I Tried It: I Gave Up Complaining for a Week & Boy, Did It Suck

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If I'm being honest, I'm not one of those happy-go-lucky kinds of folks who can look at the world and see nothing but rainbows and unicorns. I don't consider myself a b**ch (I can be one when my feathers are ruffled), but I enjoy speaking in sarcasm. Overall, I'd like to think of myself as a fun person to be around. One area, however, that's constantly a battle is complaining. That's why I took the challenge to not do it for one week.


Truth be told, I hate complainers -- which is why I try my best not to be one. In a world full of suffering, violence, and unthinkable acts, it's kinda horrible to constantly grumble about something wrong happening in your life when there are people in far worse situations.

This is why I really want to stop complaining. And this is what fueled me to start my journey.

Before trying to take on my personal "mission:impossible," I wanted to define the thing I was trying not to do. The inner dork in me pulled out my dictionary (okay, I looked it up online -- let's add lying to the list ... ) and found that Merriam-Webster defines complaining as an expression of "grief, pain, and discontent."

Well, that doesn't seem too bad, I thought to myself. After all, you could justify complaining if you're discontent about a situation -- an injustice, even.

Who the hell was I kidding? I was just looking for reasons not to break a bad habit.

The first few days during my anti-complaining week went pretty well. Even on rainy days, I focused on the sunshine and happiness that filled my life. I have breath in my lungs, a good man, healthy kids, and a roof over my head. Things could be worse -- a lot worse.

All was going well until I hit a snag in my journey to personal growth. I don't know if I needed a nap on Saturday or a Snickers; I was in a bit of a funk that made complaining an unfortunate reality.

Why are these floors so dirty?

Why is it taking you so long to get the kids ready?

Why am I always making myself so busy on the weekend -- I'm not allowing myself to enjoy it!

Why the hell did The Walking Dead end the way it did? (Still in my feelings about this, though I think Eugene got it.)

You name it, I probably complained about it.

In my frustration, I allowed the negative to suffocate my day, which only made me more angry, and thus, more prone to complaining. It's like I was headed down a path -- the wrong path -- and felt myself getting more and more negative with each complaint that came out of my mouth. You would think that would make me snap out of it, but, oh no, I was already in too deep and couldn't find my way out.

Hell, I started complaining about messing up my week of trying not to complain.

Even though I failed miserably at not complaining for a week, still, I'm able to take a step back and look at areas in my life that need improvement without complaining ... as much.

Will I complain in the future? Yeah, probably. I feel it's one of those inevitable things that's just bound to happen. All I can do is work on making strides to give thanks for things each day, instead of constantly b**ching about something that's going wrong in my life.

More from The Stir: The Secret to Happiness? Stop Complaining & Start 'Practicing Gratitude'

I'll also say it doesn't help to be around people who are constantly complaining and/or being a Negative Nancy. One great thing that this week did was reiterate who in my life focuses on the positive, and who constantly gets caught up in the negative. You see, complaints can be like a poison that travels through your system and robs you of seeing the beauty in life -- and if you're constantly surrounded by someone always bothered by something, you aren't going to get very far down the yellow brick road. (I'll be making some changes in the squad department.)

So, did I fail not complaining for a week? Yup, I sure did. But rather than get pissed about it (again), I'm going to use it as fuel to work on myself. I've made some progress in the complaining department and feel there's more room for growth -- and, so long as I'm walking down that "Oprah-esque" path to being a better person, I think that's all I can do.

Rather than try to not complain for another week, I think I'm going to take it day by day.



Image via g-stockstudio/Shutterstock

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