If you’re like most people you complain. Maybe it’s every day, maybe it’s just in your head, maybe it’s less than others. I’m a complainer. I think it’s in my DNA. Well, really I think I’m just making observations and letting my boyfriend know EXACTLY how hungry I am- but he qualifies it as complaining. And I know I’m not alone.
I’ve realized that it’s common practice these days to use complaining and negative experiences to bond. It makes sense- you meet up with someone and you’re both like “YES PARKING SUCKS TODAY!” or at a networking event you bond over how much you actually hate most networking events. It’s sometimes easier even then bonding over things you love or stuff you’re really excited about.
Over the last year I’ve become part of a group of women who are AMAZING. Like seriously kicking ass running multiple businesses, traveling, expanding their personal lives, supporting others, and greatly enhancing my life. What I’ve realized is that although we all go through ups and downs and have dealt with heartbreaks and business fails and everything in between- when we get together we don’t complain. I don’t think I’ve heard any one of 12 or so women be negative or complain or harp on something for more than 30 seconds, maybe a minute. It is truly miraculous in a time when people LOVE to use their negative experiences to bond. (Hello extensive Yelp review writers!)
And this is a powerful realization because it’s not that we’re being fake with each other- but quite the opposite. We want to be our best selves, in life and for each other, and we know being negative doesn’t actually HELP anyone. Including yourself. So even though I was down the other night, we got together and instead of talking it out we had fun and talked about the things we’re working on that light us UP and get our creative juices flowing. We laugh, we smile, we support each other. We bring a positive attitude and it makes a difference.
Now I’m not saying don’t FEEL negative emotions. Definitely allow yourself to be mad/sad/frustrated/annoyed. But there is some science to the “fake it 'til you make it” theory at least for happiness. (Check out science behind smiling.) And here’s an interesting thought: If you put on your best attitude for others, can do you that for yourself when you’re not in public? Again, not saying to ignore your feelings. But if you had a real shitty day, does complaining about it make it better? No. So what if instead you did things that would turn your mood around. What if you did something nice for yourself? What if you didn’t burden someone else with stuff that in the big picture doesn’t even matter?
If you’re familiar with mindset work it goes something like this: observe your thoughts, take your negative thought patterns and flip them into something positive. Rinse and repeat until eventually you’re able to let go of negative thoughts quicker, turn a situation around and generally be a more positive, peaceful person. It's something I've been working on for a year and I can say truly has made a difference in my world.
I also realized that after spending time with these women I’m ALWAYS energized. There are some friends who you hang out with and by the end you’re ready to leave because you’re totally drained. But that is just never the case with my beautiful group, and it’s amazing!
So I challenge you to notice: are you complaining so someone else will try to cheer you up? Are you able to just BE, whether it’s sad or mad and not unleash it on someone else? Can you be the best version of yourself while you're in a negative space? What if you flipped your internal dialogue to positive? What if you projected positivity? It’s better on this side friends. Try it out!
Let me what you think in the comments!