Last week was daylight savings time. Many places in the world set their clocks ahead one hour and countless people look forward to the arrival of spring! Of course, after celebrating the arrival of spring, they complain because they lose an hour of sleep.
Yeah, there’s just no making people happy. 🙂
I’ve been thinking a lot about happiness lately. Not as some goal or thing to be accomplished but just in the general sense.
Each winter, I listen to people complain about the cold, snow, shoveling, and road conditions. Then summer arrives and they complain about the heat, sweat, work, and living condition.
Of course, no one who vehemently opposes winter moves to a warmer climate — they just keep complaining! In fact, when I kindly suggest a move, I hear about family, friends, and connections.
As someone who has lived in a “hot” climate, I appreciate winter and the beauty it brings. I long for snow! It’s one of the reasons I moved back to a “cold” climate. (Family is the other reason.)
Okay, okay! Before I get the reputation as someone who is Miss Judgy-Pants…
I get it! I have my own complaining contradictions. I whine and moan about things that I definitely shouldn’t.
I’m not gonna tell you to stop complaining because I know that I won’t stop complaining. #truthful
However, I’ve been thinking about what message is really being communicated in my complaint.
What are we really saying?
1.”_____________ is terrible. I want something different.”
Whether it’s the weather, a long line, or even Monday, we have zero control over these things! Monday is going to come. At some point, we’ll have to wait in a line. And the weather, well, not even the people with degrees can predict this stuff!
But what are we really saying? We’re communicating inconvenience. If we want warmer climate, then whatever we’re staying for is the inconvenience. If we don’t want the line, then the roller coaster is an inconvenience. As for Monday, well living must be inconvenience.
2.”Ugh! I hate this _________.”
Insert “food,” “event,” and/or “job.” There are things that we have to do regardless of like or dislike. If you want to drive, you have to go to the DMV. If you want to experience culture, you’ll have to eat food that you’re not fond of. If you want a paycheck…. well you get the idea.
These types of complaints are common. Even children grasp this complaint, “Mommy, I don’t like this food!” While they seem simple enough, we tell the word that we are cannot be content.
Jobs, while not always ideal, make us money and give us experience. Events can be something we chose or they may have been chosen for us. Either way, we have opportunity! We have the opportunity to meet new people, learn new things, and maybe even try something different from our regular routine.
This unintentional message always makes me sad. To me, it means that someone, no matter how hard they try, cannot find the silver lining to life. It means that they are limited to their own sphere and cannot understand that someone somewhere is living happy in much worse circumstances. This complaint signals that unless something changes, this person will never understand the beauty and wonder that is life. And that’s very sad to me.
3.”So-and-so said this! I can’t believe it!”
Social media, work place gossip, or even family frustrations — people saying stupid stuff is everywhere! It’s happened since the dawn of time and it certainly won’t stop anytime soon.
When we complain about what this or that person said, we’re giving someone power over us!
Thoughts, words, and conversations are limited by time. Some day, we’ll no longer have those things. Are we really going to let that random thing typed on Facebook steal some of our precious time? If so, we’ve give the speaker power over how we spend our time. Ouch!
Complaining is easy. Even in a brain fog, complaints can quickly fill the mouth. Sometimes it even feel therapeutic! But what did it accomplish? And what did we really communicate with our complaint?