SOCIAL MEDIA

17 January 2013

An Unpopular Complaint

I've noticed something recently.

Complaining is cool.

Pet peeves are popular.

(heehee, alliteration)

So if I complained about the fact that I don't have any light sabers (the ones pictured belong to my siblings), would I become cool?

But for real, people. It seems that getting annoyed easily is the thing to do. Other people can relate to your situation when you complain, so you should complain, or else people won't like you. They'll think you're fake if you never whine.

Just think about it. How many times have you heard "What are you biggest pet peeves?" asked as an icebreaker question at a gathering or posted on a blog? We like talking about the things that annoy us. It creates camaraderie when we find someone else who shares our grievances.

But should this be so? Speaking as a Christian--does it seem Biblical to be a person known for being easily annoyed?

All the verses I read about thankfulness and grace and putting others first and turning the other cheek and love is not easily angered seem to indicate that no--being easily annoyed is one of those things that should not be part of the Christian life.

I was raised in a climate where it was 80s and 90s all year round. I was also raised with a family rule that no one was allowed to complain about the heat. Because, yes, we were all hot, and that was not always fun, but complaining did nothing to ease the situation and it didn't inspire a good attitude in either the complainant or those forced to listen to complaints--so complaining was made illegal.

I have sought to carry that rule on into my adult life. You know what? I do not like going to cosmetology school. I could complain to Angel about it every morning and come home every day with a list of things that pissed me off at school to tell him about. But I choose not to. I choose to not, as far as it lies with me, be easily annoyed by situations at school or to waste mine or Angel's mental energy on it. I'm not being dishonest. Trust me, Angel know I don't like it there. But there's no need for me to continually harp on the subject, or post facebook statuses or tweets complaining about it five days a week.

I've recently discovered that people are annoyed by people who ask questions about them. I find this odd, myself. I mean, as a newlywed, I've been asked, "When will there be a baby?" countless times, just like every other newlywed on the planet, I expect, but I don't see the need to be annoyed by that. No matter how many times they ask, they aren't forcing me to have a baby. I can always respond with the truth: "Not today!"--what's so annoying about that?

One of the most common get-to-know you questions, "Where are you from?" is the most difficult one for me to answer truthfully. Honestly, I cringe internally when someone asks me that. But that doesn't mean I need to get annoyed at people who ask it of me! Rather than choosing to think, "Man, they're asking where I'm from just because they're dumb, or because they want to annoy me on purpose." I can choose to assume better intentions for them--maybe they genuinely want to get to know more about me.

One of my professors once told me that in a marriage relationship--if you're always getting annoyed by the things your spouse does, something needs to change about you, not them. You can choose to not be annoyed by the one you love most--and I believe that this advice applies not only to marriage but to relationships in general.

What do ya say, folks, what if we teamed up and decided that we'd make complaining--about the weather, about  your spouse, about Mondays, about the fact that you don't have enough money for a iPhone, or about unpleasant people in your life--an unpopular hobby?

p.s. I'm no where near claiming that I never get annoyed. Angel has a nickname for me: "Angry Bird" for the times when I go off, rationally or irrationally, and the unfortunately Irish side of me shows. He thinks it's cute, but that's only because I'm small. It's not a good trait to be easily angered or irritated!

15 comments :

  1. I find discussing things that I'm annoyed about refreshing. It helps me get rid of the feeling and realize, after all, that I am not alone, and I do not have to go through this by myself. I agree with what you are saying--and I realize I complain a lot also, at times. I want to give my annoyances to God--yet I don't see a problem talking about them, as long as you do it with candidness and a realization that, even if you are annoyed, you still need to have a good attitude and the peace of God in your heart. (something I struggle with, really hard, especially since I really really dislike my job right now)

    I've found, the times I've "complained" to my spouse, he has been there to lift me up and help me realize my heart attitude is wrong. He always cheers me up and helps me through the situation. Sometimes it is good to talk to him. Other times, I know I am just being whiny because I am in an unconformable situation and I don't like it. But life does not revolve around me, as much as sometimes I live that way, and think that way.

    Thanks for this post. Pineapples :)

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  2. Very good post! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one!

    And you are so right...

    Being single and living alone for about 9 years made it REALLY hard to not get annoyed by my better half after he came into my life and now into my apartment as a permanent resident as well ;oD
    But: I can say, now I would miss the stinky socks and the toilet seat being up if he wasn't around anymore.

