COMPLAINING! ...or $itching! It's a favored way of the modern world. It is so popular that social media platforms have created a billion dollar industry from people complaining & whining on them habitually! Talk shows where people are allowed to "vent" about how horrible their life was, are top audience draws that wrap community hearts around their little finger. Many have made successful careers out of rudely complaining about this, that, and at times absolutely nothing. Much attention is gained when we announce loudly that we are pi$$ed about something! But is this attention gained from complaining good or bad?
The way that I tell if a complaint is good or bad is by looking at the predicted end result before making the complaint. People who complain about their lives on television shows and get paid to do it, and/or write a book afterwards that sells a million copies, probably had a strategic plan to profit off of their complaint. Therefor I would say that this is probably a good way of complaining as long as they can handle the type of attention that they will draw from their fiasco. Let's explore other complaints.
Let's say a person is waiting a long while in a drive-thru at a fast food restaurant and the workers are taking longer than normal. So the person waiting pulls up to the window before getting her food and cusses out the cashier. The cashier snarls at this customer and about 10 minutes later the cashier hands her food to her. The pi$$ed customer flips off the cashier and takes off with her food. Was this a smart way to complain? I would give you one guess at how these workers may have treated her food before giving it to her. This was not a smart way to complain. Here's another example...
Franklin has had a frustrating life just like many if not most people. He's had some bad times in the past and everything doesn't always turn out well for him. It makes him feel good to vent every morning on his social network about the people and things that upset him daily. Is this a good or bad way to complain? VERY BAD and I'll tell you why...
Complaining publicly is not a good idea because we have absolutely no idea of who's reading it. When we vent on a social platform we always "assume" that the right people are reading it. We think that the people reading will pity and support us, or even that somehow the person that we are talking about will read it and be convinced to adjust their behavior because of our rant. This is not true.
MOST of the people who are reading it will not pity us for long even if they do for a short moment. They will get tired of our negativity and place us in the category of "pitiful" in their mind along with many others. Additionally, we may drive them to never want to deal with us because they know we may crucify them publicly also if we aren't "satisfied" with the way things go between us. Those who witness us "burning someone at the stake" would be morons to continue to associate with us.
Regarding the person who is targeted by complaints on a social platform, first of all that person probably won't ever read it. And if that person does it will only fuel a reason for them to behave worse. The complainer paints a bullseye on his head for the enemy. And if this person is one of influence or power, we might push away those who are involved with this person.
Complaining about someone on social media is a one sided story that doesn't allow the person that we are trashing a chance to defend themselves. We can lose the trust of fair, righteous people when we make such outbursts about someone because they may think that they are next on the list of the complainer! Here's another example directly from my personal life.
I can remember staying in one of my favorite 4 star hotels and having a very bad 1 star experience. There was no phone, fridge, or microwave in my room. I had horrible internet reception. When we went to breakfast the server didn't introduce herself to us, never checked on us, but when it was time to pay our bill she came and dropped it on the table. To add to that, the food tasted worse than prison food. The a/c in our room went out one of the nights and it took them 6 hours to get it fixed while we sat and roasted in our room where they had pulled the unit out of the wall, leaving a hole between us and the 100 degree outdoors. I had every reason to EXPLODE with complaints to each of the people individually about their constant incompetence. But I didn't. This is what I did.
The next day I called the GM and thanked her for all of the great service that the hotel had provided me in the past. I informed her that I was for the hotel and I wanted to help them assure that they could keep up the great service towards me and their other customers. I let her know that I was on her team as a person and that I was basically watching the hotel's back. I then informed her of all of the concerns that I had. She thanked me and offered me much free stuff. I denied the free stuff as I wanted her to know that I was truly there for them and more concerned about the issues being corrected, instead of gaining a quick reward for it. The gifts were issued by her regardless.
Now even though I was VERY ANGRY with the treatment that my woman and I received during this visit, I thought about the end result of my complaint BEFORE allowing my emotions to take charge. I could have went down to the front desk in front of everyone and yelled at them about the bad treatment, embarrassing them and possibly even costing them business. But what good would this truly have done me or them? The manager may have rebelled against my complaint because of my manner and regardless of what she may have been pressured to do for me as a recourse, my welcome would have been destroyed with them. Choosing to bring my complaint to them in a friendly manner helped them to feel good about their service, positive about correcting it, and eager to make me happy instead of committed to "having to".
We have to beware how we use the power of complaining. Contrary to popular belief, it can turn numbers of people against us while we think we are gaining support. We should NEVER vent to just anyone! In fact, we should be extremely selective of who we choose to complain too because we are giving them the power to alienate us. We should only complain to a person or people who we can confide or "trust" in. How do we choose this type of person? Here are some pointers.
First of all we have to assure that it is a person who can tolerate our complaining. We don't want to become toxic to them or their lifestyle. (I can promise you that there aren't as many people in our life who want to hear our crap as we may think there are. Don't believe me, just ask them!)
Secondly, we should assure that they're a person who can be unbiased in understanding that that there's always two sides to a story. They should have the guts to tell us if they disagree with us and be willing to offer healthy, positive advise that we will listen to. Even though it feels great to the ego to have someone who will agree with everything that we say, and "hate" who we want them to hate, this is very unhealthy. People such as this usually give horrible advice, making situations worse because they actually thrive off of the drama. Some of them even want to see the complainer fail and end up in worse situations.
Lastly, it should be a person who we can trust not to use the info that we offer while confiding in them later to advantage themselves while hurting us. When we complain we can say things that we don't really mean or that could really hurt relations with others. The person that we confide in should naturally know this and must have a deep sincerity in not wanting to aid us in sabotaging ourselves. They have to protect us for our stupid self. Additionally they have to be open minded & intelligent enough not to let us to turn them against people who we complain about, and choose later to re-friend.
Complaining is an act of self destruction when we do it without using our E.I. (Emotional Intelligence) to predict a sensible end result. It can make things worse for the target that we are complaining about and worse for us. This is unproductive and senseless. But when a complaint is issued properly with a sensible end result in mind, the complaint becomes a tool of progressive power for the target that we are complaining about as well as our self.
And THIS, ...is a "way" of the "Warrior's Edge"! -Jermaine Andre