Itâ€™s February. The days are cold. Those New Year’s resolutions are hard to stick to. And it seems like everyoneâ€”including usâ€”is complaining about it. Itâ€™s easy to focus on the negative this time of yearâ€”yet easy doesnâ€™t always equal healthy, as Will BowenÂ explains in hisÂ bestselling bookÂ A Complaint Free World: How to Stop Complaining and Start Enjoying the Life You Always Wanted. He’s on a mission to tip the world’s consciousness scale from negative and grumpy to positive and optimistic, and you can help.
Bowen zeroes in on five main reasons people complain, which he summarizes with the acronym G.R.I.P.E.:
Excuse poor performance
Bowen offers solutions for counteracting the unhealthy communication habits we confront when our friends, family and co-workers begin to â€śG.R.I.P.E.â€ť Hereâ€™s a rundown of five ways to stop a bellyacher from, well, bellyaching:
- When someone complains toÂ get attention, turn the conversation around by asking positively, â€śWhatâ€™s going well for you?â€ť That way you can offer your support and attention while remaining positive.
- People often try toÂ remove responsibilityÂ by blaming other people and circumstances to justify their own lack of effort. When someone tries to remove responsibility, try asking, â€śIf itÂ wasÂ possible, how might you do it?â€ť You can help open the complainerâ€™s mind to considering possibilities rather than limitations.
- Another reason people complain is toÂ inspire envyâ€”in other words, to make a negative statement about others to make themselves feel better. When someone complains to inspire envy, compliment that person for possessing the opposite trait.
- People also complain to buildÂ powerÂ for themselves and often times, to belittle and reduce another personâ€™s power. When someone complains to you about someone else in order to gain power, invite that person to speak directly to the person being complained about. You can then create a space for communication and openness.
- A person complaining toÂ excuse poor performanceÂ complains about circumstancesÂ afterÂ the fact to explain away failure. People have excuses for everythingâ€”from being late to missing appointments, excuses are everywhere. When someone complains to excuse poor performance, ask what he or she plans to do differently next time.
So there you have it! What do you think of Willâ€™s five main reasons people complain? Could you go 21 days without complaining? Learn more aboutÂ A Complaint Free WorldÂ and the 21-day Complaint Free Challenge atÂ acomplaintfreeworld.org.
Win a copy!Â We’re helping to spread the complaint-free message by giving away a copy ofÂ A Complaint Free WorldÂ and a signature Complaint Free Purple Bracelet onÂ Twitter. Tweet your favorite positive affirmation with the hashtag #BBLComplaintFreeGiveaway. Weâ€™ll choose one lucky winner on Friday morning (February 8, 2013).
Read more in this exclusive chapter fromÂ A Complaint Free World: