No complaints mate

Today, I was having an email conversation with an old vet school friend of mine and just needed to get some stuff off my chest.  Was feeling a little edgy because of PMS cramps (and no that is not every woman’s excuse to be bitchy!).  She wrote back, saying how “nice” people feel like they shouldn’t complain but that I could vent to her anytime I wanted.  She is a true friend, I thought!  And for including me in the “nice” category…

Sometimes it does help to let it out.  It’s when I start repeating my negative stories that I realize I am not helping myself out anymore.

A Complaint Free World is an idea started by Will Bowen.  His concept is that we should complain less to each other and instead speak of positive things to make the world a better place.  We are supposed to wear a purple complaint free bracelet on the left wrist.  If we make a complaint, the bracelet is changed over to the right wrist.  If we can keep the purple band on our left arm for 21 days, we’ve made the transition into a complaint free world!

The clinic got a purple bracelet for everyone several weeks ago and  I’ve been wearing mine.  I really try hard to make a habit of not complaining when I am at work.  But then there was the case yesterday that got to me and set me off into a short tirade in the lunch room.  Bracelet quickly moved over to my right wrist.  Oh well.  Everyone has their days.

Don’t wear the bracelet at home though.  I can’t be “nice” forever.  It’s tough!  That doesn’t mean that I let loose with my complaints once I leave work.  The bracelet made me more aware of the things that I have been saying lately.  But if I bottle it up too long, then I can feel my body tense up.  Like my friend says, it’s ok to vent to a few trusted mates.

I am reminded of the time I met Frieda, from the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation up in Dawson City.  She told of a wheelchair-bound woman, horribly crippled by arthritis.  “This is because her true nature inside must eventually show on the outside”, said Frieda.  Food for thought.

By wearing the bracelet, I notice when other people complain and how often they do it.  Makes me tired to think of how much seems to be bad in their little world.  However, I do believe in the idea that what I put out there is what will be reflected back to me.  That doesn’t mean that I am a perpetual Pollyanna (does anyone even remember that Disney movie anymore?).

  • While researching Healthy Workplaces for my job, I have read some stuff about “No Complaining Campaigns”, but I haven’t read anything about the bracelets. I really like that idea. So much so that I may try to incorporate that campaign into my Healthy Workplace programming. Thanks for the sharing. =)

    • Happy to hear that you find this post useful. Appreciate your comment!

  • eyegirl

    Purple bracelet… clever idea.

    I have a lady at the office who is wonderfully positive. I find it quite refreshing. Yes, she is a bit of a Pollyanna but I appreciate her for that. I don’t think she’s ever insincere about what she says. Her overall attitude is to be positive about things.

    Often, I find myself having to suppress my need to vent to my staff sometimes. I have to think to myself, “is what I’m going to say going to benefit anyone? or am I just being negative?” It’s not good for moral if the doc starts complaining about things. Stinkyboy reminded me of a scene from the movie “Saving Private Ryan” when the privates ask their commander Tom Hanks’ character why he never complains about things. Hanks says something to the fact that, “Complaints go UP the chain of command and not down”. It’s very true eh? No one likes to hear the commander complaining. It’s not effective leadership. It’s up to the leaders to act like leaders.

    If we surround ourselves with negative people, it’s easy to become negative. But if we choose to be with positive people and have a good attitude about life and see the “bigger picture”, then we will become more positive ourselves.

    At the risk of being a Bible-thumper, there is a verse I’d like to share —
    Phillipians 4:8: “whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”

    It applies to everything in life — what we eat and drink, what we watch on TV, what we talk about. We need to fill our lives with good, healthy food, to enjoy the beauty of nature and avoid viewing violent media, to speak words of encouragement.

    Let’s all try and focus on the good things in life!
    Thanks DD (downwarddog) for a most interesting topic.

  • Loved your comment. Thoughtful words.

    Thanks for writing!