The Complaint Drug

“My job better hope I never win the lottery, or I’m OUT!”
and in truth they better hope I never win the lottery…(I don’t even play)

But there’s so many things I’m blessed with when it comes to my career. A point I missed often in this last year…this caused me to think on other situations in which I allowed myself to complain unapologetically.

Moving into a new decade causes us to look back and reflect on our experiences and growth. In my reflection the last 10 years were riddled with up and downs, choices, and a magnitude of self awareness that has helped to put me on the track to becoming a woman worth my admiration.

Buried in this reflection, however, was the reality that many of my situations and negative experiences were magnified by my matured complaint addiction. Don’t sit there and act like you don’t know what I mean; how many times have you found yourself complaining about a situation before it even happens? Conflating complaining with venting and only leaving ourselves more drained than before. When did we get addicted? How did complaining become the drug that so many of us can’t get enough of?

As with many uncomfortable, unpleasant, or otherwise unsatisfactory situations; we search for distractions to alleviate not only discomfort but often personal responsibility. There’s nothing worse than realizing that you were a part of the cause for your own pain or discomfort so we turn to complaining to avoid the blame. There are several situations I look back to where I’m not proud of my behavior. Instead of acknowledging how my anxiety crippled my ability to perform under disingenuous leadership I turned to my drug of choice, complaining.

I complained about how things should go, what I felt I deserved and ALL the shortcomings of others. The potency of my drug clouded my judgment and blinded me to the shortcomings of my own that aided in my discomfort. I complained about family, finances, work, friends, lovers…nothing was off limits. What I found was the more I indulged, the more I impaired my own view. I took two many hits of the good stuff over the past 10 years and blow the chance to enjoy really amazing opportunities and experiences because I was too focused on complaining about their imperfections. Here are some truths I’ve discovered and will keep in mind going forward:

 

Complaining starts to influence the way you actually see a situation before there’s even a situation:

Sometimes we’re so jaded by our past in a situation that we let it rain dark clouds even when the sun is shining. It’s ok to call out the bullshit and acknowledge when something is lackluster but you have to remember to appreciate the good that’s in there too. Sliver linings remember?…Don’t get so use to complaining that you’re complaining when there’s actually nothing to complain about.

Complaining does nothing to help your anxiety

The only one who can gain control of your anxiety is you. One way to help yourself this year is to distance yourself from complaining so much. Vent when you need to but when your tone and words become more negative than useful understand that your anxiety will follow your led and get amped up too.

A Loss Sense of Control

There may be times when complaining feels like the only thing you can control. You release your anger unabashedly in a fit of hurt and desperation to be heard in a world full of noise. Is this where it started? Memories of childhood scenes flash through my mind as I remember this addiction was seeded long before I understood how the world works. Hearing the frustrations of my family members who often felt powerless in their own lives. Whenever I feel out of control I take a hit or two and plunge deep into my complaint monologue. I suck the air from around me and even influence others within listening distance to join in. In these moments I remind myself I still have control in my choices, to either complain or to get creative after accepting even the harshest realities.

 

Vent versus Complaining

Know the difference. Those people that always want you to think, speak, and act positive no matter what are ones who I am convinced suppress their own emotions. I’m not preaching to anyone not to express your frustrations. Just because you refuse to acknowledge a negative feeling or situation doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist; it just means you’re ignoring which sounds like avoidance to me. Instead of doing that, I give myself permission to vent when I need to. I address the real factual shit that has me in a tissy and I let myself express/explore the range of emotions; usually I come to my own solutions in this venting session with my sister or best friend. It benefits me as a process to figuring my shit out. I’m learning to stop myself before it becomes all negative and pointless.

This year, this new decade let’s make the decision to uplift even the worse situations by choosing to break our addiction to complaining. Trust me, your taste buds will be more lively, colors will seems brighter, and the world will seem clearer.

Let’s Kick out Complaint Addiction in 2020!

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