The end of complaining


A Complaint Free World issues a 21-day challenge to halt all complaining.  Author Valerie Frankel responded to the challenge by enlisting her family.  She even offered her daughters $100 at the beginning of the week.  Each complaint they made during the week cost them $1.  Whatever remained at the end of the week was theirs to keep.  Here she documents their first six days on the challenge, including her insights and observations.

It’s pretty interesting.  Since last week’s revelation, I’ve been working on nixing complaints.  Frankel considers it to be a viable and perfectly acceptable form of communication and ultimately found herself limiting her own expressiveness by not complaining.  While I do believe it’s important to express the full range of one’s emotions, it’s not what you do, but how you do it.  There’s a difference between pointing something out and harping on it.  We can express dissatisfaction without being consumed by the act of doing so. 

If complaining is purely a semantical issue, then perhaps it’s the difference between destructive criticism and constructive criticism. Constructive criticism is always necessary for positive growth.  The idea of saying absolutely nothing that falls into ‘complaint’ territory when there’s room for constructive criticism reminds me of the difference between being nice and being kind; nice is riddled with falseness, while kindness “allows us to take the big risk of letting people know what is on our minds in a way that is unclouded and respectful. It is an action of the heart,” Akaya Windwood explains.

My goal isn’t to stop complaining entirely; I will do that in a perfect world.  In the meantime, it makes sense to stop offering standard empty or destructive criticism in favor of constructive critism and to be mindful of all I have to appreciate from an experience.

Learn more about A Complaint Free World–the book and the organization– at

August 14, 2009 | filed under consider this, read this, thoughts 


One Response to “The end of complaining”

  1. Njambi on August 17th, 2009 1:50 am

    I must say that this book is coming at a great time in my life, Change! I’m excited to start reading! Thanks for posting it up! 🙂

    “Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom.
    Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.” – Lao Tzu

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