Let’s face it, most of us love to complain. Some of us have made a career of it and a lot of stand-up comedians use complaining as the core of their act. Complaining is a way we get attention from others. It’s also a way we turn off people and drive them away!
Complaining has a long history. The Bible, for example, is full of complaining. Just read the books of Jeremiah, Lamentations, Psalms, or Job to witness “kvetching” at its finest.
Yet how many of us have won an argument with others, with God, or with ourselves simply by complaining? Some of us have even turned up the volume of our complaints so that they reach the level of conflict. In conflict there must be a winner and a loser. Which have you been in your most famous conflicts and was winning them worth it?
We’re going to go nowhere fast with our complaints and our conflicts unless we shift the argument. We need more crisis!
Crisis is fraught with deep emotions. Many of us have been trained by the media and by family to regard every “crisis” as nerve-wracking, hand-wringing, and full of fear. Some of us think of crises as conflicts and our bodies react the same way. Our stress levels rise, we’re unable to think straight, and we go into fight, flight, or freeze mode.
But crisis is a great thing. The Greek word for crisis means: decision, choice, or judgment. Rather than distracting ourselves in crisis, or fighting back to change the situation, we are invited to make a decision, to choose an appropriate path, and to judge which action would be the best one in this moment.
Crisis is an opportunity to change, a decision to love, a choice to communicate more deeply, an opening to new feelings, and an acknowledgment that we and others are worthy of our time and effort.
In a crisis we learn to be vulnerable to how we truly feel. We get to share our feelings honestly and candidly. We lay out our realities and what we are experiencing in the now, no matter how painful it is to do so. And we don’t prejudge how anyone else will react in response.
So quit complaining and instead seek the crisis point in your conflicts where you will transform yourself to that reasonable person of superior emotional intelligence that you want to be.
© 2017 Michael Parise
Portions excerpted from Michael’s book: Life Interrupted, Taking Charge After Everything Has Changed
Since 1979 Michael has worked with individuals and groups to take full advantage interruptions and changes to balance responsibilities, simplify their lives, and find greater productivity and peace. Want Michael to speak for your next event? Or hire him as your personal executive Life Coach to improve your relationships at home and at work? Call 813-444-9641 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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