I find it funny that I'm writing this because I literally just wrote a post about how our generation is not as bad as people say and, yet, I'm about to throw us under the bus. 🙃Not just us (our generation), but our society as a whole has a problem: complaining.
First off, I'll say it's very easy to see this in others rather than myself. I 100% acknowledge this is "pot calling the kettle black". It's way easier for me to see X, Y, Z person is complaining.
Also, I do think it's important that people should be able to express their feelings. It's very healthy to do so.
With that being said, I've noticed that one of our (North America's) currently cultural narratives is complaining.
- Ski hill shut down due to Covid.
I challenge people who complain to not complain.
Complaining is soooooooo easy. But it's not very productive IMO. It has pleasurable first order consequences (it feels good to vent) but not as good second order consequences (it usually doesn't do anything about the problem itself. So now you have the problem + the bad feelings (anger, sadness, etc.) you've created for yourself.
I've noticed that many people who complain follow the BSL narrative. BSL = bad, stupid, lazy. For example, government X comes up with a policy that displeases people. People start complaining "The government is bad and all the politicians are stupid." That's like grade 3 explanation of why things are the way they are. There's probably more to the story. BSL is like literally the easiest justification for the way why things are the way they are and it probably does not accurately reflect reality.
Radical acceptance of what has happened. "This business has decided to only be open for 4 days a week due to Covid? Okay, given that, where can I find a complimentary store to fill in my needs for the other 3 days of the week?" Versus what I perceive is a lot of people going ape 💩that business D isn't open on Tuesdays anymore and getting angry about it. I'd respond to them being like, "Bro, I think the business people know more about their business than you do. And if they could be open on Tuesday, they probably would be. But there's a reason why they've decided to only be open 4 days a week and I trust that they have enough context on the situation to make an accurate decision." In this example, I don't think people realize that certain small businesses don't have the cash flow possible to be open everyday. Shutting down for 3 days a week is probably a strategy to percieve cash flow (and they've made a decision that this makes more sense then opening for the days that they could make more money).
Do not assume victim mentality. I'll need to research this one a bit more but there's a book on Stoic Philosophy called "The Guide to the Goodlife" which is great. In it, it talks about victim mentality and how, over the long-run, it can actually have some very negative second and third-order consequences.
It's funny but I used to be a big complainer (maybe still am and don't even realize it) + generally pessimistic. And it's funny because I used to think that me pointing out all the reasons why something would fail (a project at work for example) was actually a strength of mine. Naval always says to surround yourself with optimists and I didn't understand that before. But now I do. It becomes tiring being around complainers all of the time.
Written: October 28, 2020