Calm Your Worries: Part 6
Do you catch yourself complaining a lot? Maybe your friends insinuate that you are being too negative or tough on yourself?
I believe that complaining has its roots in worried feelings. Worry naturally triggers a mindset of insufficiency. Grousing, whining or complaining are ways of expressing a lack. We might feel a lack of power, control, capability, resources or satisfaction. When we are around others, complaining is a way to let them know, “Hey, I’m feeling fearful and unhappy” without expressing that raw sense of vulnerability.
Unfortunately, friends and family grow weary of frequent complaints without solutions.
Missing the complainer’s need for calm and compassion, listeners shoot straight to answers to “fix” the problems. For the grouchy grumbler, solutions feel impractical and dismissive. “They always blame me and they’ll never understand me,” is a frequent concern expressed in my office.
So what can you do if you catch yourself complaining or frequently negative?
These 3 remedies will help you right away.
They are based on Internal Family Systems Therapy and they really help.
1. Check your body.
Your body is always your first key to unlock your feelings and behavior. What does it feel like when you complain? Breathe and scan your insides, your heart, limbs, chest, back, neck, shoulders and head. You may experience a combination of sensation. For example: I feel pressure in my chest and a tightness in my jaw. My throat is tight as though I’ve eaten something sour. My hands clench with an angry sensation.
If you feel like the complaining comes from all of you and can detect no individual body sensation, imagine stepping outside your complaining nature for just a moment as an observer of it as a whole.
2. Be a curious observer.
Notice how you feel toward this part of you that is in distress. You may have a lot of complaints about it! That is understandable, right? Others don't seem to enjoy your complaints. You feel like there are never solutions. The world feels like a dissatisfying place and that is frightening. Let the part that doesn't like complaining know you agree. See if this “dislike of the complaining part” will allow you to spend a little time with the complaining part alone without the criticism. Ask it to step back, just a bit, knowing that you understand it.
You may have another part arise that is sick and tired of this “sick and tired part” of you. This feeling also makes sense. Reassure your exhaustion that you agree and ask it to step back.
Can you feel even a little bit curious about your complaining part?
Even 10% more curiosity will help. Gently remind yourself that no part of you is trying to hurt you.
3. Listen and offer compassion.
Without forcing anything, ask this grousing, whining part what it believes would happen to you if it did not express itself as it does. Your answer will be as unique as you are, but a couple of common responses are: You’d be selling out to something bad (like a broken system or mean people); You’d get caught unaware, fooled or tricked in some way and then hurt; You’d set yourself up for a great disappointment or failure.
Send your breath directly to this part of you (in your mind’s eye). Let it be a breath of comfort and understanding. How amazing to have a guard within you, watching out to make sure that your interior world feels safe!
Here’s an important tip: Let this part know that no matter what it complains about – the world, the weather, your work, etc., you are right here with it. It does not have to do its job alone. Even if you can’t figure out the whole outside world, that’s alright. You can offer this part inside you (and any parts of you that it protects) understanding, love and your calm breathing.
I realize that this is a lot to take in, so I’ve made a little FREE worksheet for you to practice. Use it whenever you feel endless complaints arise. This practice will help you get started on your way to feeling more positive, clear and self-confident. You will be able to discern your true needs to better explain them to those who love and care about you. (Without driving you or them crazy!)
This is a small but mighty step on your way, and there are many more practical and easy to follow resources in my ebook – Calm Your Worries: Unlock Your Secret Code to Lasting Stress Relief and Self Confidence. Click HERE to get your copy today! And don't forget your FREE SECRET CODE TO CALM YOUR COMPLAINING!
Remember to seek professional help as needed. There are great additional resources in my ebook.