Do Happy: Connect Without Complaining

Rose Among Thorns“Instead of complaining the rose bush is full of thorns, be happy the thorn bush has roses.”~Proverb

Complaining can be a bonding experience.

You meet up with your friends after work, and immediately start rehashing frustrations with your boss.  You have dinner with your siblings and commiserate about confrontations with your black-sheep uncle.  Or you release tension on a blind date by noticing the wait staff’s shortcomings.

Commiserating is a great way to immediately establish rapport.  In that moment you feel connected–you  both have grievances, problems, and wishes for a better world.  It’s even easier to do in a challenging economy, where anxiety is de rigueur.  In one study of complaining in a group situation, subjects averaged 50 expressions of dissatisfaction per hour–close to one complaint per minute.

But, despite your initial bonding experience, complaining does more harm than good.

According to Will Bowen, author of A Complaint Free World, complaining exacerbates individual and collective problems because our thoughts create our world. In focusing on everything that’s wrong, you create a world dominated by those ideas.

Stopping that cycle isn’t easy because you can’t dictate how other people will behave.  If they continue to vent and you refuse to engage your whole social dynamic will start to shift.  Right?  Maybe not.

People will always feel the need to vent; it’s an emotional release that helps us find control in a chaotic world.  You don’t have to judge or curb other people’s instincts.  You just have to redirect your own.

Today when you start relating over mutual dissatisfaction, shift your focus to something you appreciated today.  When your coworker starts griping about your slow work computers, change the subject to the free lunches you’re grateful to receive.  When your brother complains about your father’s frequent requests, extol your Dad’s progress in physical therapy.  Focus on what’s going right with the world, and you’ll start to notice and experience it more often.

Contrary to Bowen’s title, a complaint-free world may not be possible or even advisable.  We all have the right to express ourselves when we feel annoyed or troubled by a person or experience.  But there’s a balance to be found that turns angst into ease and dissatisfaction into gratitude, at least some of the time.  Why not find it today?

Do happy. It’s something you’re due.

This post is republished with permission. Find more of Lori Deschene’s writing at Read the original post here


R – Realise your Resourcefulness


Realise your Resourcefulness

How resourceful are you?   If you don’t have all the information or skills you need to complete a task do you give up and give in, or do you go looking for the informations, leaving no stone unturned until you get it, or get the training required, then continue with your

If I want it, I'll find a way to get it.

task?  Or do you look in one or two places for said information and if you don’t find it fairly, quickly give up altogether?  How resourceful are you when you really, really want something?   I was watching my six-year-old yesterday, after I’d told her she couldn’t have something and put it out of reach.  She walked past the place where the item was and would glance up and keep going.  Now normally she wouldn’t even be in the room where this item was, but she found reasons to go in.  After a while she stopped and I also left the room and about twenty minutes later she came running up to me with the item and a triumphant expression on her face.  So I got her to show me how she got it – another hiding place gone!!  She kept at it looking at possible ways to get herself up to a height beyond her reach in a safe manner, and eventually she succeeded.  And it reminded me of how resourceful we can be.

I had a friend ask for advice a few months ago.  They needed to raise over two thousand euro and didn’t think in the current economic climate that the banks or credit union would lend them the money.  Nor would they be able to borrow it from family, none of them would have two thousand euros to spare.  So I suggested that they write a list of twenty ways they might raise the money and it didn’t

Smaller amounts from different sources can add up to the full amount

matter how  hare-brained it might seem, if an idea came into their head it was to be put onto the page.  Now if they could go over twenty ways, even better.  Most people get stuck somewhere around fourteen or so and this friend was no different.  Some of the ideas were to do with getting an extra job.  None of them were to do with breaking down the amount required into smaller manageable loans.  When we had exhausted the possibilities on the list I suggested breaking the amount into smaller sums and seeing where those smaller amounts could be found.  They were amazed, all they saw was a huge sum of money to them and no way of getting it.  I did the very same thing earlier this year when I was upskilling.  I had some of the money required but not all of it, but I was determined to get to the course, so I looked at all the ways I could earn the money and all the ways I could raise it by other means.  I did my course!

Another example of realising your resourcefulness was the son of a friend of mine who had left school before sitting any exams, who now in his early twenties and in temporary employment wanted to go college to upskill.  He was in a lowish paid job but because he had no formal qualifications he was being overlooked for every permanent position that was being advertised.  He enquired as to what would be needed to secure a place and discovered that he was too young to qualify as a

How resourceful are you?

mature student, but that he could get a place if he did a certain pre-qualifer course to determine his knowledge base and learning ability.  The fees for the tutor who facilitated that particular course were also outside his financial capabilities.  So rather than let all that stop him, he enquired whether he could do the pre-qualifying course with other tutors and discovered that he could and then went looking for “experts” who would teach him within his budget.    He kept applying for all the relevant jobs within the company he worked in and always let the interviewer know of his plans to study at night if not that year, then the following year.  He eventually got offered a permanent position, finished the pre-qualifying course and applied to the college of his choice and been accepted.  The really nice upshot of it all was his employer agreed to reimburse his college and exam fees if he passed, which gave him an extra incentive to do well.

So, just how resourceful are you?  Can you turn a problem into an opportunity, or do you let it stop you in your tracks?  How do you deal with your problems?  Do you let them build up until you are at exploding point or do you face them head on, tackling each issue until it is no longer an issue?   A famous quote says: “if you have a problem, deal with it, if you can’t deal with it, change your attitude to it”  and that is very true.  All it takes it looking outside the boundaries of the problems to see the solutions that are facing us if we only pay attention to it.