Reflections

28

September

2018

28th September 2018

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Complaining has also been shown to literally be contagious and acts similar to a virus. This results in an interesting statistic; the average person complains the equivalent of once a minute throughout the day.

As a staff, we have taken our theme “Setting Sail” and focused on four action steps to take as individuals that help encourage and enhance our community. These actions steps are organized in the form of an acronym for the word “Sail” with the first action being “stop the complaining.”

There are a number of personal and corporate reasons for us to try and lessen and stop our complaining. For the most part, as human beings, we tend to lean towards complaining. There are social reasons for this as nothing unites people faster than a common dislike. We can quickly feel included with others when we complain as that can create commonality between us. Complaining has also been shown to literally be contagious and acts similar to a virus. This results in an interesting statistic; the average person complains the equivalent of once a minute throughout the day.

The issue with complaining is that it is a downer for you and for those around you. For you personally, complaining has emotional, psychological, and even physical ramifications. Complaining has been shown to lower your immune system, increase your stress levels, and increase your blood pressure as well as other negative long-term impacts such as heart disease, diabetes, digestive issues, and weight gain. One of the articles I read for this post was actually titled “Complaining. Why it is literally killing you.” The unfortunate thing about complaining is that the more you do it, the easier it becomes. It literally re-wires your brain in such a way that complaining becomes easier and easier and more and more prevalent in your life. It’s a vicious cycle resulting in a downward spiral.

A question to ask is “If we never complain isn’t that unhealthy for us as well?” Yes and no. We do not want to create an environment where people feel they can never discuss issues of concern, frustrations, or needed improvements. There is, however, a difference between doing that and complaining and it simply lies in your personal motivation. The key here is your “why” or what is the purpose behind the “complaint”. Are you talking about it because you care about the person, you have genuine concern, or want to see improvements in them or the situation? Or is it for other reasons of personal gain.

Okay, so I understand that complaining has both negative effects on me personally as well as those around me, but what can I do about it? Here are a few strategies from the experts:

  • Add the word “but” to the end of your complaint. When you begin to hear yourself complain about something, end it with the word “but” and then add a positive statement. For example “I am sick and tired of my drive to work. . . . . but am thankful that I have a job that helps me provide for my family.”
  • Because complaining is contagious, separate or lessen your time around those who are chronic complainers.
  • Encourage a spirit of gratitude by taking a few seconds each day to make a statement regarding something you are grateful for.
  • When you start to complain, look for and ask the question “why?” When you see that your purpose for complaining is negative, challenge yourself to not say that complaint again.
  • Attempt a 24 hour challenge to not complain and see how you do.

As a community lets strive for things that build us up. Let’s “Set Sail” and do our best to stop the negative and destructive habit of complaining.

Written by Karl Steinkamp

Karl Steinkamp is passionate about Dalat International School and training up young people. Karl was a student at Dalat and returned with a degree in education as a student teacher, high school principal, and now Head of School since 2006.
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Recent Reflection Articles

Jumpa Lagi logo on black background

Jumpa Lagi

As we bring this semester and year to a close, let’s be excited by the idea that jumpa lagi may indeed be a prophetic statement for us all.

Pieces of the Puzzle

As we experience the missing pieces during this pandemic, we need to challenge ourselves to not let them become what we focus on.

A Big Sign - Dalat News Article

A Big Sign

As we journey through this pandemic, we are going to have days when we are discouraged, disheartened, and tired. As a community we need to keep encouraging each other.

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