In February, the Complaint Restraint project took place. For 28 days people signed up to simply stop complaining. Jessica Hullinger of Fast Company wrote about this experience and provided some great tips.
I missed the month of the originally challenge because I read about it after the fact but I really wanted to take this challenge for a month and learn from it. I’ve had a hard couple of days and this will be very difficult to start and keep going but it’s worth a try to change my current (and future) mindset.
I will start by defining what I consider a complaint to be.
- Observations will not be considered a complaint. Ex “It is cold.” Exempt also will be reviews of restaurants and music etc that make it onto blogs. These are considered observations/constructive criticism.
- A sentence that contains the following words will be consider a complaint: “hate”, “don’t, fuck, shit, jerk” etc.
- A statement that ruminates beyond a simple observation. (Telling 10 people it’s cold)
- Gossip, (non-constructive) criticism, whining, grudges, hurtful jokes
This might seem like an impossible task as complaining is inherent in our nature and sometimes we do it subconsciously. It’ll also be difficult depending on the people I surround myself with. Other people love to complain as much as I do. I will do my best to reconstruct negative “complaining” thoughts into more positive and productive ones or simply drop them if they are unimportant. I hope to be more mindful of each situation
Example of looking on the bright side:
Starting now… no complaining!
(This is not an April Fool’s joke)