Do We Complain Too Much?


I remember how one day I decided that I wasn’t going to complain for 24 hours.

I was looking at my social networks, and I came across an image on Facebook that said something like: «Try going 24 hours without complaining. Not even once. You will see how your life changes.» I know there are a lot of challenges on the internet that don’t make sense, but this one really caught my eye. So I decided to give it a try. The initiative was called, “A World Without Complaints.” It sounded like something very simple and as I read about it, I was convinced that the benefits of this challenge could be incredible.

Just one day without complaints? Easy. Or so I thought.
Only 30 minutes passed, and I had complained more than ten times, having to reset the clock.

As time went by, I found that “the complaint” was really part of my day.

Big things, small things, complaints about the weather, the pending tasks of the house, the amount of work, the traffic, the stress, the lack of time… Even negative thoughts about my physique that I did not say out loud.

How many times a day do we complain? It is impressive how even the simplest detail can unleash a series of negative comments that do not solve anything and that, without noticing it, robs us of our energy.

But don’t get me wrong. I don’t think complaining is all bad. For someone going through specific physical or emotional pain, complaining about it, it is completely normal and healthy. The expression of dissatisfaction, in these cases, helps release part of the burden that the situation entails. When our reality escapes from our hands, there is no resource other than lamenting.

However, there is this constant mania of complaining about everything, and that brings negativity into our lives. Complaining about something, or someone is going astray. Complaints get us nowhere, take up time, don’t allow us to achieve our goals, and don’t make us happy.

Let’s think of someone we describe as “positive.” They are people who attract us, with whom we like to share our time, and who make you smile when you are with them.

People who see the positive in things become a kind of “problem solver” rather than just being critical. And by being positive, we begin to think about what we can do to change a situation instead of stagnating in the bad.

Well, let’s be more positive then! Excuses don’t make us better people. Let’s try this: When we find ourselves in the middle of a complaint, let’s take some time, breathe, and see something good about that situation. Before starting this column, I was complaining about having so much homework, many things to write, and readings that are accumulating along with my chores for the day.
I have many things to do, yes, but because I am a student and I have the possibility to go to college, have a career and shape my future with this degree. You see? It’s not easy, but once it becomes a habit, it can help a lot.

Let us accept our responsibility. It is very easy to complain about things, but it is not easy to recognize that it is up to us to make a change, to decide to act, and not just talk about it.

Maybe making an appreciation list helps too. I appreciate many things: I can speak, hear, and see the world. I am healthy. I can walk. I can decide for myself. I have a bed and a roof where I can take refuge every day … There are so many things.

I wasn’t able to not complain for 24 hours. Still, the most incredible thing about this challenge was realizing that it is not that our life changes when we stop complaining, but that we change our attitude towards it.

Remember, if we have the time to complain, it is because we have the time to do something about it.