We all have pet peeves, and today I’m going to talk about one of my biggest ones. There’s nothing that drives me mad more than someone who will complain about something but refuse to do something about it.
I see this throughout life. And, people always try to say there’s nothing they can do. There’s ALWAYS something you can do. You can either change your situation or your can change how you react to it. Either way, complaining will get you nowhere.
Now, that’s not to say that we don’t all need to vent sometimes. I’m not talking about hones to goodness venting. You are having a hard day or a hard week but you know it will pass and you just need to get something off your chest. That’s venting. That’s different than constantly complaining about something and doing nothing.
I see this a lot in the chronic illness world. I see it at our support group meetings and it’s probably one of the biggest things that drives me bonkers and keeps me from attending regularly. Someone comes to the meeting and they are having trouble with X issue. They talk about it and ask for advice. Many people give them advice (often to the point hthat it feels like the entire meeting is revolving around their needs). We go away feeling like we’ve helped them. Then we return a month later to have them voice the exact same issues. We return to last month’s advice. “Did you try X?” No…. ” Well, what about Y?” No.. didn’t try that either. WTH! Why are we giving you this advice and spending our time on you if you aren’t willing to do the work?
This is something that annoys me especially for those that are healthy, but just as much for those who are ill. Because no matter how ill we are there are things within our control.
It drives me nuts to hear you whine and complain about the weight you can’t lose but you refuse to give up your 12 soda-a-day habit and get on the treadmill. I can’t really help you and I certainly don’t want to listen to you. It’s even more frustrating when it’s a healthy person because I look at them and think you are lucky to be able to get on the treadmill or spend time running or doing whatever activity will help you lose weight.
Then there are those who complain about their lack of income but won’t even accept options that come their way to improve the situation because it might be inconvenient. I’m chronically ill. I know I can’t work a 40-hour-a-week (normal) job and have anything left. But, at the same time if my income depended on it, I’d do it in a heart beat. Instead, I’m thankful to have options and a husband that has a reliable job and income. That allows me to focus on doing what I can do best, but I don’t use my illness as an excuse to avoid working. I work my butt off (from the comfort of my own couch).
So, yes hearing healthy people give excuses for why they can’t do whatever is mind-blowing. You can do whatever you choose to do. Or, you can choose a different path. If you want to start your own business, don’t sit there complaining about how you don’t know what steps to take. Start researching it. Buy a book, use the internet. The info is there. If you want to lose weight, don’t complain about it, start working out and change how you eat. If you want to be less negative, start focusing on the positive. The power is there with you. But, stop whining and start doing.
The same goes for those who are ill and who know that there are small steps they could take to improve their situation a little. We can choose to change what we eat, or move a little more, or find ways to creatively make an income despite our inability to work a full-time job. We can choose to look into other options. I’m not talking about those who are literally bed-bound and can’t even think through the fog well enough to take action. I’ve been there. But, even in that state I knew I had to do something. That just laying in the bed waiting for someone else to make me better wasn’t going to work. I had to use my lucid moments to research and find better answers, find other options. That’s what I did. And, we can all do that.
No, we don’t always know the steps to take, but we can find out. We can reach out to others who have made the steps before us and ask them how to get where they are. Trust me, they want to help.
So, why do we do it? Because sometimes it’s just easier to hang onto the situation we know than to risk the unknown. I get that. But, just because I get why we do it doesn’t mean it annoys me any less. It does give me a little bit of empathy for you, and a little more patience. I will try harder to help you, but eventually if you don’t take the steps on your own I will give up and hope that eventually you will find your way their on your own.
Change is rarely convenient. It’s usually a little stressful, but it’s necessary in life. Eventually, we have to opt for change if we want to improve.