There are many things that happen throughout the day that we cannot control . From the actions and behaviors of others, to seemingly unwarranted traffic, life delivers several uncontrollable scenarios which can lead to feelings of frustration, anger or helplessness. The evidence is plentiful that could support a negative, critical or skeptical view of some of life’s circumstances. That being said, the tendency to indulge in negative thinking and complaining comments can have monstrous effects on our moods, self esteem and yes, even our relationships. This post focuses less on ways to combat complaining, criticizing or making excuses (that will come at a later time) and will instead highlight the impact of such behaviors on our relationships.
As the Holiday Season rapidly approaches, numerous parties and celebrations will be held. These celebrations allow opportunities for shared laughter and good times, but can also be a haven for the looming Master Complainer. What is a Master Complainer? These are personalities who constantly have negative things to say. They may often appear overly critical, judgmental and can zap the energy out of a room full of people. Master Complainers focus on creating bonds with others by connecting around misery, scarcity and fear. If you have ever seen the skit Debbie Downer on SNL, you know exactly the type of personality I am referring to (link below). It’s easy to slip into this mode, it often requires little forethought and unfortunately the impact can be of great consequence. Master Complainers typically push others away and create discomfort for those around them. Although their unconscious goal may be to actually connect and bond with others, they end up creating the exact opposite effect because of their negative and helpless attitude.
A classic example of a Master Complainer is when you have an exciting opportunity on your hands and as you share your joy, you are met with restricted excitement and a conversation focused on all that could go wrong or worse yet a horror story of when something similar was offered and turned out terribly for that other person. TOTAL DOWNER!
Since we cannot always control every aspect of life or the attitudes and behaviors of others, it is crucially important to take advantage of the areas and aspects of our lives that we can control. We have the ability to select who surround ourselves with and the energy that we put out into the world. We can remove ourselves from the company of Master Complainers and even more so, we can remain vigilant of not allowing ourselves to indulge in these behaviors. We can do our best to position ourselves towards success and make small decisions everyday that contribute to good health, positive moods and supportive relationships with those around us. By taking a hopeful and positive approach to life, we are better able to successfully manage the struggles and difficulties that may arise. If we allow ourselves to become polluted with criticism and negativity, we not only rob ourselves of enjoying the wonders of life, but we also dampen the experiences of others.
Debbie Downer SNL : http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/debbie-downer/32806/