Please Stop the Whining

no-whiningWe have all experienced the “Debbie Downer” character in our personal or professional worlds. Complaining has been elevated to a high art by these individuals and while entertaining at times, it’s more frequently draining and off-putting. Fault finding is valuable when you identify what’s not working and look for a solution. Occasional whining may be acceptable but if it rises to the level of chronically finding fault, it’s time to take stock. When crankiness has become an end to itself and a legitimate issue actually does arise, how likely will others respond to it?

Life is imperfect and for some people, complaining is a way to get or even deflect attention. Notice your own behaviors:
• Are they energy draining or energy building?
• Are you feeling powerless in a situation or a relationship?
• What is your typical response?

Chronic irritability distances you from others. If only they would change, then you might not have anything to object to. Focusing on what others need to do rather than on your own actions avoids the possibility of personal transformation and empowerment. Turn that critical eye inward.
• Identify what you would like to create
• What are you choosing to modify or eliminate?
• Channel the energy
• Ask for support from others
• Create a plan of action
• Engage


Actor or Reactor?

imagesCA51GAWSThe Actor: Are you a “player”, the take charge, decisive, creative and forward thinking woman with a10-year plan on her home page? Are you prepared for any emergency, ready to exchange your clothes for a cape and tights in a phone booth at a moment’s notice? (Good luck finding a phone booth!) Are you the professional woman, wife, mother, sister, friend and colleague who is the principle resource for everyone? You are officially on notice because we hate/love you and this internal conflict makes us uncomfortable.

The Reactor: Are you a “responder”, checking the weather report before you continue? Does the forecast determine your plan of action or inaction? Does it require a committee decision to proceed or have you been victimized again by something out of your control? Are you so pre-occupied with what is happening or might happen that you are overwhelmed by the circumstances? You too are officially on notice because we know that your desire to contribute or initiate has been squelched and we want more of you to show up front and center.

Trust or lack thereof appears to be a key element for the actor and for the reactor. It is not always necessary to be at the head of the line, nor is it in our best interest to consistently bring up the rear. In fact, many of us operate somewhere in the middle based on the circumstance and relationship. However, without an assigned role, you can experiment and enjoy the benefits that new behaviors may bring. Freedom and flexibility are two that come to mind immediately.

Are you more often an actor or a reactor?
• Notice your automatic response to a request or situation
• What were your thoughts? Judgments?
• Count to 10 before taking action
• What’s different?
©2014 Maureen Weisner