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3 Things Complaining Shows

Posted in A Class Act by Linden Barrick on April 30, 2012

Most people complain at some point. I’m capable of a doozy of a complaint, vent, gripe, and even a whine. But I hate to think people classify me as a habitual complainer.

My students complain a lot in my classroom:
“I hate to read!” Ummm…sorry, but this is your English class.
“Do I have to write in complete sentences?” Yes, since this is, again, English.
“I don’t have time to do this stupid project.” Try turning off your cellphone for an hour.

Okay, so maybe I exaggerate that a bit, at least for most students. But adults complain too. Complainers are everywhere – homes, businesses, classrooms, churches – and they negatively affect the environment. The more I listen to complainers, the more I realize they rarely accomplish anything. In fact, I think complaining shows the following three things.

Complaining shows weakness. Let’s face it. Life is full of problems, trauma, stress, annoyances, drama, and even routine drudgery. It takes great strength of character to deal with it all. And with a smile on your face? For me, that takes extra help from above. If you are a complainer, it shows you are too weak to persevere through struggles and over obstacles.

Complaining shows laziness. Complainers focus on something they don’t like but are too lazy to generate change or create solutions. They gripe, whine, and moan, hoping someone else will take care of the issue. The doers – those who are too busy solving problems to complain – have the motivation to modify what bothers them. The doers won’t listen to complainers. It’s a waste of time. They see the complainers as a significant problem, so they eliminate complainers from their life. Problem solved.

Complaining shows ingratitude. If you are reading this blog, you have access to or own a computer, tablet, or smartphone. If you make more than minimum wage, you earn more than approximately 92% of the world’s population. If you know where your next meal is coming from, and you know it will be within hours instead of hopefully in the next day or so, you are blessed. When I ponder the incredible abundance of my life, it overwhelms me. If I focus on all I have, it becomes nearly impossible to complain. Complaining shows an ungrateful heart, discontentment, and an all-around bad attitude.

I want to be strong, motivated, and grateful, not a complainer. The Lord knows I might need some help with that at certain times in my life. Thankfully, He’s up to the task.

What do you think complaining shows?

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4 Responses to '3 Things Complaining Shows'

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  1. Linden, I think complaining shows a bitter and/or ungrateful spirit, and that’s only going to poison a person. Ingratitude is easy, addictive, and a slippery slope. Thanks for this post.


    • Amen, Janet. And it’s so easy to stand at the top of that slope and let go sometimes. Definitely a constant struggle. Thanks for the comment. Have a blessed weekend.

  2. Marji Laine said,

    I agree with all of your points. I think the root of complaining lies in a self-absorbed attitude. When I’m focused on my own needs, it’s easy to be drawn into the complaining department. Likewise, I think the solution to a complaining, ungrateful spirit – aside from repentance – is focusing on others and helping someone else. When I’m thinking of others, I don’t have mind space to settle on myself.


    • That’s for sure! There’s little time to complain when you’re serving. I think that’s when I’m most at peace with other people, situations, etc. Thanks for the comment. You are so right!


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