Messy children, whiny children, a bad back, a crummy boss, a lack of motivation, too much procrastination, a stale marriage, a load of debt, a cluttered house, an extra 15 lbs, an 'experimental' teen (drugs, drinking, sex), an unsupportive mother.
It's easy, comfy and safe to stay in the rut of complaining and blaming. As a MASTER of this type of thinking, I know it's a long road to nowhere worth going. Trust me, or don't trust me, and come meet me later when you are done with your own long road to nowhere worth going. We can meet on the path to responsible (not enabling) thinking, behaving and action. How?
1. NOTICE that you are complaining. Are you telling the same story again and again? Are you kind of excited to tell the story to strangers about this tragic thing that HAPPENED TO YOU? Now, this is tricky, the telling can be cathartic, affirming, opening and good. The over-telling can be habit forming, keep us stuck, whiny and victimized.
2. TRY NEW LANGUAGE. Easy as that (hahahhaha), try some of these new phrases to lead you out of victimization and into new thoughts, new habits and new action. AND . . . Bada Boo Bada Bing, NEW RESULTS. This will take a LOT of practice. Luckily life throws lots of whiny kids, stale marriages, bad backs, crummy bosses, cluttered houses and those middle age extra pounds to keep us in practice.
Instead of: You should clean your room.
Try: It's important to me that you know how to clean up after yourself. Would you be willing to meet once a week for 15 minutes to tidy your room?
Instead of: I need to lose 10 lbs.
Try: I choose to focus on realistic portions for the next few months until I am back to a healthy weight range (plug in actual number!)
Instead of: You NEVER are on time.
Try: I am often waiting for you when we say we are going to meet. Tomorrow, I'm willing to wait 15 minutes and then I'm going to go ahead and leave and run errands.
REPEAT as needed.
For more expert information, inspiration and language, read parenting coach Suzanne Ritter's Washington Parent Article, Empowering Yourself With Words. Check it it out for more details!