The Benefits of Complaining

It is so easy to slip into complaining.

Do you have this problem? Complaining more than you want?

I know that sometimes I am complaining, and I don’t even realize I am complaining. Other times I know I am complaining, but it is hard to stop until I have vented my frustration.

Anyone else raising their hand?

There seems to always be something to complain about.  Big things and small things. Though I tend to favor small things.

How about you? Big or small things?

Learn the 4 benefits of complaining. Then take complaining to the next level and do something about your complaints.Learn the 4 benefits of complaining. Then take complaining to the next level and do something about your complaints.Learn the 4 benefits of complaining. Then take complaining to the next level and do something about your complaints.It’s easy to complain.

 

I am trying to get ready and the phone rings. The bird needs to be put in her cage. Someone asks where their shoes are. I realize I haven’t yet brushed my teeth. And oh yes, what am I going to wear?

Stress builds. Frustration rises.

Then as we are leaving the house someone says, “I thought this started at 6pm.”

I look at the clock. It says 6:05.

I glance at the calendar. Yup, starts at six. Which means we needed to leave at 5:30.

In the car I complain about people distracting me. How I need people to take care of the bird and get themselves ready. And anything mildly related.

We arrive half an hour late, and in a bad mood, mainly because I have complained and vented.

I apologize, but we are all a bit somber. All because I mixed up the time to go and arrive as one in the same. And then complained to a car-captive audience.

That time it was my fault.

But sometimes it is not my fault.

I complain because it seems no one in my house can return an item back to its original and designated spot.

Or because I get tired of waiting for people to show up at the dinner table.

Or because my day has gone nothing like how I wanted it to.

Yup.

So many things to complain about.

In fact, the list seems never ending. We can complain about life, others, circumstances, our day, work, pets, health, politics, laws, food, movies, service, accommodations, traveling, technology, ourselves, and much more.


Learn the 4 benefits of complaining. Then take complaining to the next level and do something about your complaints.Why we complain.

 

We often complain because we have a sense of entitlement. We expect things to unfold orderly, and ultimately go a certain way. We expect (and think) people to act certain way. We expect (and think we deserve) to be treated a certain way.

In short. We complain because things, people, or life is not going as we expected.

I know. It sounds a little shallow of us, doesn’t it?

And it reveals our selfishness and that we are thinking mostly about our self.

Ugg. Not pretty, I know.


Learn the 4 benefits of complaining. Then take complaining to the next level and do something about your complaints.The benefits of complaining.

 

I did say there were benefits of complaining, so let’s get to them.

1. Complaining can highlight the things that irritate us and identify what we consider to be a problem.

2. Complaining can help us label our feelings.

3. Complaining can illuminate the expectations we had for that situation or person.

4. Complaining can point out our self-focused heart.

In short, complaining can help us get to know ourselves better and shine a light into our motivations, feelings, attitudes, and expectations.

But how are these a benefit?

Has this ever happened to you?

You are complaining to your friend about your mate always being late. You are ready early, he has never been early to anything. And as you are describing your frustration about waiting for him and explain how you feel about arriving late to most things, you feel your blood pressure rise.

Presto! You’ve identified what you consider a problem.

You dislike being late. And he is late.

And you have begun to identify your feelings about this problem.

You hate waiting. You feel anger. Frustration. Annoyance. Maybe slighted because he doesn’t consider that you want to be early to events. Not late.

And if you were to probe further, you may find that waiting for him makes you feel disrespected. Not loved. Or maybe the cardinal rule in your childhood was never be late. So, you relate being late to breaking a rule of life.

See all the good information you have learned about yourself? {Stuff you can use to help you not get upset next time this predictable late dance happens again.}

Now let’s dig a little deeper.

You have looked at being late from your point of view, now let’s try to look at it from his viewpoint.

Your mate probably doesn’t see being late as a problem big enough to change. Or he probably wouldn’t be consistently late. Maybe he grew up in a family where they were always late. Or maybe he has no sense of time. Or maybe he has anxiety about being early.

Like I said, this is a problem to you. And why? Because it bugs you.

