Motivation,  Personal growth,  Photo stories

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 always gripe and complain, you might find yourself sporting a negative attitude and extra frown lines in the middle of your forehead. When complaining becomes the norm — at home, in the workplace or in social circles — it’s hard to break the cycle.

Negativity is both contagious and repellent. But spending time with positive people — or problem solvers — can improve our outlook as well as our physical health. As renowned psychologist Susan Albers puts it, complaining is like a virus. It infects the mood of everyone around us. So before you launch another complaint or plan your next pity party, ask yourself: Will this 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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