What is complaining?
One of the self-destructive patterns that is generated by The Virus is the habit of complaining. Complaining means dwelling on what we don’t like, expressing a lot of negative judgment about it (whether it’s people or circumstances), focusing only on the negative and on blaming other people and circumstances.
What are the negative consequences of complaining?
It is important to understand the heavy price we pay for complaining. Complaining causes us to feel down, sad, helpless. It weakens us because it causes us to see ourselves as victims instead of as powerful entities. It gives room to The Virus to affect us negatively, and strengthens The Virus.
Why do we complain?
If complaining is so bad for us, why do we do it? Our habit is the result of several factors.
We have a natural tendency to focus on problems, so that we pay attention to them and try to solve them. This may be beneficial, but if we don’t do it correctly, we may sink into the problems, feel stressed or overwhelmed, and then get stuck in them and feel helpless, which only exacerbates the problems. Instead, we need to learn how to handle our problems from a place of inner power.
But in our society, the habit of complaining is very common, and people contract this “virus” from each other. This is also very common on TV, where the news focuses only on bad things (just like a neurotic person), politicians mainly complain about the other side and use smears and insults, and on comedy shows people throw insults at each other.
What to do instead of complaining?
Instead of complaining which weakens us, I can adopt an attitude that no matter what my circumstances are, and no matter how other people hurt me, I am a powerful entity. When I am connected to my Essence, I can always see how I can advance myself no matter what circumstances I find myself in. There are in fact many inspiring stories about people who faced all kinds of troubles, like poverty, sickness, accidents, debilitating situations, and despite that, they managed to bootstrap themselves out of their situation thanks to connecting to their inner power and positive attitude.
Instead of complaining, I can focus on the positive things in my life, and express gratitude for them. Even in challenging situations, I can see that every cloud has a silver lining, I can be grateful for the half-full part of the glass, and also interpret the half-empty part as a challenge that I, as a soul before my birth, chose in order to help me develop character strengths to handle the situation.
Rehabilitation from addiction
Since the habit of complaining is so commonplace and we are so used to it, we may in fact be addicted to it, so it’s not so easy to change. We may be addicted to emotional drama, to emotional pain, to the puny “rewards” that we get from The Virus for listening to it. If we try to go “cold turkey” and just forcefully stop this addiction, we may feel that something is missing and experience withdrawal symptoms. The solution is to first understand how harmful this habit is to us, and also understand the benefits of gratitude and of the practical ways of handling situations in self-empowering ways.
Should we never express any negative opinions?
Deciding to refrain from complaining does not mean we need to suddenly like everything or not express negative opinions about anything. Sometimes there are things we don’t like, and that’s ok. The question is what we do about them. If we point them out in order to help ourselves understand what we like and don’t like, and then direct ourselves to productive action to improve our situation, then that’s beneficial. That’s very different from complaining, which is merely being stuck on uselessly talking about what we don’t like while feeling powerless to change it.
Think of a few complaints that you commonly have – about other people, your life situation, and even yourself. Now follow the instructions above in order to design a different behavior regarding these issues. Then start doing these new behaviors.