Do you complain when things don’t go well? I know I do. But I wish I didn’t. Because complaining hurts more than it helps.
In the moment, complaining feels so good. Something isn’t going right, so you complain about what’s happening. But in the long run, it’s not good for you.
Here are three ways complaining hurts more than helps—and what you can do to avoid complaining.
1. Complaining hurts your creativity.
When something happens that isn’t to your liking, it shuts down your problem solving ability. You can’t think creatively when you are complaining.
I’ve learned that when I can keep my wits about me and I don’t complain, I can deal with the situation better. So when something bad happens, I try to ask myself, “What does God want to teach me through this situation?”
When I take my eyes off of my situation—and put them on something else —then I can stop my complaining. And then I can actually do something constructive about the situation.
2. Complaining hurts your ability to lead.
If you’re like me, then you tend to lose your cool when you complain. But that’s not good for the situation—and it’s not good for your ability to lead. People look to you as a leader of your home or your workplace. If you lose your cool, then you are compromising your influence over those in your charge.
When I feel the urge to complain about something that’s happened, I try to tell everyone, “Someday this will make a great story.” It lightens the mood, and it shows that I am in control of the situation—and the situation is not in control of me.
When I pull myself out of the emotion of the moment, then I can regain my composure. And then I can be the stable and reliable leader that I want to be—and those around me want me to be.
3. Complaining hurts your trust in God.
When something happens that you don’t want to happen, do you blame God? Even if you don’t blame God, do you try to fix it all yourself?
When things go awry, I try to admit the seriousness of the situation, but also rely on God in the midst of it. I tell God, “This is a really big mess, and I can’t wait to see how you’re going to fix it.”
When bad things happen, I try to lean into God. I use these situations as opportunities for me to trust in the Lord with all my heart and not lean on my own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6). I try to recognize that complaining hurts the situation, but trusting in God will fix it. When I do that, I find that I can keep my creative and leadership abilities intact. And I think you will find that true for you as well.
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