Is it Possible to Have a Complaint Free Life?

Nov 18, 2014 9:00:00 AM Michelle Monette Communicating

complaint_free_lifeHow many times a day do you think you complain or say something negative?   How does it make you feel?  Do you think your life could be better if you stopped complaining, gossiping and criticizing so much?   

A few years ago, a good friend of mine did a presentation on Rev. Will Bowen's book A Complaint Free World.  According to Rev. Bowen, the average person complains 15 to 30 times a day.  (Guilty as charged.)   There is some evidence that it takes 21 days to form a new habit.  So how do you form a new no-complaints habit?  The 4-step process sounds pretty simple:

1. Begin to wear the bracelet on either wrist.  (My friend actually gave out bracelets she purchased from the website, but you can use any bracelet, or even a rubber band.)

2. When you catch yourself complaining, gossiping, or criticizing, move the bracelet to the other wrist. 

3. If you hear someone else who is wearing a purple bracelet complain, it’s okay to point out their need to switch the bracelet to the other arm; BUT if you’re going to do this, you must move your bracelet first! Because you’re complaining about their complaining. 

4. Stay with it. It may take many months to reach 21 consecutive days. The average is 4 to 8 months.

So what is a complaint?  According to Rev. Bowen, it's and expression of pain, grief or discontent.  Of course it's okay - and sometimes even necessary - to express those things once in awhile, but for most of us, negative talk is a constant habit.   By the way, you don't have to switch your bracelet for thinking negative thoughts, just speaking them out loud.  But words are powerful things, and as your words become more positive, your thoughts should follow.  

The first time I tried to have a complaint free life, even though I really liked the idea, I didn't give it much effort.  Now it's time to start over.  Today I stopped counting at 8 complaints.  Tomorrow will be better.   

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