As I am not naturally wired for positivity, I need to work extra hard to keep my negativity bias in check. When I came across A Complaint Free World some years ago I immediately knew it was something I needed to explore. Pastor Will Bowen suggests that if we can go 21 days straight without complaining, then we have changed the pattern in our brains and the habit can be broken. He also notes that it takes most people 6-8 months to do this
Complaining is defined by him as expressing discontent, pain, or grief with the way things are. It includes gossiping, criticizing, or being sarcastic. People generally complain 15-30 times a day.
Remember that not complaining does not mean passively accepting the things in the world. If you have a complaint you can voice it….BUT IT MUST BE DIRECTLY to the person or community that can fix or do something about it. Tell a waiter kindly that the soup is cold, and can she/he/they please re-heat it. This is not a complaint because requesting the soup be hot is reasonable, and the waiter can reheat it. Complaining to your friend while in the restaurant what a crappy soup it is, or writing a bad review on Google about the cold soup is a complaint.
Why do we complain? Here's his answer;
Excuse Poor Behaviour
He goes on to explain that there are FOUR STAGES of change.
These stages can be used to make any changes.
This is where we start. Most of us are unaware that we even complain, so the first step will be the hardest.
This is where we start to notice how much we complain or gossip. This is where a mindfulness practice and help as we start to observe our thought patterns.
This is where you start to notice the things you say. Sometimes practicing some good listening skills at this stage can help. Take some time before you speak!
You have arrived! Your brain is now rewired and you naturally start to complain less, without effort. Bravo!
Good luck! Let me know how it goes!