Sunday, March 29, 2009

Some People Like To Complain

It's true. Some people like to complain. Some like it so much, they do it quite often about every little thing. It's all just unhappiness and it is not the least bit inspiring. The old saying that "misery loves company" is very true. You can walk past two people talking and hear it going back and forth like a tennis match. "Well do you know what happened when she. . ." "Jane at work is just impossible to get along with, she is constantly looking down her nose at me. . ." Back and forth, back and forth. It is interesting that there can never be any resolution, because that would break the cycle. You can't play the game if you resolve the issue. It can only be played while the issue is in play. The issue is the ball. There is no game without the issue.

I know the game like the back of my hand. I used to play it like a pro. Somehow, one day I realized what I was doing and realized that I didn't really want it resolved because then the game would be over. There was always something great about the match in the heat of it going back and forth, but it always ended with me feeling really crappy. So, I stopped over time, but made a conscious decision to not play anymore. This meant that when others lobbed the ball to me, I had to turn to the side and let it pass me by without a swing. It started feeling good. The other seemed upset, but I was feeling better.

Now I call it "swimming upstream" with people. I rarely swim very far with them, a stroke or two and that is it. Someone will complain, and I will suggest a solution, they will reject it, I will offer another, they have a reason not to and I'm done. See ya! Have a nice life. Don't need that anymore. Outa here. You have to get ruthless about letting the ball go past you if you want to get out of the game.

The alternative is less frivolous communication, and more meaningful communication and probably less communication overall. The trade off is well worth it. You can tell which is better by the way you feel--especially when the conversation is over.

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