This first quote was submitted by Paul Wolford. Check out the book he wrote with Scott Edwards called “The Slayer of Saints”.
Paul Stanley, front man for the band KISS. His comment is about the restrictions placed on their lives by superstardom.
“I don’t think it was my nature or any of ours to start complaining about something like that. That’s like winning the lottery and then complaining about the taxes. Or becoming president and saying I don’t like wearing a tie. Well, if you are lucky enough to get what you wanted, shut up!”
Why do we complain so much? If things are bad, we complain, if things are good, we complain. If things are really great, and we have achieved that amazing thing we always wanted, we actually HUNT for a reason to complain.
There could be a variety of reasons, but I can think of two right off. We want sympathy, or want to outdo someone else’s complaint, thus winning a small victory for the day.
Sympathy is something we actually CRAVE sometimes. We appreciate it when others recognize our situation, but many times we complain to put ourselves out there and in the way of our friends or even strangers just to get some little bit of regard.
It feels like a cat that lays down in your path so you will either pet her or stumble over her. Or the dog who catches you reading and pushes his head into your hand so you will stop what you are doing and lavish attention on him. I won’t begin to talk about how toddlers behave when mother starts talking on the phone.
Begging for sympathy is basically asking others to pity you. Do you want to be considered by others to be pitiful? The weakness of character exhibited doesn’t lend itself to others wanting to spend time with you. Once you are labeled a whiner, people choose to go the other way when they see you coming. They have enough burdens of their own, and don’t need yours added to the pile.
Before complaining for sympathy, ask yourself, “Is the thing you want to whine about a problem that needs solved, or are you just trying to get pitied and petted like the aforementioned dog? Anything you are not willing to take action to change is not something you should waste your own time, and especially others time with. It’s pretty unproductive, and showcases just how pitiful you are.
Next comes the “My Dad Can Beat Up Your Dad” syndrome. Some people have a deep psychological need to dominate those around them. This usually comes from a lack of confidence and a desire to constantly prove to themselves they are worth something. Instead of making themselves better however, they try to put down anyone they encounter.
No one wants to be victimized by this type of dominator. If whiners are avoided as inconvenient time wasters, the dominators are the ones you may actually hide from. One way to avoid being drawn into a contest with a dominator is to avoid whining yourself. Don’t give them any ground to start their comparison games. If they attempt to goad you into a conversation by a direct challenge, refuse to take the bait. They need self validation so much they will move to an easier target.
Monica Johnson said:
“Many of our choices have led to the predicaments we are presently complaining about.”
I imagine at least 80% of the things we may want to complain about are based on the choices we have made anyway. Instead of complaining, get constructive and try to actually fix those unforeseen consequences of your actions. Of course, a little preplanning can go a long way toward avoiding bad outcomes in the first place.
Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain- and most fools do.
Dave Jackson, Host, The School of Podcasting. One of the original podcasters. Recently named Podcasting Director of the New Media Expo conference. This quote is from episode #427 of the Morning Announcements show.
“A cupcake without icing is a really bland muffin!”
Cupcakes rock! If you are going through your day at work, and someone suddenly offers you a cupcake, it is like a short vacation in the middle of your day. A little treat like this can be wonderful, and allows you to relax a minute and refocus before you move on.
But what is it that makes a cupcake so wonderful? The ICING of course! Without the icing, a cupcake can be quite dry, and you’d better make sure you have something to drink, because you WILL need to wash it down.
Life can be just like a cupcake, the majority of it is the things that NEED to be done, like your job, paying the bills, and chores around the house. Sound like a bland muffin to me.
Does your life have any icing? What makes you stop, refresh and refocus? How about relationships?
Relationships make our lives worth living. Your family and friends are an amazing support system for when those bland “muffin moments” start to weigh heavy on your mind and soul. One of the simple pleasures of life is sitting down and just talking to a close friend. They understand how you are feeling, and you provide the same support for them. Sometimes it is not even necessary for words, just being there for you is enough.
When my father-in-law was ill and coming to the end of his life, he had an old friend who was still mobile, and would come to visit him about once a week. The delight of both men to see each other was quite evident, but after the initial greetings and small talk, they would lapse into silence. For more than an hour sometimes, there would be no words spoken at all, and they would just sit there smiling and looking around. Finally, the visitor would stand and take his leave, my father-in-law thanking him profusely for visiting and saying how much he enjoyed the talk.
It was a real lesson about what a true friend really is. The man came and did what was needed and appreciated, nothing more, nothing less, because he understood exactly what was needed to cheer up and comfort his friend.
A quote from Jim Morrison, of the group The Doors:
“Friends can help each other. A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself – and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be what he really is.”
How do we cultivate such a circle of friends? If you want more icing in your life, start spreading icing in the lives of others. Be that understanding friend, and your life will stop being so bland.
A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
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