The Vague Complaint
The vague complaint is either about something so big and complex that there’s no single or direct solution, or about something that’s simply impossible to change. We hear vague complaints all the time. For example, consider how often you hear complaints about: weather, traffic, corporations, idiots… etc. There is no single simple way to “solve” any of these complaints, and yet the complainer will still talk about them.
When you catch yourself voicing a vague complaint, pause and mentally shift what you’re focusing on to an aspect that’s specific and personal. What emotion(s) are you feeling? Do you have a desire or fear that is underneath? For instance, instead of just complaining in general about traffic when you’re stuck in it, you could share something like: “I feel like I keep letting people down and now I’m worried that I’m going to be late again,” or “I’m frustrated that I never seem to plan ahead enough,” or “I hate spending my time in traffic instead of with my kids in the morning,” or whatever is actually true for you in that moment.[Excerpt from The NoCo Workbook. Pre-order it here.]