A couple of years ago I was blessed with the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Nicaragua. It was an incredible experience and one that I will never forget. We spent our time there building a new home for a local pastor – but there was absolutely nothing easy about it.
During the trip I became tired, hungry, dirty and began missing the comforts of home. Everything in me wanted to complain – but I couldn’t. As we worked, I realized that the other mission team members also resisted the urge to complain despite the monster mosquito attacks and grueling weather. Because of our refusal to complain, our positivity dictated the atmosphere on our trip – not our conditions.
I’d like to say I came back home from that trip and never complained about anything again. But, sadly I still sometimes find a way to become disgruntled. I can say though that I realize now just how important it is to choose not to complain and I do my best to avoid it. If you struggle with complaining and going down the negative route like I sometimes do, check out the following 5 reasons for why you should stop complaining.
Complaining does nothing to fix your problem
One of the most compelling reasons for choosing to not complain is that complaining does nothing to fix your problems. Regardless of what you are facing, choosing to be negative and verbalize your frustrations isn’t going to help your situation.
If you want to do something productive about your problems then try praying.
The next time you get frustrated with your job – instead of complaining, pray that God would give you a passion for your job or the courage to find a new one.
The next time you find yourself bickering with your spouse – instead of complaining, pray that God would strengthen and improve your marriage.
The next time your bank account is getting low – instead of complaining, pray that God would provide.
Complaining rewires your brain for negativity
As I’ve already mentioned, complaining doesn’t fix your problems. And since it doesn’t fix your problems, all it really does is make your problems seem even bigger than they actually are. When you head down the rabbit trail of negativity you inevitably create a negative snow ball. One negative thought, leading to another negative thought. Before you know it your negative thoughts will create a negative disposition inside of you. If your focus is on all the negative in your life you will be so preoccupied with it that you will miss on all of the blessings around you. If you don’t believe me, check out this recently published article that explains how complaining molds your brain into a negativity machine.
Leaders don’t complain
If you are around a leader for very long you will realize how rare it is to catch a leader complaining. That is because leaders don’t complain about problems – they fix them. Complaining about your circumstances only perpetuates and magnifies your issues. Leaders also realize that their attitude is contagious and if they focus on the bad so will everyone around them. Any amount of time spent complaining about a problem is time that could be better spent in finding a solution. Leaders are problem fixers – not problem finders.
Nobody likes being around a complainer
Have you ever been somewhere that just seems to suck the life out of you? (I know have – Wal-Mart! ..haha) Or around a certain person that just seems to suck the life out of you? Well, more than likely the reason you feel that way is because that place or that person is practicing the art of complaining. Complaining reeks of negativity and sucks the life out of anything and everything within reach. I want to spend my time around optimists, not pessimists. Not because I want to live in a fantasy world where I can pretend that everything is perfect – but because I believe this world is hard enough without being brought down by other people.
Your reason for complaining probably isn’t a good one
I don’t know about you, but the majority of my complaining is related to overreacting to the trivial things in life. All it takes is for a fast food restaurant to forget to take the pickles and mustard off of my burger and if I’m not careful, my attitude will start to resemble that of a 6 year old child.
That may sound a little bit ridiculous (probably because it is ridiculous), but that is real life. The solution to complaining, in my opinion, is perspective. Instead of complaining about what is wrong with our life; we should thank God for what is right with our life.
For example, I really shouldn’t complain about being forced to eat a burger with pickles and mustard – I should just be thankful that I have food to eat.
And I really shouldn’t complain about the negative aspects of my job – I should just be thankful for the fact that I do have a job.
And I really shouldn’t complain about having a “bad” day – I should just be thankful that I am still breathing!
Regardless of your situation or circumstances, choose today to start being intent on finding things to be thankful for, not complain about. I promise you – you and those around you will be glad that you did.
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”
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