Complaining never really makes anyone happier

Many years ago I had a co-worker who was known for being a constant complainer. It was as though nothing could please them be it personally or professionally. It got to the point where people never wanted to ask how they were doing for fear of hearing a lengthy rant about how unsatisfied they were with something going on in their world.

Maybe you know people like that.

Look, nothing (and I mean nothing) ever goes the way we want it to. Life is filled with unpredictability and plans are destined to fail the first time around – that’s just reality.

But author Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture, writes that “Complaining does not work as a strategy. We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals. And it won’t make us happier.”

And I agree – it never did make that co-worker happy, nor did their constant negativity and complaining help secure any long-lasting relationships in their life. Sad when you think about it because people never realize how their outward behaviors are so keenly evident to the people they live and work with.

Let’s be honest here – everyone complains. If you ask my lovely wife, I have no doubt she’ll confess that I do my fair share of complaining on any given day – that’s usually when she begins tuning out and making a mental shopping list in her head for the following day.

But if everything you do in life results in one complaint after another, sometimes with little to no reason to back it up, that’s a problem.

Maya Angelou once said, “What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t complain.”

Sounds like good advice to me.