Complain and Remain

Not to beat a dead horse but have you ever been the victim? You know, the one that everything seems to go wrong for? The one that is always bullied? The one that is never considered. Never invited. Overlooked, under attentioned (I made that word up, m’kay?). You get the drift. If it seems like a lot of what I’ve been sharing here revolves around this topic, you’d be right. It deserves attention and so do you. Our circumstances do not change without action and that is exactly why I write and share what I do. I hope these posts get you thinking. If you look at what’s happening in your life, are you the type to complain and remain, or do you take action?

Complain and Remain

I have a few pet peeves. The first is when all I hear are excuses. The second is complaining. I don’t mean venting, we all need to do that from time to time and I am happy to listen and offer support. But when the same thing continues to be a problem or issue it may be time to make come changes.

But I Can’t Help It…

I bet you have heard this one before, right? You listen. You empathize. You sympathize. You offer suggestions. You hear it again. And again. And again. “But I can’t help it x,y, and z are happening and they are not things I control.” While it’s true that we cannot control everything, we can control how we react and behave. Lots of times it’s because we continue to react and behave in a certain way that the very thing we are bothered by continues to happen!

Listen, this may be how you were raised. It’s what your mom did. It’s what your sister did. Your dad did. Your brother did. Your grandparents, aunts and uncles did. Family dynamics are always at play and like it or not we all graduated from our family university complete with degrees in function as well as dysfunction. You saw things and decided what would serve and what would not. You may not have made those realizations until you got out on your own but you did. When I first started to realize that I leaned a little too heavily in the complain category, I started looking in my own backyard so to speak, to figure out where that came from. I made the decision that I wanted a different life and attitude. I think I was in my 20s when this happened, right around the time I was in graduate school.

So when I hear these excuses and these complaints it’s an immediate red flag. It’s true that your thoughts become your actions. So, I have to ask, what purpose are they serving? Is there some amount of comfort in having these problems? Do you get attention or are you too afraid of what it takes to let them go?

The Toll It Takes on You

Whether you are the person complaining or the person hearing the complaints, it takes a toll on you. It wears you down. It changes your outlook. It’s exhausting. Remember how I wrote about protecting your peace? Let’s address how to do that!

I want you to examine your thoughts, your words, and your actions. Are you complaining? Who are you complaining to? Is it leading anywhere? Are things getting better? What can you do to change that? If you get through all this thinking and analyzing and come to the realization you don’t want to take any action then you are choosing to remain.

If you are the one listening to the complaining? Stop. Oh, I know, it’s hard to do. Here’s what I do: I end the conversation. Over the years to protect my peace and maintain relationships with people I have just simply had to put an end to the conversation! It’s easier to do on the phone but in person, I just work hard to change the topic. Here’s why, if you complain to me and I offer support and suggestions but you REFUSE to take them or find no value in what I offer than you want things to remain how they are. It’s your choice.

It’s Not All Tough Love

It sounds like a lot of tough love, right? Maybe it is sometimes but be aware that choosing to remain in a situation is not necessarily all bad. Maybe your perspective changes and rather than viewing something so negatively you realize there are some good things or blessings to be had. You can remain without the complain part.

Think about this: if a food you ate was making you sick to your stomach or you were having an allergic reaction, you’d make a change. But when it comes to behaviors, we are so much more stubborn. We’ll continue to do what we’ve always done, over and over again.

At the End of the Day

Let me share that my life is far from perfect. My relationships are no better than anyone else’s. My self esteem is not always soaring, my peace is not always protected, I am not always valued, etc., etc., etc. Also? I do my fair share of complaining. However, I am aware. I try – very hard at times – to do the right thing not just for me but for those around me. I am honest in my feelings – almost to a fault but I get it out. I may not change the circumstance but I work hard to change the things about me that I can.

At the end of the day, life is for living and finding joy in each day. Some days may be harder than others but we have to keep searching for it! If we complain and remain, nothing changes for the better. I hope you enjoyed this, I know I am barely scraping the surface here and there is a lot more to unpack but hopefully this gets you thinking!

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