Stop complaining with this but challenge.

Years ago I worked with a woman whose husband would regularly win trips through his work to 5-star resorts. This couple went to some amazing places, yet when I asked the woman about her trip the answer was always the same.

His response was ‘it was a great – but’. She was a lovely woman but the more time I spent with her I came to realize something. There was always a but, always some flaw in whatever she had experienced no matter how incredible it was.

How many times have you heard someone say something like – it was wonderful but?

How many times have you said something like this yourself?

The problem is once people start talking about that one ‘but’ topic within five minutes dozens of other issues suddenly come spilling out. It opens up a negative can of worms.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, sometimes it is easier to talk about our problems rather than our joys. I’m guilty of this one myself.

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So how do we stop that negative part of ourselves, the ‘but’ from taking over?

Here are my thoughts on how to stop or at least decrease the number of ‘buts’ in our lives.

Be aware of your dialogue

As I’ve mentioned in a few other posts, you can’t stop a behavior that you are not aware of.

First up you need to start listening to yourself. Pay close attention to the words you are saying out loud as well as to the endless dialogue that rattles around in your head. Notice how often you use the word but in that particular context. You might be surprised!

Related postHow To Be More Self-Aware and Why It’s Important

Stop seeing the worst in everything

Let’s face it, some people can go to a 5-star resort and see nothing but flaws.

Some people like to complain – a lot.

I’d strongly advise not being one of these people because others might not enjoy being in your company for very long. Constant complaining brings people down, it sucks the energy and life force out of people.

Related postHow to Deal with Negative People

When there is a problem downplay it

Let’s stick with the holiday example. Even 5-star resorts will have problems. We are all human, we make mistakes, and we all have our bad days. Sometimes things go wrong. Cut people some slack.

Downplay a small problem instead of turning it into the center of conversation. Don’t let it ruin or tarnish your whole experience.

Granted if there is a major issue you should bring it to the attention of the people in charge. They will appreciate the feedback if the complaint is delivered professionally and politely.

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Don’t drag others down with you

Have you noticed when someone picks out something negative about an experience and shares it with other people, those people are usually pretty quick to jump on board with their own horror stories or bad experiences?

We see this as a bonding exercise (which it can be) but we need to make sure we don’t take it too far.

I’ve noticed these sorts of conversations are common with large groups particularly when they have known each other a long time (think work colleagues and long-term friends). A common theme is to talk/complain about a particular person (often someone who isn’t present at the time). I know it can be easy to join in but try to resist. These conversations can turn ugly and are not something you want done to you in return.

Stop trying to have the worst life

I know that seems like a weird headline but sometimes people seem to be competing for the prize of ‘most miserable’.

Sounds crazy I know – who would want to be miserable? Yet it does happen, particularly when people are going through a hard time in their lives.

Related post – How to Break Out of a Victim Mentality Part 1

Talk about the good stuff

If there is one surefire way to nip negativity in the bud, it’s by being positive.

Talk about the good stuff folks!

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Tell everyone how fantastic an experience was. Go into glorious detail about the wonder of it all. Being enthusiastic is contagious!

Be happy and express appreciation for every amazing opportunity and adventure.

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Read Next – How to Make Yourself Miserable – 15 Behaviors That Will Make You Miserable