Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A complaint free world?

A church in Kansas City is trying to get the world to stop it's bitching, complaining, kvetching, etc. Participants in the challenge get a purple, plastic bracelet (ala the yellow ones Lance Armstrong made famous a few years ago) and they need to switch it from one wrist to the other every time they complain, gossip, or criticize. The goal is to keep it on the same hand for 21 days (meaning you don't complain at all for 3 weeks! Imagine!)

I read about this challenge through a friend of a friend, N2N. She had ordered 10 bracelets and said she would mail them to the first 10 bloggers to respond. I immediately emailed her out of some deeply ingrained desire to take on each and every challenge put before me, and to always take advantage of free stuff. It was only after she so kindly sent me the bracelet that I stopped to think, why am I doing this?

Sure, I could use an impetus to stop some complaining, and all gossiping and criticizing. But all complaining? I don't think so. Some of it is necessary. It makes me feel better, allows me to express how I'm truly feeling in the moment, and hopefully sets me on a path to not get in the complaint-inducing situation again.

That said, I do a lot of unnecessary complaining. I bitch about the weather even when I don't truly need to, but am just looking for something to say. I bitch about annoying little things at work (like the construction that's going on outside my office window, or a loud talker in the office) mostly because a coworker and I have gotten into a bad habit of IMing each other about things like that. Those complaints aren't particularly justified, I don't need advice about them, and spouting them doesn't make me feel any better.

So, blog world, I pledge to try my hardest to only participate in what I'm calling "necessary complaining", and no criticizing or gossiping. Wish me luck. And get your own bracelet here... if you dare! Best Blogger Tips


TI said...

I love it! I can't wait to hear how it goes for you. R and I have a mini-version of this, which we have been practicing to the best of our ability since September, and that is: don't get caught up in "busy-talk" or what is sometimes called "corporate bragging." You know, the old "I'm so busy, I've got this, that and the other to do by yesterday!" We used to thrive on it, and now we hardly ever (not never, but hardly ever) do it. And I absolutely don't do it at work, where people use it to ramp up the stress levels constantly, esp. at this time of year. It was Dale Carnegie who said: Don't criticize, condemn or complain. Add gossip and wow, that is a tough one! Good luck!

TI said...

I forgot to add (more about ME), that since curtailing the busy talk as much as possible (you know I have complained about busy on the blog on occasion), I'm a lot less stressed even when I do have lots to do.

Bug said...

TI, that's interesting! I wonder if I'm guilty of that? I mean, I do complain about being busy a lot, but I *hope* I don't do it in an attempt to brag/feel important. I'll have to think about that the next time I feel the need to busy talk.

January said...

You complain about being busy because you ARE busy. Nothing wrong with that, esp. on a blog.

I like the idea, but I think a good amount of complaining causes change. Let's not forget the founding fathers who complained their way into a new country. :)

But I do like the idea of being more grateful. That's something I know I take for granted. I try to live by that phrase, "never complain, never explain."

Good luck with the challenge. I hope you blog about the journey, which I find interesting.

DJPare said...

Nice post!
Unbelievable story.

I bitch too much about silly things - most people do, but there is plenty in this world, in this country to complain about, and what I mostly want to complain about is the conservative RELIGOUS people ruining my country!

As soon as I read "a church is or a church wants" I stop giving a shit.

Here's some complaining for them - what I want is for ALL churches and all religious people to keep their fucking mouths shut!

A person's faith or lack of should be private, not public. Stay out of my social issues, stay out of my government, and stay out of my life...

I'm going to complain more now just to spite them.

Tori said...

Don't be too hard on yourself.
There is 'complaining' that is completely healthy and necessary.
It's all how we choose our words.
I don't like wearing bracelets, so I best not participate since I'd complain about the damn thing on my wrist :)

bostonerin said...

I'm right there with you, bug. Although, I've had to take the purple bracelet off for a day or two, to get through some particularly complaint-filled days.

It's definitely made me more aware of what I'm saying and why, which is good. The corporate bragging is a big suck hole. It's so easy to fall in with the one-upmanship. It happens a lot at my job, with who's outdoing whom for the title of "most overextended." Yuck.

Repeater said...

djpare, that is so funny. You must love Sam Harris. I personally commend you, bug and ti for your efforts. I also have to watch my negativity, so I often put a check valve on my own complaining (especially at work). Gossiping, well, that's just too much fun to stop.