I tried to spend a day without complaining

          I have to preface this by saying, I do live a life where all my essential needs are met. You could say that most of the problems I face are first world problems. I started looking back at my week, and realized at how much complaining I do, even if I am not starving to death. This realization was partly due to the Junior trip to Vietnam, where I did not hear any negativity from the workers or the everyday Vietnamese. (Or it might be because I did not understand a word of their language.)

           So I decided, for one whole day, to stop complaining, to only look at the world with a fresh and positive lens.

           9:00 a.m.: 30 minutes in, I have already failed. I went out of the class to get some fresh air, then I had a little chat about how much work I had to do. But then, I realized that it could be worse. I could be in a factory making a shirt after another endlessly, just to support myself to go to school.

           11:00 a.m.: I received back the dreaded history test. I then realized, that there was a loophole to this little experiment of mine. At this point, I started getting others to do my complaining for me. Instead of me complaining about how hard the test was, I just listened to others complain about the test by asking them questions where it would lead them to complain, but I I would not have to complain. However, the toxicity of the complaints were still there, even if I wasn’t the one doing the complaining.

           5:00 p.m.: Another loophole I found was to just not say anything at all. My friend realized that I was not talking that much, and said that, “You’re so private”. Bottling up complaints and annoyance in my head was not healthy either. It’s the same thing when you feel sad; when you bottle up things that bother you for a long time, it eventually shows and bursts. Much like sadness, it is good to express it. After all, emotions exists for a reason.

           By the end of the day, I have missed complaining a little bit. Being positive is good and all, but at the same time, complaining is beneficial for you, as a study published in 2013 found that pessimistic older adults were more likely to live longer, healthier lives. At the same time, you should not be pessimistic all the time, as it is mostly a game of balance.                                                                                                                                                                            
     I think that you should know why you are complaining in the first place. You should complain if you are actually going to do something about it. For example, I love clothes, but when I complain in the morning when I open my closet about how empty, or how boring my clothes are, it is essentially useless, since it is really a first world problem. Figuring the result you want first will help you determine to whom your complaint should be addressed and where to put eh emphasis. This will make it easier for the other person to respond positively, with a clear idea of what you want.

-Hiroshi Nakatsugawa


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