have enough to pay the bills, maybe you spent a bit too much on coffee and cigarettes. You can’t just blame the sky for not raining down money.
If people don’t want to hang out with you, you can’t think everybody is an asshole.
Maybe, just maybe, the reason you’re not getting what you want in life is because you’re a bit of a complainer. No one wants to be around someone who’s constantly bitching n’ moaning about anything and everything.
You have to ask yourself: what exactly am I doing here to cause this and what can I do to make it better?
Yes, there are of course things outside of your control that make your life a living hell. This little 2020 virus being one of them.
But even then, still not worth complaining about.
Take responsibility for what you can do about your situation. You’ll find that there’s a lot less to complain about and it’s more of an opportunity for you to change your current situation.
It’s one thing to admit what you did wrong and/or what you could do better, it’s another to actually pull on through and make it happen.
Now I know, I’m about to hear the cries “doing something about it isn’t lazy, Nate.” I get that. I mean, it doesn’t sound exactly like a thing to do.
But you have to understand what lazy is and what lazy does. Laziness is not so much about not doing shit. It’s about doing shit with the least amount of effort. I’ve probably made that point dozens of times within my content, but it can’t be stressed enough.
Complaining about something literally accomplishes nothing, but it takes a lot of time and energy to do. That’s not lazy at all. That’s hard work for nothing, man. I ain’t about that shit. I want to put in as little effort as possible and yield the biggest results. I want to practice sprezzatura.
So, when it comes to handling a situation, in order to minimize effort and maximize results, you have to...deal with it!
Complaining has no results and an extreme amount of effort. Tackling the problem head on, may take some effort, but hey, at least there are results.
It always cracks me up when people say: “I need to pee.”
Then GOOOO! Stop talking about it. Just GO! You’re potty trained. Take care of yourself.
This can pretty much be used as a metaphor for anything you complain about. Like, take care of the damned thing, instead of making a fuss about it or telling anybody.
Don't be like "this is fine" when it's NOT fine and there's something you can do about it.
Vent it out
That said, it’s okay to blow off some steam once in a while. Sometimes we get so frustrated, annoyed, or upset over something, it’s hard to just bottle it all up and keep it closed.
Ya gotta release the valve once in a while. But do so in a healthy, productive way.
You don’t want to go into a fiery rage every single time something even minorly irritates you, like the guy who screams and honks his horn at a stop light that’s slightly delayed by a few seconds. Chill, dude.
But it is okay to “get the mad out” as Mister Rogers said. Take that negative emotional energy and release it in a positive way.
Play some violent video games to heavy music. Scream lyrics to your favorite song. Heck, write your own song. Punch a pillow. Or even just vent to someone you trust.
When you do so, tell them you need to vent. Tell them you don’t need any advice. They don’t even need to say anything. You just want to get a few things off your chest is all.
Sometimes having a listening ear is all we need. But be willing to offer the same in return. You don’t want to be a social vampire and always “drain” your friends of emotional energy by constantly venting and never providing a space for them to do the same.
Get it all out in one long rant, rather than constantly going on and on about whatever your complaining about day in and day out.
Some things you can’t fix. It’s sometimes best to just cut your losses and do what you can to move on. There’s no sense complaining about how you wish things were different. They’re not different. Things are the way they are, as cliche as that sounds. You have to accept that.
Complaining is sometimes denying reality. It’s denying the current situation and trying to change the unchangeable.
Maybe you’ve just gone through a major break up and want to complain about how s/he treated you and how there’s “nothing you can do about it” now that it’s over.
Not true. You can do something about it. I mean, you may not be able to fix the relationship itself, which is probably what you’d want to do, especially if the break up is still fresh. But you can do something about being stuck in a relationship that no longer exists. You can fix how you feel.
You can take steps to move on and relieve yourself of emotional attachment to someone that simply doesn’t want anything to do with you.
Maybe you just lost a big investment in a stock you had high hopes for that just crashed. You can begin to re-invest your portfolio in other stocks, taking steps to move on.
There is always something you can do to move forward slow n’ steady and there’s no reason to complain about how things are.
You can’t change everything. Some shit is just set in stone. And that sucks!
I mean we want to change it. If we could, we would.
But we can’t.
We have to accept what’s within our control and...what’s outside of it. We can’t control what happens, but we can control our reaction to it.
We may get mad when a friend ditches us, but it is within our control on whether or not to furiously yell at them. We may not control when our car breaks down, but we can control whether or not we sit on the side of the road and break down.
Again, complaining about something we want to change (but can’t), doesn’t change it. You can hoot and holler about this pandemic all you want. But that doesn’t create a cure or vaccine. It doesn’t make this microscopic bastard disappear.
Complaining is not a magic spell that makes your problems go away.
There’s a phrase that’s been going around rather recently, describing the wearing of masks in public, the social distancing, and all the measures put in place to stop the spread of the virus as “the new normal”.
It’s a way to say that whatever kind of shit hits the fan, you have to accept it as “normal”, like this is the way things are now. Adapt and overcome.
Go with the flow instead of complaining about how the flow isn’t going where you want it to.
One reason you may start to complain is that you’re being overly polite. You’re trying to save face with someone’s feelings or maybe even avoid coming across as an asshole.
Stop trying to people please. Please yourself, damnit!
Look, it’s not a dick move to be assertive and stating how you expect to be treated. I mean I suppose there’s a fine line between assholeness and assertiveness, but letting things slide by that shouldn’t slide by is no bueno.
Make clear boundaries and stick to them.
If you don’t like the way your friend smacks his lips when he chews, tell him. Don’t talk about it behind his back and complain.
If you don’t like being interrupted when speaking, tell the person not to interrupt you. Don’t gossip about it.
Be assertive. Take the initiative. Say what’s on your mind that’s bothering you and get it out the way.
No sense making it more of a struggle than it needs to be. You save yourself a lot of time, energy, and not mention frustration, when you directly say what it is you expect of other people.
Put it this way: you ever really only feel the need to complain if you consistently tolerate shit you don’t actually want to tolerate.
If you make it clear upfront what you don’t tolerate, then you have nothing to really complain about because people know not to fuck with you in the way you tell them not to fuck with you.
That said, if you’re dealing with someone that insists on fucking with you in a way you don’t want to be fucked with, if they refuse to respect your boundaries, then cut them out of your life. Completely.
I know it can be hard to end relationships or friendships but the point of any sort of close bond is to build each other not, not tear each other down.
If you find yourself constantly complaining about a specific person and you tried to assert yourself towards them yet they can’t or won’t respect any sort of boundary you set, it’s time to say goodnight.
Seriously, all the time you spend complaining about how toxic they are, you could spend building a stronger, more fulfilling relationship or friendship with someone else. No sense wasting what little energy you have as a lazy man into some toxic bullshit.
When you stop complaining, you start appreciating. By avoiding the tendency to complain, you are, in turn, opening the door to see all the things there are to be thankful for.
You turn the mindset of “The world is out to get me” into “I’m out to get the world.”
Complaining is a waste of time; it’s tiresome. It maximizes effort and minimizes results. Ease your mind by looking at things to appreciate instead of things to complain about.
You’ll not only feel better about yourself, you’ll realize how much hard work complaining really is. And just remember, someone probably has worse complaints than you do anyway.