Search This Blog

10 June, 2012

Why Do We Complain?

You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses.-- Ziggy.

       Many of us pass through certain phases of life, 'rough patches' as they are called, when everything seems to go wrong for us.  In such circumstances, people do tend to become negative, and at such times, we need to offer them help and support to carry them through, and the inspiration and incentive to cultivate faith and repose their trust in God.

       But, there are some people who complain no matter what happens to them!  It seems that complaining has become a way of life with them, that they simply cannot stop cribbing!  It seems to have nothing to do with pessimism or optimism, pain or suffering: it just seems that complaining has become second nature to them!.

       I must say that some of the people who suffer from pain and illness, some of the patients I have met in hospitals are not always of this type.  They discover a lot to be grateful for in the midst of their pain and affliction; they enjoy what little respite they get from pain; they discover that such and such movements of their limbs can be accomplished without strain, and are very happy about it.  They are happy to have visitors; they are grateful to the nursing staff; they thank their doctors for the relief they feel.

       But some of us simply cannot stop complaining.  Regardless of where they are, what they are doing, or what is happening to them, they keep on complaining!  The traffic is too bad; the telephone lines are congested; the weather is too hot or too cold; people are rude or indifferent; servants are lazy and inefficient; the subordinates are insubordinate!  And I could go on and on nobody understand me; nobody appreciates me; nobody knows what I am going through; nobody cares; nobody helps, nobody knows...

       Of course I feel sorry for such miserable people: but when I offer them a remedy for their misery, they refuse to take it!  I say to them, "You try to be what others are not; you must try and appreciate others; you must care; you must understand; you must help others..."

       They look at me as if I have suddenly switched over  to Latin or Greek.  They simply cannot register what I am saying to them.  They want only to be at the receiving end of care, compassion, understanding, help, appreciation and sympathy.  They do not want to give away any of those beautiful feelings to others!.

       Selfish people are born complainers.  Nothing will ever convince them that a lot of people are far worse off than they are; nothing will persuade them that they have a lot to be grateful for; they prefer the martyr's syndrome:  I am the most misunderstood, unappreciated creature in the entire world!

       Complaints stem from a sense of unhappiness and dissatisfaction with life.  But the way to meet this dissatisfaction is to set things right.  Complaining constantly will only make things worse; and let us not forget -- when we complain constantly, we become difficult and unpleasant to deal with and people would definitely like to keep their distance from us.  Thus, we are cutting off the source of help and support that we feel we need so desperately!

       All of us complain at one time or another: we are fed up with waiting interminably in a traffic jam or in a doctor's waiting room; we are angry when flight schedules are disrupted and our carefully laid travel plans are messed up completely; we react with indignation when government offers treat us with disrespect and callousness.  This is but natural:  in such situations, complaining, even loud complaining becomes a way of letting off steam, as we say.  But the trouble starts when we make complaining a habit, and that that complaining is the best way to deal with life and its problems.  Compulsive complainers make it their way of reacting to life.  No  matters what happens, they complain; they cry; they express their unhappiness volubly; they protest; they feel very sorry for themselves; they leave very little room for anyone else to step in and do anything for them!

       People start complaining when they are unhappy; but complaining sometimes becomes a bad habit which they cannot get rid of.  It is like those little children who get into the habit of sucking their thumb, and cannot thereafter give it up when they are scolded or pulled up.  The worst thing is that many of them actually begin to feel better when they complain persistently:  let me hasten to add, this is an entirely illusory feeling.  They have managed to make the others miserable with their cribbing; they have unburdened themselves of all their negativity, and are entirely satisfied with their session:  but the trouble is, their problems are no nearer to being solved.

       People who complain constantly do not wish to take the responsibility for themselves and their actions.  Ask  them why their goals are not accomplished, and they will come up with excuses.  What they don't realise is their energy and intellect is so focused on finding faults with others that they cannot concentrate on achieving their goals.  They do not realise how tedious and futile their constant complaints are: they have effectively undermined their own power and efficiency, and have retained control only by constant complaining.

       Constant complainers also suffer from a false sense of superiority because they are finding fault with everyone except themselves.  They think  others love listening to their complaints; they do not realise that they are actually driving away their friends, and will soon have only themselves left as their sole audience!

       Just look at some of their complaints:

1.   I am overworked and it is the fault of my boss.  (What about your time management?)

2.  I am late, and it is the fault of the public transport system.  (Why don't you try leaving home early?)

3.   My targets have not been met and it is the fault of my subordinates.  (Why don't you lead from the front?)

4.   My job is the most difficult and unpleasant.  (Why don't you make way for someone who can handle it?)

5.   I have been overlooked for promotion because the system is corrupt.  (Have you looked at your own performance record?)

       I said, all of us complain at one time or another.  Dynamic complainers find a way to solve their problems; they give vent to their negativity through complaints and then go on to find a way out of their difficulties.  Cribbers are far from dynamic; they are in fact defeatists who are more interested in making excuses and shifting the blame on to others.  They are happy and satisfied just complaining: they do not want to lose control over their pet excuses.

       Let's stop focusing on all that is wrong and focus instead on all that's right; let's stop cribbing about what we don't have and look stead what's there for us; let's take the time to appreciate people for what they are and what they can do, instead of focusing on their defects.  When we complain and criticise constantly, we are drawing negativities into our lives.  Each time we utter something negative about your life, we actually begin to believe it more and more, and make it come true in our lives.  Our imagined ills become our reality.  Needless to say, the reverse is also true.  When we believe things are going good, they become better, actually.  When we visualise success and talk about all that is positive, success actually begins to take shape for us.

       So, let us stop complaining, start thinking, appreciating and feeling good about ourselves.

Source: Excerpts from the Book on "Stop Complaining:  Start Thanking!" by J.P. Vaswani.


Anonymous said...

Good Day Sir!! Your commentaries are great motivation. Can I have the contact details of Vedanta exponent Mr. K. Sudarshan who was running Gita Class in Gopalapuram sometime back. He is a disciple of Swamy Parthasarathy. Please mail me -


Meera said...

Can you please share the contact details of Mr. K Sudharshan...I was attending his class in Gopalapuram and Alwarpet. my mail ID -

S. Meera