Even if you have never read any positive thinking or related self help books, you should be able to say something about positive thinking. It’s simply “think positively”. For quite a while, I had been thinking that I was doing positive thinking very well. Until one day, I first read a very common saying with my heart.
Never complain. Never explain.
I never took the effect of complaints very serious as I always thought that I’m not that kind of complaint people. At least I rarely wrote any complaint letters or made any complaint calls (I really got some friends who do this frequently!).
Nevertheless, complaining is something more than that.
Voicing out your dissatisfaction and requesting for improvement or compensation is NOT really complaining which I refer to. But what most of us always do unconsciously is complaining your situations, e.g. your poor salary, your long working hours, the traffic jam, etc., to your friends without any constructive or positive intention.
We think that it is just sharing of life. But we have neglected that these are all negative thoughts that would:
- Encourage your negative feelings
- Reinforce your inability to change the situation
- Discourage any constructive discussion with yourself and the person you’re talking to
In my words, this action just releases a lot of negative energy.
After knowing the problems with complaining, when I share my life (especially work life) to my family and friends, I would:
- Be really aware of my words and thoughts when I’m angry or frustrated
- Be really aware of my expressions
- Try my best to state the situation objectively
- If #3 fails, rephrase my words and re-state the situation objectively
- If #3 and #4 fail, add in some objective comments or statements (e.g. “Perhaps, I might have done similar things if I encountered…”, “I think this is just an individual case, so I should not take it personal and too serious”, “I don’t agree with his reaction but I might have done better”, “She has made a bad decision this time, but she has been a good employee in many aspects”, etc.)
- Talk about the changes on the situation I would love to see
- Talk or discuss about the changes I might be able to make in order to help with the situation
- [MUST DO] before leaving, wrap up the discussion with a constructive and positive statement (it can be “I believe the situation will improve if I …”, “I will try different approaches and see which can help…” or simply “I will find out a solution!”)
Of course, we might have a lot more discussion on the skills of using positive statements effectively. But I hope these little reminders could act as the first steps that will help you avoid or get out of the trap of complaint.
Please feel free to share your comments with me.