I hate to be the one to break it to you but…no one cares.
Seriously, no one cares.
No one cares about your dramas, how sick you are, the fight you had with your husband, how much you spent on your new car, or who you think is out to get you.
We’re tired of your bitching and whining.
We’re tired of your one-upping and lying.
We’re tired of your Debbie Downer attitude.
So shut up!
The world doesn’t owe you anything, and the sooner you realize this, the sooner you can take responsibility and make positive changes.
I once worked in a department of about 20 people. My coworkers and I got along pretty well, and we’d often go out to lunch together, share personal stories, and be friendly.
It was a great place to work…that is, except for one coworker who I’ll call S. It wasn’t that S was a bad person, but she had this way of making everyone uncomfortable.
She was a huge complainer. A friendly “good morning” would be met with a sigh and an explanation of how awful her morning was going and how she was having the worst day of her life.
It was always a struggle for S to get her work done because nothing ever went her way. She’d misplace her report or lose a client’s phone number. And then there was that time a pen exploded all over her during a meeting.
She’d just add it to her ever-growing list of inconveniences and disappointments.
Once, S went on and on in great detail about how she found a Band-Aid in a fast food cheeseburger and was looking forward to all the money she was going to get for suing the company.
It was gross: the description of her meal and her entitled attitude.
Not surprisingly, S was always sick, and snotty Kleenexes littered her desk. My coworkers and I tried to avoid her because we could feel her bad mood rubbing off on us.
I eventually left that job, but I’d hear stories from friends about what new catastrophe S was dealing with this week. It felt so good to be out from under her black cloud.
I like to think that I’m a kind person, but I realize now that I wasn’t helping S by listening to her tales of woe. In retrospect, I wish I had told her that no one wants to hear her complain.
I wish I had asked her to tell me about the best part of her day.
I wish I had asked her what makes her happy.
So let me tell you what I should have told her: please shut up.
Stop your complaining. Stop it right now.
I don’t care if you think your life sucks. I don’t care if you think your boss is Satan himself.
We all have bad things in our lives. We all experience disappointments. Complaining doesn’t take the pain away—it intensifies it.
By indulging in whining, criticizing, and gossiping, you are perpetuating your unhappiness.
It doesn’t matter that I might not know you. I care about you, and I don’t want you wasting your life by seeing the glass half empty.
So shut up!
If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. And I challenge you to look around and find something—anything—nice in the world.
I promise you there is something wonderful in your life if you just look for it.
Then by all means, please tell me all about it.
Do you know a chronic complainer?
What makes you happy right now?
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