And it bugs you because you are an early bird married to a late bird. It bothers you because he is different than you. It bothers you because you hate being late. And in your rule book (your expectations), one needs to be early.


Learn the 4 benefits of complaining. Then take complaining to the next level and do something about your complaints.Looking closer at the benefit of complaining.

 

Complaining has identified three important things we need if we are going to change or fix something in our life.

First, we need to identify the problem.  We can’t change a problem without identifying it.

The more we can identify the things that irritate us, the better able we are to address those situations and take steps to not be irritated. We cannot take steps to prevent, sidestep, or change until we have identified a problem.

Second, we need awareness. We need awareness about how we feel, our actions, motivations, expectations, and personality. The more aware we are of how the problem makes us feel, act, and why we feel this way, than we can choose the next step and figure out what to do about the problem.

If we can identify our feelings, and work through them, we will rule them, instead of them ruling us.

Third, after gaining awareness of ourselves, we can gain awareness of others. After we look at the problem or situation from our point of view, we can step back and gain perspective by examining other viewpoints.

The more we can figure out the other person and why they act or think a certain way, the easier it is to give grace, understanding, and decide how to go about compromising and trying to solve the problem. Trying to understand their viewpoint also helps the situation be less of an I-am-right point of view, and they-are wrong point of view (or the winner / loser scenario). It also helps us not take their actions so personally.

We can also look at the problem or situation through the big picture of life and gain insight on how important the thing we are complaining about really is in the scheme of life.


Learn the 4 benefits of complaining. Then take complaining to the next level and do something about your complaints.Complaining never solves a problem.

 

Usually we like to complain. Then after we have vented, we feel better.

Until next time.

But you see. Complaining never solves a problem. It takes no action.

My sister told me this one day and it made a big impression on me.

Complaining just exercises our tongue. And often it encourages us to shame and blame, or lecture, those involved, but there is no plan developed. No steps taken to alleviate or live with the problem.

It is time to take complaining to the next level. After we have identified the problem and our feelings concerning the problem, let’s take some action.

Let’s attempt to solve (minimize or deal with) the problem and eliminate further complaining.


Learn the 4 benefits of complaining. Then take complaining to the next level and do something about your complaints.Solving the problem.

 

Here is the action part. The brain work.

It is time to reap the benefits of all that complaining and move to solving the problem. To quit being the victim and move to choices.

Back to the problem of the early bird and tardy bird. There are many choices available.

You can discuss it with him and tell him how his lateness makes you feel. You can come to a compromise. You can take separate cars. Maybe reward yourself with something enjoyable while he is taking so long to get ready. Tell him things start 30 minutes earlier than they really do. Decide to just   overlook it and live with it. Catch yourself getting irritated and decide not to let it ruin your day. Catch yourself wanting to nag and complain him into moving faster, and instead name two things aloud to him that you appreciate about him.

The one thing you cannot do is change him. He has to do that himself.

The thing to remember is that you have lots of choices.

When we feel we have choices, we can quit complaining and instead choose to do something different.

Not all problems we complain about can be changed. Sometimes we need to find ways to deal with the problem in the best possible way. But we never get to dealing with the problem in a better way, until we identify the problem, our feelings associated with the problem, our expectations concerning the problem, and then take action to do or try something different.

I am not encouraging you to complain, but once you have, use the benefits (the knowledge learned) of complaining to your advantage.

Move to the next step of dealing with or solving the problem.

You’ll be happier, and so will those around you.

Learn the 4 benefits of complaining. Then take complaining to the next level and do something about your complaints.P.S. Possible questions to ask yourself to help you solve your problem and benefit from complaining.

1. What do I really feel about this topic / problem?

2. Why might I be feeling this way?

3. Why does this problem bother me so much?

4. What are my expectations for this problem? Why or how did I develop of choose those expectations?

5. What might the other person’s viewpoint be?

6. What might their expectations be?

7. What have I learned about myself (or them) that can help in the future?

8. Do I want to address this topic / problem with the person? What would be the best way of doing this?

9. How do I want to address, or react, next time this problem / situation comes up? (Come up with a plan of action.)

Helpful tip: Complain to a person who will listen, ask similar questions, and help you figure out your answers to these questions.

