I recently had dinner with a couple of women who had not heard of my blog. Shocking, I know. But on hearing its theme, one of them asked me, What have you learned from the 20 months of your year-without-complaining?
I’ve learned that people complain most about themselves.
I’ve learned that rich people complain about poor people, and poor people complain about rich people.
I’ve learned that passive-aggressive complaints wound the most and overt, open complaints can most easily be forgiven.
I can’t say for a scientific certainty, but I believe that eye-rolling and heavy sighs share this in common: They get used most often of any form of complaint, and the recipient of them often suffers great and self-righteous indignation followed by simmering, seething resentment.
Children complain about their needs not being met while adults complain about their needs not being recognized.
Physical comfort and a lack of challenge to your beliefs often quell complaints but do not necessarily lead to complacency.
Questioning of authority garners cold condemnation.
A failure to recognize someone’s worth spurs them to outrage and vocal complaints.
If one screams loudly enough in outrage, most people will shrivel and shrink and withdraw. Both behaviors constitute complaint.
Calling people names equates with complaining, often about essential, immutable qualities of people over which they have absolutely no control.
Judgment = complaining
Everyone thinks they have a firm basis for complaint and that whatever they find objectionable justifies their complaining.
I prefer to live complaint-free.
I’m not there yet.
So, to Denise Holt & Therese McGill: That’s what I’ve learned in the first twenty-months of My Year Without Complaining.
Thank you for asking.