Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Those of you who know me might not think of me as a complainer, but recently I've become aware that I complain (and gossip, defined as complaining about another person to someone else without saying it directly to that person) more than I should. In fact, in the past year it has hurt my career. I tend to have high standards and strong opinions, and sometimes I'm not good at keeping those to myself or expressing them in the most constructive way possible (directly to the person involved). This has been eye-opening for me, because I do not want to be a complainer. In fact, it annoys me when other people complain. Hello Marie--open your eyes!
So that's why I decided I would set out on this process during Lent. I found A Complaint-Free World by Will Bowen (the hyphen is mine), who is a minister in the Unity Church. He started the complaint-free movement in his church by giving away purple bracelets (shown on the cover, above) and developing a technique to reduce or eliminate complaining. The idea is that you wear the bracelet on one wrist, and when you complain, criticize, or gossip, you switch the bracelet to the other wrist. The goal is to try to go 21 consecutive days without complaining, criticizing, or gossipping out loud. (It doesn't count if it happens only in your head.) Bowen says that most people have to move their bracelet 15 to 20 times in the first few days, and soon it gets easier and easier. If you complain after 10 complaint-free days, you start all over again to aim for the 21 consecutive days.
Instead of ordering an official complaint-free purple silicone bracelet, I am wearing a prettier beaded purple bracelet that someone gave me (my sister? my mother? thank you, whoever you are!). So far I haven't had to move it, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time.
Already, I'm feeling more upbeat and positive...we'll see how long it lasts when something really sucky happens. :)
Stay tuned for a report. Every day is a miracle!