My sister and I call each other to complain, and then often we ask some of these hard questions of each other. This helps us identify the problem, and then decide what we are going to do about the problem.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 


If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the Discussion: What are some benefits you have noticed about complaining?

Learn the 4 benefits of complaining. Then take complaining to the next level and do something about your complaints.May link up at Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Maree Dee (#Grace & Truth).

Learn the 4 benefits of complaining. Then take complaining to the next level and do something about your complaints.

Finding the Wonderful When You Don’t Feel Wonderful

Do you ever find it difficult to be thankful and find the wonderful in the midst of hard?

Hard times. Hard situations. Hard attitudes.

And then along comes a day where we are supposed to be counting our blessings. Smiling and being cheerful for the here and now. And being grateful can feel so hard. Cold. Joyless. Uncertain.

How to find the wonderful things to be grateful for, when you feel far from wonderful.How to find the wonderful things to be grateful for, when you feel far from wonderful.How to find the wonderful things to be grateful for, when you feel far from wonderful.With our plates heaped with turkey, cranberries, and more, we are asked to share the thing we are most thankful for. And our mind freezes with blankness.

Because sometimes it is hard to be thankful. Hard to find something to gush over and be appreciative for. Without sarcasm and pessimism joining hands with our words.

You may have a good excuse. You are tired. Weary of doing. Stressed with work. Suffering loses. Frustrated. Or down of soul.

This happens. Life is not always a joyful ride on the hay-wagon of life.

First, I don’t want you to despair. You are not alone. You are in good company. Others in similar situations are wanting to point their life ride in a new direction. Wanting to release the weight of life they are experiencing.

So, take a deep breath. Now another.

We often feel isolated in the middle of hard, but we are not. Others can relate to what you are experiencing. Others are been walking the same lonely road. Others remember walking that same difficult road. Others are willing to help when you reach out and share with them.

How to find the wonderful things to be grateful for, when you feel far from wonderful.How to find the wonderful things to be grateful for, when you feel far from wonderful.Second. I want you to know you are seen, loved, and known by your creator. He knows your thoughts, emotions, and desires, and does not condemn you, but loves you with an everlasting love.

While we beat ourselves up in our minds, he offers grace.

While we wonder and worry about the future, he offers hope.

While we believe lies about our self, past, present, and future, he offers us truth and calls us beloved.

While we fret about our actions, he offers forgiveness.

Now isn’t that something to be thankful for! And that makes life a little easier.

Sure, it doesn’t solve the present trials and tribulations you are experiencing, but it makes them easier just knowing you have an advocate, friend, and helper on your side who is with you every step of the way.

It can be hard to be thankful sometimes. Until we get our eyes off our self and our situation. Until we look around at others and up at him. This seems to be one of the keys to finding wonderful things to be thankful for in the midst of hard times.

Looking beyond our self.

So, if you are sitting with a plate full of pie and wondering what to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, just remember to look around and up. I’m sure you will find something wonderful to report to all those listening ears.

Because when you think about it, there are a lot of wonderful things that are free in this life.

To help with the Thanksgiving mood, here’s a short list of wonderful. Please add your wonderfuls to the comments. I’d love to hear them.

How to find the wonderful things to be grateful for, when you feel far from wonderful.

Isn’t it wonderful to sit around a table with others and talk and laugh and cry and tell stories and make memories upon memories?

Isn’t it wonderful to be able to lend a helping hand to others?

Isn’t it wonderful how forgiveness brings peace?

Isn’t it wonderful to be able to experience the world with five senses?

Isn’t it wonderful to be alive, loved by God, and able to pass His love and grace along?

Isn’t it wonderful how a camera can capture memories that can be enjoyed for years?

Isn’t it wonderful to visit the ocean: feel the sand between toes, listen to the waves, and watch the wonder of water?

Isn’t it wonderful how beautiful nature can be?

