November 2008 Knowledge Newsletter
I want to wish all Americans a very happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday. During this holiday many families come together to share a meal and offer thanks for all the blessings in their lives. Please remember to say a prayer for all those who are less fortunate.
Have you ever noticed how some people complain all the time? During this holiday time, we may have occasion to complain about having to do too much to do, how expensive things have become, how we never have time to do the things we want, about the long line-ups, about the economy, and about being treated poorly by over worked staff in shops, airlines and restaurants. I thought it might be a good time to share with you some of the reasons why we complain, how it serves us, and what we can do instead.
Are you a complainer? Do you have friends and family who are always complaining? How do you feel listening to others complain? Do you sympathize with them, feel sorry for them, or get fed up listening to them?
Why We Complain
Sometimes we complain to create an impression of sophistication. This serves to show others that we are superior, more knowledgeable, or better than others. As if we have the inside track. It is a form of moral superiority.
When we complain or criticize others, we build ourselves up by putting others down. We do this to make ourselves feel greater than we are because of our own insecurity or lack of self confidence? It is like we are trying to show to the world an image of who we are when we are not comfortable in our own skin. If we were really superior, don’t you think others would notice that and we would not need to go to the trouble of pointing it out to them?
Continual complaining is often a form of attention seeking. When we complain, we expect people to listen to us. We command the floor, so to speak. If we find we are loosing the attention of our audience, we usually conclude we need to complain more or our complaints must become more exaggerated.
If the true intention of complaining is to keep attention focused on us, then is this not a form of manipulation? Imagine how you feel when people are trying to manipulate you? Bet it doesn’t feel good.
Have you ever noticed that when people complain, their listeners often try to help them find a solution to their problems either by sharing some experience of their own or suggesting a helpful idea? While this makes the listener feel useful, my experience has taught me that offering help sometimes backfires. The person complaining may just want your attention and not your solutions. In one case, I was told this directly by the complainer. They said they didn’t want to fix the situation they just wanted to complain about it.
Complaining serves to alienate ourselves from others. Do we really want to hang around with people who treat us badly, who don’t recognize our elevated status, who are not interested in paying attention to us? In the end, we punish ourselves by isolating ourselves from others who might be good friends.
Complaining should happen very infrequently, criticism and gossip should never occur as these are just other forms of criticizing others. Complaining and gossiping keeps us distracted from dealing with our own issues. Gossip is often malicious and serves to make us morally superior, at least in our own minds or within our immediate group of friends. It tends to alienate the person about whom the gossip is about. Malicious gossip can often cause real harm.
We often see people, especially older people, complain about their health. It is true that with age come many health issues. In our culture, we are taught when people are sick they should be given attention and taken care of. But continual complaining about one’s health serves to alienate people. After all, your listeners do not have the ability to make you well. While they may feel sorry for you or even compassionate, you may be making them feel helpless.
Complaining often serves to make us victims. It is like saying “I can never get what I want”, “people don’t listen to me”, “I am helpless in this situation” and “I feel like nothing will ever change”. Generally if we want change, complaining is not the way to bring it about. The old adage “action speaks louder than words” holds true here. Rather than complain, do something about it.
Complaints are sometimes used as excuses in lieu of taking action. It is amazing how many different excuses people can come up with when they don’t want to do something. For example, ”Why should I do it when they won’t like it anyway” or “Every time I suggest anything, they never listen”.
When we complain about people or situations, we are reliving a difficult experience that was not pleasant for us. Complaints tend to keep us focused on the negative rather than on the positive. We each have a choice of where we want to put our focus, so why not make it positive.
Complaining can undermine our health and creates stress. Our thoughts and beliefs create our realities and determine how we feel in our bodies. When we complain about others or recall our negative encounters, imagine the impact this has on our bodies.
If you don’t believe this, then try this simple exercise. Firstly, think of a negative thought and pay attention to how you feel in your body. Then think a positive thought like “I trust everything will be okay” and again pay attention to how much more relaxed your body feels. If that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will. It is also a good idea to pay attention to how you feel when you complain about others or others complain about you.
Do you like it when people complain about you? You know that old saying “Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you”. Keep that in mind the next time you are about to complain about someone or something. You are directing negative energy towards a person and what goes around comes around. Did you know that anytime we think, say or feel negatively towards another living being, we create karma for ourselves? You may feel a need to justify your behavior by saying that they deserve it or your actions are justified based on what occurred. But in the end you have still created karma for yourself.
We create our lives by the words we choose. They become an expression of who you are. So what are you trying to tell the world about yourself?
What we can do instead of complaining?
Instead of complaining, ask yourself was the situation really that person’s fault or was it due to circumstances beyond their control. Many people travel for Thanksgiving and naturally they often have hassles at the airport. They complain bitterly about the airline industry. But the people who serve us do not make the policy decisions, they just have to enforce them, even if they disagree.
If you believe you have suffered an injustice, been treated poorly, or have a suggestion on how things can run more smoothly, then write at letter to the person in charge with your experience and any solutions you may have to suggest. While this may not guarantee that change will occur, at least you have done something positive to bring the situation to the attention of people who have the power to remedy it.
When you spend time sharing what you dislike about someone or how they treated you, try to think of something positive to say about them instead of something negative. Just imagine how you would feel if someone was saying something bad about you.
If we complain to get attention, surely there are more positive and productive ways to get attention like helping others, contributing to the well being of your community or even taking care of your own issues.
When offering suggestions to complainers, make sure the person wants to hear them. Ask them if they would like your help. Tell complainers you are not interested in listening to their complaints unless they are willing to do something about the situation. Ask them what action steps they have taken or plan to take.
I would like to invite you or suggest to anyone who complains regularly to take the 21 day challenge. That means no complaints for 21 days or longer, if possible. This will make you conscious of how much complaining you actually do. Just think what you could do with all that energy you expend on complaining.
I hope these suggestions have been helpful. If you need any help with complainers or need answers or ideas on how to bring about change in your life, please feel free to contact me. I am available for personal and telephone readings, empowerment coaching, regressions, and healing either by responding to this newsletter or calling me at 505 474 6363 or 514 312- 2451. Online classes, books, and guided meditation CD's are available by visiting to www.sharoncheney.com.
My latest book Your Soul: the Roadmap to Your Life is now available. My previous book Discover Your Psychic Abilities is available in printed or e-book form.
Gift certificates are available as holiday presents, for birthdays or other occasions. Often a reading or a personal coaching session can provide insights and even change a person’s life. So please contact me if you or anyone you know of could use some guidance or help of any sort
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May your future be filled with Love and Light.