    Love is weird LOL

    xoxo
    Anni

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  3. I agree! There is so much complaining going on in the world these days and its hard to listen to. Growing up, I always listened to my relatives complain about things with no intention of taking action. That's what makes whining hard to listen to, the lack of responsibility in taking action to change whatever is being complained about. Obviously we can't change the weather, but I think we complain about that as a conversation starter more than anything. :)
    I once did a compilation of all of my Facebook statuses and my most used words were love, happy, awesome. But I know a lot of my friends most commonly used words would be very negative. I wish I could help change their perspective, but some people's brains are just not wired for positivity.
    Thanks for a wonderful post!

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  4. Complaining is human. Being annoyed sometimes is human. I agree with the above comment that it is refreshing to discuss "annoying" things with people and complain and whine every once in awhile. I don't think complaining or getting annoyed and talking about it makes you "cool" but I have to admit that I find it strange when people are 100% positive all the time and never ever have a complaint or care in the world. I just can't relate to people like that. Life is dirty, life is annoying, life is complicated. Why not talk about it?

    I take to my blog to do so, and I try to put a humorous spin on things. I find that many people can relate to it and even thank me for discussing complaints in a way that makes them laugh. If life were perfect with no complaints and no annoyances, then life would be pretty boring IMHO.

    I do find that some people seem to do nothing BUT complain and never have anything positive to say. There is a fine line. I don't see anything wrong with bitching about having a bad day, or a nasty coworker, or bad drivers. It can be very therapeutic to just get it all out and then move on. I think when people do nothing but complain about annoyances, well then it's a problem. :)

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  5. I do tend to complain more than I would like! I get stressed over a lot of stuff too, I'd be nice to challenge myself to spend a whole week, or even a whole day to not complain and see how I feel afterwards.

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  6. I was just talking about this with my husband recently, that complaining seems so prevalent and almost expected. I do think it's human to get upset about things though (that's all complaining and annoyance is, in my opinion) so I guess it's hard for people not to express it. To me, it's about making sure it's not something that's being done constantly or complaining / being annoyed about every thing or the littlest things! Such an awesome and thought-provoking post, Rachel!

    I'm co-hosting the GYB hop today and found you through your link, take care :)!!!

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  7. Great post! I will try to complain less! I love your alliteration!

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  8. Aaaaand I feel awful that I just posted a rant the other day on social media pet peeves ;)

    I do agree with just about all of this. As Christians we are called to be thankful and joyful. That does need to be a pervasive theme in our lives. However, I don't think there's anything wrong with talking about pet peeves now and then. And I don't think everyone does it to be "cool." I think it's more for the camaraderie. Sometimes it's kind of therapeutic when other people agree ;) However, I certainly don't condone being a negative Nelly and whining about anything and everything or harping on things all the time.

    As for being annoyed with people asking questions? I could NOT agree more with you! I get sick of people complaining that everyone is getting married/engaged/pregnant. I think it's a weird thing to complain about, because that's the stage of life we're in. Most of us go through all of that in our 20s. It's like complaining about everyone graduating high school when they're 18. It's a part of life. The only time I get annoyed with the questions is when I feel like people are just being nosy. Typically I think they're just generally curious and making conversation, but there are those people who are just nosy, and I'm a private person so I don't like that.

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  9. Another great post. I suppose complaining is a natural part of being human. But listening to the same person repeatedly complaining about the same. darn. thing. can get so annoying.

    As sad as it is, I have a method for balancing out the complainers in my life, at least via social media. If I can read through a month of your twitter/facebook comments and more than 3/4 of those comments are complaints, I will block you. I know it seems harsh, but if there's anything I've learned in my twenty-somthing years on this earth, it's being constantly surrounded by people who are negative will begin to effect you as well. Especially when it's over frivolous things.

    Yes, people need to air their frustrations. It's cathartic. But after a while it starts to become toxic to those around you.

    Reese

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  10. I think you differentiated a bit between talking about things that bother you and complaining. We all have things that bother or annoy us and it's okay to get that out and talk about it. But complaining, I think, goes beyond that. I actually am taking some time off a forum because there was so much complaining.

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  11. I totally agree, I've been more mindful of not complaining recently and I find social media/blog posts that are constantly full of complaints to be exhausting.

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  12. Dude you rock! Is it weird for me to say "I love you...' lol. I guess its better than asking where you're from. Bahaha.

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  13. Preach it. Every once and a while it's good to get something off your chest, but I think it's so important that we don't let whining and complaining start to define us. If something is really getting to us we need to figure out how to make it better or adjust our attitudes.

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  14. word! Let's talk about what's right in the world so we can get more of it!

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