Isn’t it wonderful how God’s love of us is not dependent on our actions or attitude?

Isn’t it wonderful how good a warm shower feels?

Isn’t it wonderful how a smell can transport you back to a memory?

Isn’t it wonderful how a simple thank you can be such a gift to the receiver?

Isn’t it wonderful how just a few words can encourage someone?

Isn’t it wonderful how God loves you no matter what?

Isn’t it wonderful we look forward to another and better life in the presence of God?

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

May your gatherings be full of hope and excitement, may your stomachs feel content and full, and may you remember a few of the wonderful free things that bless our lives.

How to find the wonderful things to be grateful for, when you feel far from wonderful.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 


If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the Discussion: What are some wonderfuls you have noticed?

How to find the wonderful things to be grateful for, when you feel far from wonderful.May link up at Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

How to find the wonderful things to be grateful for, when you feel far from wonderful.How to find the wonderful things to be grateful for, when you feel far from wonderful.

Living the Dream Between Sticky Messes and Sacred Ground

Do you sometimes look around and wish for more?

Do you sometimes think, is this all there is?

Or wonder to yourself, so this is how it is going to be?

Does life sometimes seem more like a chore than joy?

I think we can answer yes to some of these questions, depending on the day and season we are currently mired in.

We sometimes forget that our sticky mess we are questioning, is really sacred ground.

Sometimes we forget our prayers were answered, because now we feel stuck in a mess and mired in problems.Sometimes we forget our prayers were answered, because now we feel stuck in a mess and mired in problems.

Sometimes we forget our prayers were answered, because now we feel stuck in a mess and mired in problems.Sticky messes and sacred ground?

 

Maybe you can relate to sticky messes.

Perhaps there are sticky spots all over your kitchen floor. Places where papers would naturally stay put without tape. Maybe you lost your left shoe this morning and it’s still where the sticky ooze first grabbed it.

But sacred ground?

Nothing sacred about this sticky ground, you think.

Let me ask you a question.

Are you in the middle of an answered prayer?

I don’t mean this morning’s prayer, I mean a prayer or desire from year’s ago.

Maybe from before you were a teen. Maybe after.

Did you once long to be a wife?

Did you once pray for a job?

Did you once yearn to be a mom?

Did you once dream about renting your own apartment? Moving out on your own?

Did you desire to have your first house?

Did you used to dream about being an adult who could do whatever they wanted and stay up as late as they wanted?

That’s my point.

Many of us are living smack dab in the middle of our answered prayers and dreams. Sacred ground is below us.

We longed for this, and now we are here. Only it seems much different than what we imagined. Harder than we thought it would be. And there are more responsibilities than we ever imagined.

Sometimes we forget our prayers were answered, because now we feel stuck in a mess and mired in problems.Don’t worry, we have lots of company.

 

The children of Israel prayed for years to be free from the Egyptians. To be free from slavery. To have a different and better life for themselves and their children.

That day finally came. They walked out of Egypt with their heads high. They were free. Off to a new life. Their prayers were answered.

We don’t get very far into their story before their attitude changes. They begin whining about walking so far. They complained about the lack of water. Were dissatisfied with Moses. Wished they were back in Egypt eating leaks

When they imagined being free of Egypt, they never imagined they would be wandering for years in a sand pit and sleeping in a tent.

We can’t fault them for not reading the fine print. Because there was no fine print.

Their prayers were answered, sure not in the way they imagined they would be, and they grew unhappy.

Does this feel familiar?

We pray for employment. Imagining a job so wonderful there is no bad news to write home about. Then we get a job, only it doesn’t match the image we had pasted on our frontal cortex.

We pray for children. Maybe spend years trying to get pregnant. Never thinking of all the dippers and mid-night feedings and the worry and guilt that goes into raising a child.

We pray for a house. Then the roof leaks. The neighbors are unfriendly. The furnace quits one cold night.

We pray for a mate. Only to find marriage is not as easy as it looks. And he is not as perfect as we thought.

We pray for friends. A church. Healing. And the answer looks different than our request. 

Reality overtakes our preconceived fantasy. It makes us question the here and now.

