We’ve all been there; It’s so hot, it’s so cold, politicians don’t deliver, there is so much traffic, my husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend cheated on me, my boss doesn’t appreciate me, the conference is expensive, they didn’t understand us, he is late, she is late, they are late, they are not responsible, they are immature, the coffee is sweet, the straw is blue, the driver in front of me is so slow… are you tired yet? I’m definitely tired. It’s always them, right? It’s never us.
I have to admit that sometimes I catch myself complaining about something and then ask myself; why did I just complain about that? Complaining about something means that I’m not taking responsibilities for my own actions and I blame other people so I can feel better about myself. Complaining about certain things makes no sense; like the weather, politicians and how other people react. You don’t like Cyprus, it’s too hot? Move to the UK. You don’t like London because it’s cold? Move to Cyprus. People always ask me when I’m in London why I don’t go to live in Cyprus because the weather is so much better there, however people in Cyprus always ask me why I’m in Cyprus because I should go to London since it’s not so hot. Writing about it now, it makes me laugh. Complaining will not help us achieve our goals. It doesn’t really, just think about it. Action, commitment and finding a solution will always take us to new places. I understood that we are all wired to complain. I took a step back and thought, when I came out of my mum’s belly I didn’t start complaining about the weather or why I was born… or did I? Of course not. Society, family members and friends all influenced us to complain. You don’t like something? Complain about it, you will feel much better.
I did my research and spoke to people because I wanted to learn why we complain, how it affects us and how can we stop complaining. Science suggests there are very serious flaws; one research said that expressing negativity tends to make us feel better, but it also makes listeners feel worse. I can understand why we feel good; when we complain, dopamine (a chemical in our body that makes us feel good) is released, that’s why we continue complaining; it feels good in the short term but it doesn’t help us grow and it doesn’t help us in the long run. This is not the end though. Complaining is bad for our mood and that of our friends and colleagues as well, and apparently it’s also bad for our brain and health.
On Psych Pedia, Steven Parton, an author and student of human nature explains how complaining not only alters our brain for the worse but also has serious negative repercussions for our mental health. In fact, he goes so far as to say that complaining can literally kill you.
We all know that our friends and colleagues influence our behavior and that is because we all have a mob mentality. Hanging out with our own negative thoughts rewires our brains for more negativity, so hanging out with people that have negative energy just makes it worse. When we see somebody experiencing an emotion (anger, sadness, happiness etc) our brain “tries” the same emotion to understand what they are going through. Our brains tries this out so we can have empathy. This is how we get the mob mentality… It’s our shared bliss at music concerts, but it is also a night out at the bar with friends who just love, love, love, love to constantly bitch about problems. The solution to this one is simple yet hard; find people that are genuinely happy and don’t complain.
Whenever I listen to myself complaining about anything I always add a solution to the complaint. I don’t complain about traffic and all that stuff, I complain about other things for example; ohhh why didn’t they understand that conference… So what I do is ask myself how I can improve my communication skills or why they behaved that way. I try to understand the others person’s point of view. If there is traffic, for example, and I’m late; it’s my fault; why didn’t I leave the office earlier? The solution is simple; learn a lesson (next time leave earlier), continue listening to your book or listen to a podcast and learn something new. Another example; A client didn’t pay this month even though he was supposed to; I didn’t complain; I just said to myself that there are two solutions; A) find 10 more new clients so you don’t have this problem B) go to a conference, read a book, master communication and finance. The point I’m trying to make is that I always put myself in a position to take full responsibility. I don’t want to blame others because I want to be in charge of my life. I don’t want anybody to ‘drive’ my life, it’s my life and I want to live it passionately, authentically and be in charge of my own life.
I truly believe that complaining is a disease but the good news is that we don’t need to go to the pharmacy and buy new pills and we don’t need to wait for any doctor to come. The solution is us, it’s right here, it’s right now. Making a decision to become happier and fulfilled. Complaining will not get us anywhere, commitment on the other hand will take us to magical new places.
I will be talking on this topic at the Think Beyond Conference in Nicosia, Cyprus on the 14th of October. If you are committed to become the best version of yourself, get your Early Bird tickets today here or call 22 101935 for availability. The value you will receive from the Think Beyond Conference will exceed your investment. I promise you will NOT be disappointed by this experience. Can you tell I’m excited about the conference? It’s because I’m a passionate and excited man who wants you there!