Today I am very happy to introduce to you author Denise DeSio of Rose’s Will. Denise and I met out here in cyberspace and have had opportunities to correspond on this blog and through emails. I am so grateful for her perspective. In her creative guest post, she gives us all permission to complain. Complain?! Isn’t that wrong? Isn’t that being ungrateful? Don’t we tell our children all the time “Stop complaining!” Well, read her view of it and tell us what you think in the comments. Everyone who leaves a comment will be entered to win a free e-copy of Rose’s Will! The winner will be drawn and contacted on Monday June 4. That’s a little thank you from me. In addition to that, Denise has another fun way to win her book. Read on to find out more!
And now, here’s Denise:
I LOVE TO COMPLAIN
How many times have we been told to keep our complaints to ourselves? Stop whining? Shut up and deal with it? The answer is: so many times that we have learned to confuse legitimate complaints with whining, nagging, griping, droning, pestering, irritating, and hassling. But the definition of complain is simply to express discontent or unhappiness about a situation. The operative word there is express, and from childhood we are taught not to express ourselves.
A continual state of non-expression festers and grows inside of us like a cancer until it manifests in unwanted and sometimes destructive ways. Furthermore, it’s surprising that the ones who try to suppress our expression don’t realize that the consequences are far greater in the long run, not only for us but for them. Stifled expression can lead to passive aggression, and other forms of unhealthy behavior which exposes the suppressor to way more irritation than listening to a legitimate complaint and addressing it directly.
Before we can allow others to express themselves, we usually have to give ourselves permission for self-expression. Stoic people have very little patience for people who find it easier to express. Subconsciously, they think, “I stuff it, so you should too,” a lose-lose attitude.
It takes courage to stand our ground and find non-confrontational ways to let others know how we feel, but it takes smarts to express ourselves in a constructive manner. Built into a healthy complaint system are three important elements:
- State the nature of the complaint without blame: _________ isn’t working for me.
- Suggest a remedy: It would be better for me if ________________.
- Negotiate a resolution: A) What are you willing to do to help me with this problem? And B) What can I do to help you help me?
Using this method of complaining will reduce negative responses, role model for others, and pave the way toward healthy self-expression. When you feel fully expressed, you will be better able to listen to the complaints of others, and even guide their expression in a way that you will be better able to hear them.
- Acknowledge the complaint: I see you have a complaint.
- Ask what you can do: Can you suggest a way that would be better for you?
- Negotiate a resolution: It would be helpful if you could___________, so I could remember to __________.
So, now I will role model.
- Marketing my novel, ROSE’S WILL, day and night without much success at reaching my target audience isn’t working for me.
- It would be five times easier if readers who enjoy my book would tell 5 of your friends how great it is, and urge them to buy the eBook for only $4.99 (watch for the print edition, coming soon!)
- Are you willing to take a free look at my sample chapters on Amazon and consider buying ROSE’S WILL? I would offer a free copy to one lucky person for every 20 people who tag my novel at Amazon then leave a comment on my blog.
See? Non-confrontational complaining, a possible solution, and a willingness to reciprocate. Easy peasy!
Thank you, Denise, for such a refreshing post. In my personal experience, I tend to feel guilty about speaking up for what I need in a situation, particularly if it affects other people. In fact, this was one of my downfalls after entering mommyhood. I ended up in an unhealthy situation; it was only when I started verbalizing my true yearnings and acting on behalf of my Self that things started turning around for all of us. Everyone I care about is benefiting from this practice and I feel much safer in my own world. I believe there is a way to be grateful and simultaneously unaccepting of situations that don’t serve us; you can read my thoughts about that here.
Readers, we’d love to hear what you think about complaining, by its true definition, and how it plays a role (or doesn’t) in your life.
If you’d like to inspire others with this post, please pass it on with some social media love. If you don’t see the buttons below, click on the title of this post and they will magically appear at the bottom.