We forget our prayers were answered, because we now feel stuck in a mess, mired in problems, hip deep in sand and sticky places. 

The reality may be that we are smack dab in the middle of answered prayers. Standing on sacred ground. But we have forgotten this, because it sure doesn’t feel like we are living our dreams.

Life gets hard. We feel unhappy and tired. Dissatisfied. We whine and complain. Feel sorry for our self.  Because that is what we as humans do.

I used to think that if I was a child of Israel wandering in the desert tired and parched, I wouldn’t have whined. Baloney! I would have joined right in with them. Because of one simple reason. We humans are whiners. We think back to our shiny and perfect prayer or dream and then we look around at our current reality and we feel cheated.

Wait a second, we think. I didn’t ask for this. I didn’t ask for imperfection.

Only we forget that we live in imperfection. There is no Garden of Edan. And reality never jives with the dream in our headspace.

Sometimes we forget our prayers were answered, because now we feel stuck in a mess and mired in problems.How to reconcile our sticky messes with sacred ground and enjoy our answered prayers.

 

Life is always full of sticky messes next to sacred ground because we are human. Remembering that the two go hand in hand, can be helpful. Here are also some other tips that may help.

Hint: Trying to implement all of these tips leads to overwhelm. Choose one or two that will most help you right now. Or come up with your own.

1. Remind yourself that life is hard. Even with a husband. 2 children. A dream job. A house. A picket fence. And 1 dog. Sure, some parts are easier, and some parts are harder. But life ain’t never as easy as we want it to be or as we imagine it will be. There is a disconnect between our dream and reality. Understand this.

2. Life unfolds in seasons. It is always changing. We may get tired of being grabbed by little hands and answering their 1,452 questions a day, but one day they will be grown. What irritates us today, may one day be missed. Or what irritates us today, may naturally cease.

3. Things could always be worse. Sometimes I play this game with myself. I imagine things worse. Much worse than they currently are. Which makes me thankful that things are not worse. It helps me count my blessings and thank God for what I do have.

4. Find ways to enjoy life right now. Don’t delay fun. Have fun right where you are. It makes life easier and improves our attitude.

Maybe even go for crazy fun. Dance and sing in the kitchen. And when someone steps on the sticky goo left over from junior dumping a jar of honey on the floor, they get to choose the next song.

Sometimes we forget our prayers were answered, because now we feel stuck in a mess and mired in problems.5. Toss perfection and almost perfect out the nearest door. It just trips you up and makes you desire what will never be. It’s also a kill joy.

6. Spot the positive. The negative is easier to spot, but it yields less rewards. Spotting the positive will lead to feeling better about where you are right now in your sticky mess and help you count your blessings.

7. See the eternal perspective. You are right where God has placed you. This life is never all about us. Or about a clean home or finding the most enjoyable job. Or about kids or pets that don’t embarrass us. It is about loving others, our self, and God.

8. Remember the prayers that God has already answered in your life. God recounted to the children of Israel over and over again the story of bringing them out of Egypt. Why? Maybe to remind them that he answered their prayers. That he was on their side and had taken care of them. And that they were living their answered prayers.

9. Find the humor in your life. You may have to wait awhile for showing up to your child’s doctor appointment on the wrong day to be funny. But one day, it just might be. Humor helps change our perspective and cheers us up.

10. Create a tribe of support. Friends you can talk to. Encourage one another. 2 are better than one.

You got this.

Breathe.

Another breath.

Now go enjoy your one and only life.

Sometimes we forget our prayers were answered, because now we feel stuck in a mess and mired in problems.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 


If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the discussion: What answered prayer are you living? And what helps you remember to enjoy your answered prayers?

Sometimes we forget our prayers were answered, because now we feel stuck in a mess and mired in problems.May link up at Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

Sometimes we forget our prayers were answered, because now we feel stuck in a mess and mired in problems.10 suggestions to enjoy our current life. Because sometimes we forget our prayers were answered, because now we feel stuck in a mess and mired in problems. Learning to live in the present and accepting your life.