rewrite your negative thoughts

Social Complaining Is An Easy Trap To Fall Into

We’re social creatures and we all have an innate need to connect with others. 

We want to connect, but have you ever noticed a popular way many people use to connect with others?

Complaining

It’s often the easiest thing to do in the moment. Unless we’ve started to become aware of when we’re doing it, it’s all too easy for us to grumble about anything and everything before we even notice it’s happening.

Friends get together and gripe about their partners, money, and their kids. Golf partners complain about work, colleagues, and business. Some folks grumble about aging, and aches and pains.

Complaining is so easy to do because complaining can feel somehow delicious. It’s interesting because typically we’re complaining with others. There’s a biological and physiological reason why it sometimes feels so good — we’re inherently social and we want to fit in and belong.

A lot of the work I do is around people finally feeling a sense of belonging while living their individuality. 

Social complaining is an easy trap to fall into.

It’s a trap because falling into complaining focuses the mind on — you guessed it — the negative

If you’ve been hanging out with me for a while here, you already know what happens when you focus on something. You get more of it (whether you want it or not).

Complaining is self-sabotage in disguise. 

The act of complaining is detrimental in many ways. It focuses the mind on the negative, reinforcing those negative neural networks. Focusing on problems only strengthens our negativity bias, which stems from the most primitive part of our brain, activating the fight-flight response, and all the bodily responses that come with that — increased blood pressure, blood sugar, and cortisol levels. 

Research is also finding that complaining can affect the hippocampus — two of its functions are problem-solving and thinking critically (skills we need to thrive!)

How to stop complaining.

How do you do it? How do you avoid the pity party and create a party of your own liking?

Instead of focusing on our problems, we need to focus on solutions. 

Here are some ways you can focus on the solutions:

1. Look inward.
Start by recognizing that if there are currently things that aren’t pleasing to you, it has to do with your focus. You create an environment that best aligns aligned with your focus. This has everything to do with those 50-60 bits of information per second..

2. Be choosy about who you hang out with.
Limit your time with people who engage in disempowering, unresourceful behavior and talk — such as complaining. Keep company with people who are supportive and uplifting. If you have people in your life who constantly talk negatively about others, situations, and themselves, you may have to take action and make a decision. I’m not going to tell you to stop being friends with anyone, but you might decide to take care of your energy a little more. You might choose to go into those situations where you’re engaging with them and try to wear some unconscious earmuffs so that your unconscious mind is not affected by it. The hard thing is that you’ll still be hearing it. 

3. Stop complaining and look for possibilities.
Okay, this one might be obvious. Instead of complaining, focus on the abundance in your life. That means that if you have nothing nice to say, then perhaps stay quiet. Focus on the good things in your life instead, and that means adopting an attitude filled with gratitude. That means looking at your life through the lens of possibility and abundance. 

4. Engage in solution-based and thinking and talk about opportunities.
This is going to be really good for your hippocampus because you’re going to be exercising that thinking muscle. When you can focus on the solution instead of the problem, you’ll make strides in the direction of the solution. This is all about you getting to a place that feels good, feel empowered, and know your power, and then, you can take action from there.

5. Take action in the direction of what you want to achieve.
You’ll begin to take deliberate action in the direction of the things that you want to achieve, to the exclusion of everything else. Sure, it’s easy for me to tell you this — and I know that sometimes it’s just really hard. I’ve been there and have been able to make it through, and so have countless others who’ve paved the way. 

When we make the conscious choice to stop engaging in these complaining conversations sometimes people notice that they feel like a bit of an outcast. It feels like suddenly, they no longer belong or feel that sense of connection that they once did.

There may even be a moment where we feel lonely. It can feel like a lot of work to stop doing something that unconsciously feels so good in the moment. To help set yourself up for success, look to surround yourself with others who speak about positive things — ideas, wins in business and life, and who feel really good to be around. 

As you do this work, you’ll begin to notice when something or someone isn’t helping you to become the best version of yourself — the one who gets their goals and feels really good about it.

Life happens, and perfection is a myth. Even I catch myself complaining every now and then. 

The key with complaining is to catch yourself, recognize what’s happening, and adjust your behavior as soon as possible. Complaining is a sign that you’re at effect (blaming) and that you need to refocus to get at cause (noticing, how can I find an opportunity here). 

It’s simple (not easy.) 

And … 

You’re worth it!

If you’re ready to stop complaining and start a different (positive and supportive conversation), visit The Mind Revolution Podcast and press play on episode #54: The Most Disempowering Thing You Can Ever Do.

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I'm Brenda Terry. I'm a personal development trainer and master coach who works with go-getters like you who want to achieve big results in your business and personal life.

If you're excited and ready to play bigger in business and kill it in life, I help you identify and change beliefs, patterns, and behaviors that aren't supporting your goals so you can make more money, find more joy, better manage relationships, and communicate more effectively.
I'm here to help you make the powerful, effective shifts you're craving- faster than you ever thought possible.

Learn how we can work together here.

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