Why We Complain and How To Deal With It?

I couldn't shut my complaining trap! Try as I might, I find myself, yet again, emitting poisonous gasses of negativity in the atmosphere. Why can't I be content?

Do you have a similar problem? Okay, maybe you're not as gloom-ridden as me. But why do we grumble?

Here are some of the reasons I can think of:
  • Dissatisfaction
  • Resentment
  • Something or someone doesn't meet your expectations
  • Seeking sympathy or validation from others
  • Comparison
  • Undefined boundaries, entitlement
  • Jealousy, bitter envy, fault-finding, etc.

If we look at the list, we can say the factors involved are the ff.:
  • other people
  • circumstances
  • past experiences
  • and you

Why We Complain and How To Deal With It?
[Photo by Lukasz Szmigiel on Unsplash]

As I've mentioned before in my previous articles, we have no control over other people. Changing others is a slippery goal to have like catching a ball of smoke using a baseball mitt. Manipulating and controlling people is a no-no. We are not to rule over others and boss them around.

Next is our past. Obviously, we cannot alter it. Not unless a time machine is in production -- which I highly doubt at present.

I understand that there are things we wish we hadn't done or hope someone came to our aid during those economic downturns, heartbreaks, loss. Or some hero figure came sweeping us off of painful situations. Except I'm not talking about that. I'm addressing our propensity to romanticizing the 'good old days'.

Maybe this is you, or not. Me? This is the area where I start my descent to the deep abyss of pessimism, belching out complaints and regretting it later like a soldier fallen in battle. And guess what? I keep repeating it, again and again, never learning from yesterday's lessons.

Because of our history in the US, every present experience we go through is meted against that standard, particularly the comforts and luxuries we use to enjoy back there. The irony is, I seem to forget how dreary those days are feeding depression like a newborn.

Sometimes, it's necessary to change your circumstances. My healing began a few months after our relocation to Canada. Here's how I've overcome. With gratefulness to my Lord and Saviour, I was able to get out from a myopic viewpoint doing so. 

Realistically, not everyone can have happenings like this. And I don't suggest you pack your belongings and immigrate somewhere far away or transfer to the next block. 

Here's the thing. Though your outward environment switches when you remain the same: in attitude, behavior, habits before long your new habitation will catch up and accommodate nasty, mirroring everything that use to be.

Thus, the easiest factor to make the change out of the four listed above is the 'you' factor. 

You can change how you relate to others. You can change your perspective on your circumstances. You can change your understanding of past events. You can choose joy and contentment. 

Of course, it's not easy! People just can't stop complaining. Take it from me. So when the tirade starts, I pause and take inventory of my thought-life. I usually do this at night before closing my eyes. 

What deep need is instigating this diatribe of complaints? What can I do about it? Is there something that needs to be elucidated, fulfilled, or reframed?

To help you get out of negativity, turn those complaints into constructive queries for your benefit. 

Say, last year when we compromised on an apartment unit (assuming we won't be staying there long anyway ) after we got relocated to Canada, I find myself grumbling and whining about everything wrong. It's unhealthy and could spread like wildfire to other areas, thus, we decided to move out after our contract ended. Read the full story here.

Those little grievances that you care about? It could be a signal, a prodding informing you of a need that demands addressing. Review your thought-life, ask questions to discover the underlying issue. 

Awareness is just the beginning, from there take action.

Note: I'm not claiming this is not a foolproof way to address remonstrances and discontentment. This is what helps me on the outset and I hope it will do you good too.

How about you? How do you deal with man's inclination to complain?

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