“I personally think we developed language because of our deep need to complain.”
—Lily Tomlin, American actress, comedian, writer, singer, and producer
Image from Unsplash by Affix Kusuma
Did you ever notice while watching a nature program that you never see animals complain when:
They are outwitted by their prey?
They deal with inclement weather?
They are injured?
They lose a fight to seek a mate?
They simply press on with things and try again.
Humans are different. It’s pretty common to see others or find ourselves complaining about a bad meal, lousy weather, poor service, our aches and pains, and a host of other matters in life that don’t go as we wish.
How might we better use our language skills to acknowledge what is right in the world and simply take the challenges and setbacks life offers with perhaps just a whimper or two?
“Be grateful for people’s complaints. Turn a complaint into a question.”
Image from Unslpash by Analia Baggiano
We all complain from time to time. I’m sure you see a bunch of whining and complaining within your various communities. How often do you think or even say some expletive aloud, to silence all the negativity?
Effective coaches and communicators know the value of questions, especially open-ended questions that can have the power of an “off” switch of negativity and an “on” switch of possibility.
Consider the following questions, and perhaps make up a few of your own:
- How would you like things to be?
- What could you do to improve the situation?
- What ideas do you have to resolve this issue?
- Where could you look for solutions to this challenge?
- What alternative approaches can be taken to improve things?
How can you find more silver linings and gratitude in the complaints you currently experience?
How can the right question at the right moment be used to move your world forward today?