Motivation,  Personal growth,  Photo stories

Managing the complaint department

“When you consistently maintain a positive frame of mind, you’ll become known as a problem-solver rather than a complainer. Most people avoid complainers. They seek out problem-solvers.” ~ Joseph Sommerville, PhD, The Five Keys to Interpersonal Success

Are you a complainer or a problem-solver? According to behavioral research, if you hang out with folks who frequently complain, you might find yourself sporting a negative attitude and extra frown lines in the middle of your forehead. Worse yet, when complaining becomes endemic — in the workplace or in social circles — it’s hard to break the habit.

This isn’t an invitation to pour pink paint or “positivity” on serious problems. But spending time with positive people (problem solvers) can improve our outlook as well as our physical health. As psychologist Susan Albers puts it, complaining is like a virus. It infects the mood of everyone around us. So before you launch another complaint, ask yourself: Will my grousing resolve a problem, improve the situation, or benefit others around me? ~CL

Photo by Cindy La Ferle

Throughout my career, I've worked as a book production editor, travel magazine editor, features writer, and weekly newspaper columnist. My award-winning lifestyles features and essays have appeared in many national magazines and anthologies, including Newsweek, Reader's Digest, The Christian Science Monitor, Writer's Digest, Victoria, Better Homes & Gardens, Bella Grace, and more. My weekly Sunday "Life Lines" column ran for 14 years in The Daily Tribune (Royal Oak, MI) and won a First Place (Local Columns) award from the Michigan Press Association. My essay collection, Writing Home, includes 93 previously published columns and essays focusing on parenthood and family life.

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