I received an email today entitled, “Why do people complain?” from Kong of Simple Pickup. I found it to be an interesting read, and it made me think about just how much I have been complaining about things that I’m not satisfied with lately. Lesson learned. Stop being such a whiny bitch and start thinking about the solution.
Why do people complain?
Hey, Kong here - I need to get something off my chest.
Do you know a Constant Complainer?
Constant Complainers are the personification of the looming black cloud of negativity.
A conversation with a Constant Complainer might look a little like this…
Them: Hey man, how’re you doing?
You: I’m doing great! My girlfriend surprised me with tickets to see my favorite comedian tonight, I feel like a giddy toddler right now. How’re you doing?
Them: Not so good. I hate my job and I can’t find a girl to date.
You: Don’t worry too much, I’m sure you’ll find someone!
Them: No…I know I won’t. Girls just don’t like me. Plus I hate how fat I’ve gotten.
You: I feel you, we’ve all been there - have you tried getting a trainer? I needed the extra motivation and it worked for me.
Them: No…I don’t like trainers, they don’t work for me, they’re overpriced and arrogant.
And before you know it, your great day starts looking a little gloomier. Why? Because their endless rebuttals negatively rubbed off on you. The longer you talk to them, the more bummed out you become.
See, a Constant Complainer only has one mission: to complain to anybody who’s willing to listen. No solutions, just complaints.
We’ve all been guilty of this at one point or another…
When I was in highschool, I landed my first part-time job at the local Starbucks. For 4 hours after school and 8 hours on weekends, I was saving up every penny of my minimum wage paychecks with my first car in mind.
I daydreamed of goofing off with my co-workers when it was time to lock up. I looked forward to flirting with cute girls, befriending regulars and memorizing their favorite orders.
But that’s not even close to what happened.
See, the Starbucks I worked at wasn’t in the middle of some well-trafficked shopping mall. Oh no. We were lucky to get two customers per hour, with an average age of 50 years old.
I hated it. Everything about it. I hated standing there for hours, unable to sit down. I hated having nothing to do. I found myself cleaning tables that were already clean while listening to an oldies radio station that played the same 10 songs on repeat.
Two weeks after working here…I started complaining. To everybody and anybody who would listen.
Everybody in my life knew how much I hated my job. All of my friends, my family, and anybody who ever asked me “hey, whatsup?” was immediately bombarded with a long-winded explanation of exactly how much I hated my job.
I hated my shitty manager who always forgot to pay me on time. I hated the awful music that got stuck in my head. I hated that there were no customers, let alone regulars.
Man. I hated everything about that Starbucks and my hate was fueled with such an intense passion, I wanted to make sure everybody in my life knew how much it sucked.
One day, my dad snapped at me during one of my Starbuck’s rants - his usual calm and quietness turned into annoyance and anger.
“Kong, all you do is complain about your job. Don’t just tell everybody why something sucks but give zero solutions. I can’t listen to you anymore if all you’re going to do is complain.”
And in that moment, I felt a startling mix of embarrassment and realization.
Why would anybody want to start a conversation with me…if all I did was complain about my lame job?
“Look, I love you,” he said, “but if you’re going to complain about something, make sure you have an alternative solution. It’s very hard to listen to you be negative.”
If you don’t have a better solution, don’t complain.
Because when you complain without providing a better alternative…you’re not being a problem solver. You’re just being a whiny-ass, dragging people around you into your whirlpool of negativity.
So the next time you find yourself focusing on how much something sucks, ask yourself: “How can I solve this problem?”
Instead of bitching and moaning about all of the things that are wrong in your life; take a stand, take action and change those things for the better.
A negative thought is like a bad seed - if you water it, it will grow, and like weeds in a garden… it will consume your life.
But this is your life, you can choose which seeds you water - so make sure you water the good seeds, and not the bad ones.