Years ago I heard Dr. Wayne Dyer say something like: "Don't complain about things you don't have control over because if you don't have control over them, there's nothing you can do about it. And don't complain about things you do have control over because if you can control them, you can do something about it." So what's left?
I've done my share of complaining over the years and frankly, in spite of my efforts, the complaining didn't resolve anything. What it did was incite drama which enrolled myself and others into the roles of Victim, Rescuer and Persecutor. I wish I hadn't done that but from a positive perspective it definitely groomed me for my role as a teacher of the TED* work.
What I notice is how often we slip into complaining without realizing that we are doing more than 'sharing information'. When I teach the TED* work there are always questions about how do you know when you've crossed the line. People often feel as though it is very tricky to know the difference between telling something versus complaining. I use the example of the paid parking in my little village of Tobermory. Lots and lots and lots of people are complaining about the paid parking. It is an ongoing drama trigger for locals and visitors. When I tell someone that there is paid parking in the 'downtown' area I am giving them information they will need when they have to buy groceries or want to shop in the harbour. If I add on that it is inconvenient or expensive and doesn't solve the parking problem I am starting to cross the line. There is nothing wrong with having an opinion but the strong language of condemnation that is frequently associated with this issue is definitely from a Victim or Persecutor perspective. Neither changes the current reality. They simply fuel gossip, drama and anxiety.
If complaining solved anything we could form Meet Up groups to get together and complain. Come to think of it, these groups already exist but they have different names. Notice today if you are complaining and especially if it is about something you have complained about before. Is it a person, a health issue, a situation? Whatever the circumstances, take a pass on complaining and use your time and energy to focus on what IS working. This is the power of the Creator role in the TED* model. You can choose a response that is empowering and solution focused, regardless of what others might do.
Ms. Daryl Wood is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, a Certified TED* Practitioner and graduate of The Co-Active Leadership Program. After facilitating life-changing Women's Retreats for 17 years she is dedicated to sharing the The Empowerment Dynamic (TED*) material in organizations and to anyone eager to transform their relationship with themselves, others and situations.