So it’s now Lent, that lovely time before Good Friday and Easter, where we examine our lives and consciously try not to sin and remember the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus gave. As such, we are also encouraged to sacrifice something during this period. Normally, it involves something that we really love, which is why it would be a sacrifice. However, this Lent, I am going to challenge myself by giving up complaining. Here’s a few reasons why:
1. It’s a waste of energy
If you’re upset, it is cathartic to vent and complain a little. My friends and family have heard me complain about a certain few people and they even know the nicknames of the various characters involved. However, there came a point where I was simply tired of complaining to them about the related problems. Complaining once or twice was good enough to vent and just hear their perspectives of things. Complaining about the same thing over and over again is not going to make the problem disappear or resolve itself. Better to save the energy used to complain to do something about it instead.
2. It blinds you from the blessings in your life
Let’s put things into a slight perspective: there will always be people who have better days/items/luck than you and the opposite is also true – there will always be people who have crappier days/items/luck than you. Rather than focus on the problem or the shit that happens, always remember that what doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger. Be grateful.
3. It’s a waste of time
This is kinda related to the 1st point about complaining being a waste of energy. So…not only are you wasting energy complaining, you’re also wasting your precious time AND your friend/family member’s time. Unless you’re seeking advice on how to tackle the issue. I’d rather spend the time used to complain to catch up with my friend’s life, especially in this day and age where I see more of my friends’ lives on social media than face-to-face. Also, the time used to complain could’ve been spent on trying to see the issue from other angles/perspectives. Only then are you able to know how to resolve the problem(s).
4. It encourages negativity
Do you find your blood pressure suddenly rising when you’re in the midst of complaining? Can’t imagine that’s very relaxing and helpful for your mental health. What if you’re listening to someone complain? That’s not a conversation. It’s just a one-sided verbal barrage. That said, I must emphasise that the occasional rant is helpful because this helps relieve stress BUT if you catch yourself complaining about the same thing over and over again, you do need to know that you’re not exactly the life of the party and in fact, you may be draining the energy from others. It means that you:
a) have not gotten over the issue
b) have not taken steps to resolve the issue
c) like the sound of your own voice
d) are victimising yourself and this does not encourage you to take charge
This is going to be a huge challenge because it goes against my base human nature. Nonetheless, it is Lent and if I’m going to make a sacrifice, I might as well make it a real challenge and hopefully, this will go beyond Lent!