Friday, April 25, 2008

"Don't complain, don't explain."

These four simple words have accompanied me for decades. I can’t remember now where I read this quote, (if you do know, please leave a comment below) but they have made my life easier, comforted me in difficult times and bestowed grace on me.

This, of course, is about the “other” kind of complaining. Negative complaining.

Emotional complaining and being negative are not only a waste of time, it is bad for your soul. For more eloquent explanation of this, read “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle.

You know what I’m talking about. The kind of complaining that goes round and round, leaving you no better off. On the receiving end, you phone a friend and say, “How are you?” And man…you hear about it! What a downer.

Being negative doesn’t raise your spirits or get you what you want.

Secondly, you don’t need to explain yourself all the time to everyone. You don’t owe the world an explanation for everything you do or don’t do.

“I can’t come to dinner because my sister is arriving and she doesn’t have a car and my car is in the shop so I have to go to the airport to get her but the taxi is so darn expensive and I’m a little broke now because the paychecks at work got delayed because there was a power failure and the computers were down, and can you imagine we had to sit there steaming for the entire afternoon, which made me late…”

A simple, “Thank you so much for the invitation, but I can’t join you this evening.”

Tone of voice is everything. People sense authenticity and sincerity.

I’m not saying you can’t share the issues of your life with a friend (that’s what friends are for) …just not everyone. If a friend really wants to hear about your mood, your doctor’s appointment, the current drama in your life, they’ll let you know.

Someday you'll be going round and round, stuck in negativity...and these four words will spring up like a mantra to calm and simply your life, silencing the clutter of your mind.

“Don’t complain. Don’t explain.”

1 comment:

Niko said...

I just wanted to say that it's great to have all this advice and experience collected in one place - plus it's a great read!!
Keep going!