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Amira McLaughlin

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The focus of our time together during this challenge is to overcome complaining and turn this negative habit into contentment, or a feeling of satisfaction with our lives. This probably seems like a big task, but I hope that you’ve begun to see that it can be broken down into ways that are quite manageable. Today, I’d like to help you further along these lines by exploring the difference between legitimate complaint and whining. We’ve established that there are times in which complaining can be necessary. So how can you ensure your issue is voiced in a way that is productive rather than whiny? Join me as I share some tips. 

Legitimate Complaint

Let’s review what’s involved with a legitimate complaint. First of all, you have to know what it is that is truly the cause of your discontent. You must determine if your complaint is a productive one, with a solution, or if it’s merely venting your frustration. A legitimate complaint avoids being overly critical. It also doesn’t concern things that are out of your control. This is something we discussed in yesterday’s post. Complaining about something you can’t change is a toxic habit. When you bring up a complaint that is valid and productive, you’re demonstrating a great deal about your own character. This will be appreciated by others. 


Whining, on the other hand, does the exact opposite. It is an opportunity for venting or getting something off your chest, but it doesn’t have a productive end. It can be annoying to others, aggravated even more so by a particular rise in the pitch and tone of your voice. You know what I’m talking about. No one likes a whiner. Whining involves issues that are trivial or that cannot be changed. Therefore, doing so really serves no good purpose. 

Ending the Habit

Breaking the habit of whining can be difficult. I’d like to offer just a few helpful tips here for you to think about and practice on your own. Over the next few days, try to catch yourself when you complain. Later, make a note of the complaint, its cause, how you felt and whether it was resolved. Seeing a pattern and knowing the triggers of your complaints can help you to recognize and lessen them. The second part of this is to move forward with the intention of making only legitimate complaints. You now know how to form these statements in a way that is productive and that doesn’t put others on the defensive. 

There is a significant difference between complaining and whining. The two approaches offer vastly opposing results in your life. With practice and attention, you’ll find it easier to break the whining habit in favor of airing a complaint that gets results. 

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