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Nothing to Do But Complain? How Lucky You Are!

complainingNote: In this article, I use the word “you” a lot. The “you” I’m referring to is me:)

The grocery store only has green bananas. Where are the ripe ones? What a pain!

Traffic backs up suddenly. You’re going to be late! How is the day going so perfectly wrong? Ugh!

Your step-son is acting out again. I didn’t sign up for this! Why can’t he just be normal?

If you’re looking for reasons to complain, you’ll never be disappointed because there’s always something pushing back on unrealistic expectations. And that may be the cause of most complaints – expectations that things will be other than they are.

You shouldn’t have to put up with green bananas, unexpected traffic, or annoying children, right? Things should always go according to your agenda, with no surprises. If you and I are expecting this, I wish us luck!

Let’s try this experiment

Let’s go through the next few hours with this expectation:

Everything is OK and life is a gift

It’s cheesy. But it’s healthy, too. The surest way to massive frustration is to stare reality in the face and demand it be different. You can glare at those green bananas all you want and they won’t magically ripen before your eyes. The bananas don’t care that you’re annoyed. And guess what? No one else does, either. They shouldn’t have to care about your random insistence that there be yellow bananas when there are, in fact, no yellow bananas.

The traffic isn’t going to part and make way for you and your stepson probably gets some jollies out of witnessing your frustration. Stop. You’re only hurting yourself.

Everything is OK. Life is a gift.

Imagine: If you’re complaining about green bananas, you’re one of the luckiest people ever. Millions of people are going hungry. Thousands more will die today. You’re bitching about bananas that aren’t ripe. Take the green bananas – or don’t. Go to a different store – or not. If you’re reading an article on PsychCentral, you probably have more options in life than most of the people who have ever walked this planet.

You have choices, focus on the choices you can make and not the one thing that is never going to happen – ripe bananas appearing in front of you. Accept your step-son and work to hold him accountable. He’s in a phase. It will pass. Do your best working with what you’ve got. What, did you think? That he was going to suddenly mature like you wanted those bananas to ripen? He and the bananas will mature, just not on your schedule.

Everything is OK and life is a gift. It’s a lens to look through. Do it on purpose. It can save you a ton of frustration.

Expecting things to be different than they are is just another form of self-sabotage, an attachment to misery.

Thanks for listening to the words I needed to hear:)

Nothing to Do But Complain? How Lucky You Are!

Mike Bundrant

Mike Bundrant is the author of Your Achilles Eel: Discover and Overcome the Hidden Cause of Negative Emotions, Bad Decisions and Self-Sabotage and co-founder at The iNLP Center which offers online certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and life coaching.


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APA Reference
Bundrant, M. (2018). Nothing to Do But Complain? How Lucky You Are!. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 21, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/nlp/2018/04/nothing-to-do-but-complain-how-lucky-you-are/

 

Last updated: 26 Apr 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 26 Apr 2018
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.