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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

No complaining - why is that so hard?

The second of my 12 Happiness Commandments is No complaining.  I have made great progress in this area and thought I had fundamentally changed this habit with the resulting great increase in my happiness.  Last week though I found myself complaining about a family member's complaints about another family member.  You've got to at least smile at that sentence, but how much time is spent doing exactly that!

The bottom line is that it is a tough thing to stop complaining.  There is a whole movement devoted to addressing this problem - A Complaint Free World - and the approach advocated by them works.  It is basically self behavior modification.  Yes, words are behavior and saying or thinking them is a tough habit to break.  Backsliding is no surprise.

I'm back on track trying to think or talk with compassion about things I could complain about.  The other challenge I am posing to myself is to listen to others' complaints with compassion and without trying to solve what I think is the problem driving the complaint.  That is a tough one too.  I'm going to try simply to acknowledge their unhappiness.

I do strongly believe that complaining and happiness are fundamentally incompatible.  This is worth ongoing effort and makes other people's lives happier too.

4 comments:

  1. I agree with you. I don't think I complain a lot. If I do, it's all directed at myself - not at others.

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  2. Juhli, you turned me on to A Complaint Free World, and it's increased my awareness of just how much I do complain. I'm working toward stopping and correcting myself right there, on the spot. As for listening to others complain, I have to make myself not jump right in there with them. You nailed it - compassion. Compassion doesn't mean agreement or even validation - just an open ear and an open heart.

    More to work toward....

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    Replies
    1. I like your definition of compassion!

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