I have been tracking the act of complaining and its impact in our ability to manifest our dreams, embody our purpose and express our gifts effectively in the world. So many of us spend so much of our time complaining! Why do it, if it only increases our frustration and solves nothing? That’s what I wanted to know.
- We complain every time we have to do something that we don’t want to do or that we don’t like.
- We complain when ANYTHING changes, even if we wanted it to change!
- We complain when something is difficult.
- We complain when we are doing something new and make mistakes.
- We complain when things don’t work as we believe they should.
Complaining as Venting
I’ve discovered that there’s a part of complaining is that is just a human need. We need to vent. We complain to let out steam.
In this case, you complain for a couple of minutes, let out steam and then you can focus on solving the problem. If that’s what’s happening, welcome to being human!
But when complaining becomes a habit, is stops being useful.
The habit of complaining creates constant irritation and frustration in our lives, steals our Inner Peace and makes us feel helpless or inadequate.
The habit of complaining creates a Primary Response of irritation in the face of any challenge. As you interpret this event as negative and adopt the role of victim, you are feeding the problem and starving your power to find a solution.
The habit of complaining can also feed your Drama Queen persona, creating unnecessary, petty drama during your day. This becomes a source of stress for yourself and others. The Drama Queen performances are dysfunctional ways of asking for attention.
The Shadow Faces of Complaining
Complaining has three Shadow Faces.
The complaining habit can be a way to become vampires and suck our own energy, wasting energy and time in complaining and draining ourselves of all juice to solve the problem effectively. We can also become vampires to others through our constant complaints.
Another Shadow Face of complaining is when it becomes the psychic whip that we use to flagellate ourselves constantly. Any time we face a problem or even a minor inconvenience, we take out that whip and whack ourselves with a tirade of complaints, until we begin to feed an immense frustration and irritation that is out of proportion to the event.
After we make the frustration bigger than the problem we then feel inadequate, helpless and already too tired to deal with the problem.
The Hostile Universe
Finally complaining as a habit can feed the wound of your Inner Orphan. As you complain of all the things that go wrong today, you begin to feel more alone and less supported. You begin to see the world as a hostile place that is intent in thwarting your desires and needs. You actually begin to feel that there is a conspiracy against your happiness and success.
Ridiculous, I know, but emotionally true and emotionally draining.
The Secret Act Beneath Your Complain
And that’s when I discovered the Secret Act beneath our complaining. As I was doing my undercover stint in Complaint Continent, I realize there was yet another side to complaining, probably the most hidden face of all.
After all, weren’t they complaining? Didn’t they need help? Isn’t it better to stop complaining and solve the problem?
Perhaps, but that’s not why they are complaining.
These people have come to rely on complaining as the surface act when in reality they are crying for emotional support and attention.
The Inner Child is throwing a tantrum!
The Inner Child feels unsupported, abandoned, alone. She needs to be picked up, hugged, validated and heard. Then and only then will she be able to shift her attention to the solution or to ask for help.
That’s why when we interrupt the complaint tirade, trying to cut to the chase and solve the problem— the person gets angry.
she is not necessarily asking you or whoever is present for this. She may even be alone, and she is still asking the universe for support and attention.
- “Why are you doing this to me?”
- “Why do so many things go wrong in my life?”
- “Treat me well. Love me. Make it easy. Stop making me suffer!”
These are the things that the Inner Child may be saying to the universe when we go off in a complaint tirade.
If you intuitively feel that this is going on when someone is complaining, don’t cut to the chase to try to address the problem. Don’t dish out advice. Trust me. It will backfire. Instead do this in this order:
- Listen deeply to the emotions of the Inner Child and have empathy for her
- Comfort and validate the Inner Child
- Then, when the person as calmed down and you feel that the child is no longer in the midst of a tantrum, ask the person how you can help to make it better.
And come back here to leave your comment. Which of these things rings a bell for you?