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Have You Tried Creative Complaining?

Aug 17, 2007
A minister in Colorado wanted to inspire his congregation to stop complaining. He gave each one a rubber, wrist band with the word "Spirit" printed on it.

He told them not to take the bands off for three weeks, which is the time it takes for an action to become a habit. Whenever they complained, they were to take the band off and put it on the other wrist.

Then the minister introduced the idea of creative complaining. Instead of saying, "Damn, it's raining"; they could say, "It looks like a good day to leave early for work".

Initially, creative complaining isn't as satisfying as profuse profanity; but you just need practice. For example, don't complain when someone is late. Thank them for giving you time to count your blessings. Catching on?

Creative complaining is an exercise in good judgment, it's push-ups for positive thinking and chin-ups for cheerfulness. However, before you think it's too mentally exhausting, remember positive people are healthier people.

See if this example doesn't make you feel more positive. Frustrated because her husband is watching television, his wife says, "I wish you could always look so relaxed - even when we're sued because Spot got through the hole in the fence again".

I know it's difficult to be creative in the heat of the moment, so plan ahead. If your children haven't done what you've repeatedly asked them to do, you could say, "You didn't have time? I can relate to that. I didn't have time to iron your shirts" (substitute whatever fits your situation for "iron your shirts").

I bet you can feel your blood pressure going down thinking about the possibilities for creative complaining, but be careful. When complaints are self-directed, you get a double negative; but this double negative doesn't create a positive - effect.

Complaining about one's health is a national pastime. You can avoid doing this by saying, "Being (fill in your age) is a blessing many people don't live to experience".

Try to internalize creative complaining. Don't get mad anymore. Tell yourself you're feeling "unusually energized".

Creative complaining - to yourself or to others - allows you to put your best foot forward - even in the worst circumstances. If you trip, remember, "The experience was much more enjoyable than a guilt trip".

Nevertheless, if you haven't been able to see the benefits of creative complaining after practicing for three weeks, please don't complain to me.
About the Author
KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
Take a minute to make yourself smile at
http://knightwatch.typepad.com
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