My parents used to say, “Misery loves company.” They were from the old school where adages made sense.
As I get older, I realize that the more I complain, the more I find more to complain about. I have a list of complaints and no results. When we complain to others, we are seeking emotional validation; we want someone else to validate our grievances, and then the claims are contagious. Not only are we complaining, but we get our friends and family members complaining too.
Misery loves company.
There are times I feel uncomfortable when my supervisors want me to do things I deem unnecessary. For example, during this quarantine, there are specific procedures we have to do as teachers, and I find it trifling. Then, there’s a little voice inside of me that repeats, “Some people don’t have a job! Some people would trade places with you to enter information into a spreadsheet just to get paid! Your complaints are taking a lot of energy and time when you could do this task in less time!”
I’m going throw some psychology on this. Dr. Guy Winch said, “When we have so many dissatisfactions and frustrations, yet believe we’re powerless to do much about them or to get the results we want, we are left feeling helpless, hopeless, victimized, and bad about ourselves. Obviously, one such incident won’t harm our mental health, but we have so many complaints, this scenario happens many times a day. This accumulation of frustration and helplessness can add up over time and impact our mood, our self-esteem, and even our general mental health” (psychologytoday.com, 2012).
Yeah, I can’t afford to mess with my mental health. I need a solution. I am complaining about my complaints. As I read Dr. Winch’s article, the best way to complain effectively is to find a solution to the issue! The answer is to ask my supervisors why do we need to do what we are doing, and perhaps provide a type of solution to make it easier on everyone. Or, I should stop complaining because it’s not a big deal! I might stand alone, but I’ll be happier!
The problem with complaining is that people will see you as a negative person, and negativity can prevent people from liking you. I haven’t heard people say, “I’m happy being negative!” Right now, what’s happening around the world, a little positive influence and thinking are needed.
I have to take care of myself. A lot of people say that to me. It is easier said than done; however, I need to take care of my emotional health. Amid the negative news surrounding us, I need to exercise preventative mental care. I might stand alone, and I might complain once or twice, but I cannot live my life complaining.
If you’re like me and need to shift your mindset to decrease the complaining, I challenge you to find solutions before you complain about something.
Here’s a Ted Talk from Dr. Guy Winch speaking about taking care of our emotional health.