""Woman Covering Her Mouth With Both Hands" courtesy of photostock/

“”Woman Covering Her Mouth With Both Hands” courtesy of photostock/

Who knew that not complaining could be so hard?  Seriously?

I consider myself a fairly nice person.  I get along with most people; I’m not out to get anyone — not anyone I could actually get at, anyway —  and I seriously do want to make the world a better place.  On the other hand, I’m a Virgo, and I live up to the unpleasant Virgo stereotype of being highly critical of everything and everyone, including myself.  However, when I read that thoughts don’t count — just those words that come out– for  Will Bowden’s 21-Day Complaint-Free Challenge , I figured I’d have no problem, for I was a Virgo who knew how to keep her mouth shut.

Or so I thought.

It turns out I’m just as much a verbal complainer as the next person.  Maybe more so.  Driving in traffic with drivers that are slower than I’d like . . .  ? Can’t complain.  Or who don’t use their turn signals?  Or pull out in front of you? Nope. Can’t.   Or . .  there’s a train?!? Nope.  Nope.  Nope. 

But it wasn’t just the road rage.  I had plenty other chances for frustration.  How about: I banged my elbow!  Nope.  Banged it again!  Can’t.  Walked upstairs and forgot what I went up there for. . . Still nope.  Got downstairs and remembered what I went up there for. . .  Can’t.  Need to vent about an interpersonal interaction?  Don’t do it.  Even about workYou guessed it. . . Nope.  I realized that I had to watch myself even when looking over education materials or watching or listening to any media or performance.

Is it the end of the world if I complain?  Certainly not.  But it’s not making the world any better either.  I haven’t gone official and put on a mobile purple bracelet for each time I catch myself complaining, but even just bringing my attention to it has been mind-boggling.

The most interesting aspects of my complaining-free study are discovering:

1) where complaining pops up in my interactions with others.

2) how tongue-tied I can get when someone asks my input about something.

3) how great I feel when I don’t complain, especially around others.

Regarding #3, no gossiping is included in being complaint-free., and we all know that if I’m talking about someone right now with you, you could be next.  When I am complaint-free, I have more integrity, more authenticity, and more positivity.  In other words, how I am with you is how I will always be with you, whether you are in the room with me or not.

No, I am not yet complaint-free, but I’m like the blue heron, intently watching every fishy thought.  I know I’ll eventually make it, and then positive thinking won’t be too far behind.

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