We all do it sometimes. We get frustrated with traffic, our boss upsets us, a child drives us crazy, or our partner annoys us and we feel the urge to complain about it – to a friend, a co-worker or to anybody who will listen.
And with our complaint, we now put other people in the position of being subjected to our frustrations, affecting them with our negative energy and making them feel more drained.
But how do we change that cycle? Simply stuffing down and holding in all our frustration and anger is not the answer – we will eventually explode and take it out on people who are close to us, which is even worse.
There is a simple solution: You can convert your complaining energy into positive energy!
How do we do that? First, we need to understand why we complain in the first place. Usually, some event happens that makes us angry or frustrated. Something doesn’t go as expected or someone doesn’t behave the way we would like them to. As our level of negative emotion rises, we feel mounting pressure and look for a release. Complaining often provides that release for us.
So how do find an alternative release? Simply by replacing complaining with positive action. Here are 3 steps that you can take:
- When you feel your frustration or anger increase, starting venting by writing down on paper what you are upset about. Feel free to let out everything that is bothering you.
- Instead of feeling that everything “is happening to you”, empower yourself by coming up with at least one action you can take to change this situation and writing it down.
- Take that action.
You may need to repeat steps 1 and 2 multiple times before you feel ready to tackle step 3 – that’s fine! The key is to move from being a victim of your circumstances to taking self-responsibility for what you can change. (See: When You Complain, You Make Yourself a Victim) What happened to you may be unfair, but you can rise above that and take control of your life and happiness.
Now there may be circumstances where you still feel that you need to vent to someone, rather than just writing things down on paper. If that is the case, tell the person who you are venting to that you know that you are complaining, but need someone to listen to you. And set yourself a time-limit, let’s say 3 minutes, so you don’t fall into a negative spiral. After venting, think of how you can take a positive action to move forward and share it with the person listening to you.
All the frustration and anger you feel can actually fuel positive action instead of hours of complaining! The average person complains between 15 and 30 times each day. Imagine what could happen if we converted all that energy into positive action instead! Are you ready to help release more positive energy into this world?