"In Every Complaint There Is A Hidden Desire" ~Unknown

We all know the people who never have anything good to say - the ones who are always complaining.  Maybe we have been that person at one time or another, I know I have!   Our boss, our partners, our kids, our body, our "friends", the weather, the food, the staff, the service, the wait, the line, the temperature, my knee, my neck, my toe, my pinky, who was rude, who was insensitive, who was thoughtless, who was lazy, too happy, too chirpy, ... okay, you get the picture.

What do our complaints say about us?  What are we really looking for or needing or hoping will happen when we complain?  Who are we complaining to and what do we want from them.

In the quote above we are reminded that when we are complaining we are actually expressing a desire.  Well, desires are a good thing, but... always complaining isn't.  

A complaint is actually a pretty ineffective and wasteful method of communication - It's kind of like trying to roller skate on ice - lots of flailing about but not getting very far and doing little more then making a spectacle.  As a side note, venting and just needing to be heard after a really bad day or during a tough time in our lives is not the same as complaining.  That type of communication serves a specific purpose and when we vent to the right person it can be quite healthy.  However, frequent spurts of discomfort, frustration and annoyance just keeps us in a holding pattern of powerlessness, dissatisfaction, and negativity.  Whatever desire is hidden in your complaint will most likely get lost. 

I encourage you to observe your complaints, notice what it is you are actually desiring, then see if there is anything more productive you can do about it. 

Those who find more reasons to be grateful than reasons to complain have far less to complain about.  (Click To Tweet)


~Michelle Cleary, LCSW