Please help me shut up!


Sometimes I fall into the trap of complaining about stuff, and nearly a decade ago I created a “complaint prerequisite” to call on others to support me and constructively call me out about it.

Basically, I don’t ever want to be “that guy who complains”, so I encouraged my blog readers, Facebook friends, etc. that if they ever caught me complaining about anything for any reason, they could present me with a simple challenge by asking “do you have a right to complain today?” Just asking the question is surprisingly effective at getting me to shut me up and think for a moment.

Here’s the rule:
Before I can complain about anything, I must have had the following within the previous day or so:
  1. a few balanced meals
  2. a decent night’s sleep
  3. some moderate exercise

It was clear to me then, as it is now, that if I haven’t got it together enough to have my basic physical needs covered, that’s the only real problem. Anything else is mere distraction, and holding the rest of the world responsible for my gap in self-care is not fair to anyone.

I acknowledge that there are a couple problems with this:
  • Other people like to complain too, and when they hear me do it then they feel fine about joining in. Yes, it’s seductive!
  • I’m still putting the responsibility on the rest of the world to help keep me in check. Which means they might not AND they might use it for their own reasons that have little in common with mine (see above).
  • I didn’t keep reminding people. So guess what this post is for? :)

Even with these problems, I still think it’s worth doing. Why? Because I’m serious about changing my behavior for the better. The best way I know to do that, is by systematically sealing all the exits from the life I’ve consciously chosen and sincerely want to lead.

Here’s a lovely & inspiring song from my lovely & inspiring friend Inga Swearingen about what I’m heading towards

Thanks for your support! If you have any other bright ideas, do tell below in the comments.