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Written by Tera on October 13, 2012 – -
by Shana JamesComplaining: It doesn’t get you what you really want!
Let’s face it. Complaining happens. Humans are wired to want and we are wired to have feelings when we don’t get what we want. In the face of not getting what you want, is your instant response to be in touch with your gratitude for not having it, and from there consider what you really want? Not likely!
You probably complain sometimes. But that’s ok. It’s important to not be too hard on yourself. If you make yourself wrong then you fall into negative self-talk, which is farther from having what you want.
Since it’s pretty clear that complaining doesn’t work, let’s look at some simple shifts that will help you get what you want.
One of the first ways to know if you’re complaining is to pay attention to your tone. The most common tones of complaints are 1. suspicious, 2. lethargic, 3. whiny and 4. sharp. If your words are encased in these tones, you are probably complaining.
The most common complaints start with are: “Why don’t you…?,” “Why isn’t this…?” “You never…” “You always…” If you’re using these sentence starters… it’s also likely you’re complaining!
Complaints can also be hidden. When I ask “Why haven’t finished that document yet?” it might be a simple question, but it could be a complaint.
If your upset about why it hasn’t happened has you make assumptions, feel wronged, or get righteous, you’ll bring complaint into your question.
If you’re actually curious about why it hasn’t happened you are less likely to be complaining.
Take a few minutes to think about what or who doesn’t feel “right” in your life. Who or what are you “making wrong?” Does someone drive too slow or talk to fast? Is someone always running late? Is your food often not cooked to the proper temperature? What or who do you often have a beef with?
Start to make a list. This is a courageous way to take responsibility for complaining.
Sometimes complaining is about having preferences for how things “should be” that others don’t share. Sometimes complaining is about making someone else responsible for fulfilling your desires. Sometimes complaining is putting attention on what you don’t have, rather than what you want.
Once you make your list read it over and look for your preferences, assumptions and expectations.
So what should you do with your complaints so you can get what you want?
Here are a few perspectives that will help you see beyond your complaints:
1. The person in front of you doesn’t actually owe you anything. Even with a colleague who said s/he would do something for you, there is actually no obligation.
Sure there are consequences — losing one’s job for example– but if you treat someone like they owe you, rather than respecting that s/he is helping you out, you’ll talk down to that person or complain. And it sure won’t get you what you want.
2. If you don’t see yourself as being “on the same team,” the other person will feel your desires as attacks or manipulations and be uninspired to give to you. How do you know if you’re on the same team?
Ask yourself: Do you want this other person’s needs and desires to be met? When you are on the same team you can look together at how they can be met, Sometimes you need resources or people other than yourselves.
3. Every complaint is layered on top of a desire. When you complain you’re upset that you don’t have something you want. Simple as that. Knowing this is the easy part (usually though not always).
The difficult part is shifting the tsunami of force that comes when you feel upset into an inspiring request or conversation.
Click here to get the scoop on how to do this. It is so important in every relationship you have!
Shana James is a dating and relationship coach, co-founder of the Authentic Woman Experience, and senior Course Leader for Authentic World. She helps women and men create phenomenal romantic relationships, lives they love, and real sister- and brotherhood…without compromising themselves.
Over the past ten years Shana has coached and mentored hundreds of people from around the world. Even therapists and long-time coaches credit her with helping them move through their blocks to finding and sustaining love. Shana co-created the Authentic Woman Experience workshop series to serve women who are dissatisfied, settling or feeling resigned about love. In these teleseminars and live events, women learn to create the loving partnerships they deeply desire. Women in relationship learn to keep it deep, connected and passionate for the long-term.
Shana has a masters degree in Psychology, along with hundreds of hours of coaching and course leadership training. She lives with her husband and their baby in the SF Bay Area.