How different would your life be if you cut complaining out of it altogether? Is it even possible?
For the month of February, Leah Shapiro had one goal: no complaining.
“I think I just wanted to be more self-aware and mindful of what I was putting out there,” she says. Shapiro and more than 1,000 other people signed up for the Complaint Restraint project, established by Thierry Blancpain and Pieter Pelgrims. The goal? Creating a more positive life by eliminating negative statements. “There’s no secret sauce,” the website says. “Simply stop complaining.” But is it that easy? What’s so bad about complaining, anyway?
Griping comes naturally for us. During an average conversation, we lob complaints at each other about once a minute, according to research. There’s a social reason for that. “Nothing unites people more strongly than a common dislike,” says Trevor Blake, author of Three Simple Steps. “The easiest way to build friendship and communicate is through something negative.”