The average person complains 30 times a day. It’s a normal and accepted practice in our society. You’ll likely complain about the weather, the traffic, and the dirty dishes, all before noon today.
“Complaining is something that seems to come so easy and so naturally to us, but the problem is: complaints have no magic.” —Cleo Wade
The main issue with complaining? It becomes a habitual negative cycle. We constantly look for someone or something to blame. Many times, our own expectations—which make us feel jilted when not met—perpetuate this cycle.
Related blog: 4 Ways to Be More Chill
Start a Complaint Cleanse
The idea originated from Will Bowen’s “A Complaint Free World.” Participants transfer a bracelet from one wrist to the other each time they complain—the goal being to keep it on the same wrist for 21 days.
No bracelet? No problem! You can easily start your own complaint cleanse without one:
1. Start by Stopping
Readying yourself to spit out a complaint? Close your mouth and let the thought move on. Complaining to confide in someone creates a negative feeding frenzy that benefits no one.
2. Rethink Complaints
Try approaching complaint-prone situations with appreciation or compassion. Stuck behind a wreck? Instead of complaining about it, have some compassion for the people in the wreck—who might also be injured.
3. Manage Your Expectations
They say expectations are premeditated resentments. Having high expectations—for things like birthdays or vacations—can set you up for failure. Lower your expectations and be more optimistic. You’ll create opportunities to be pleasantly surprised.
4. Replace I Have To
It’s almost always used as a complaint: “Ugh, I have to drive across town to pick up Josh from practice.” Try I get to instead. “I get to pick up Josh from practice and hear all about his day!”
Try one complaint-free day and see how you feel. You might find you’re happier because of it. Totally inspired? Here’s a 30-day positivity challenge you can do!
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