How to Transform Your Complaints Into Problem Solving Fuel in 21 Days

complaining and solving problemsIt’s easy to do.

I do it.

You do it.

Your kids really do it…

Everyone complains, but have you ever stopped to think what a complaint is?

What a Complaint Shouldn’t Be

Complaining is not venting.

Venting feels great because it releases the steam. But is it even to the right person?

Studies show that when we’re dissatisfied with certain products, 95% of us fail to complain to the company because we fear doing so will be annoying and time consuming, and we’re unlikely to get the response we want. We are equally avoidant when it comes to complaints to our loved ones. We fear voicing them will only lead to an argument and resolve nothing. Instead, we reach for the phone, call our friends and vent to them instead.

Psychology Today

After a while, we start to feel helpless because we don’t believe we can really change anything.

What a Complaint Is

A complaint is basically when you recognize a problem — when something doesn’t go just right for you.

The problems above arise because we simply stop at venting. People always say it’s good to vent, but even better than venting is thinking of ways to solve or avoid your problems we encounter from negative situations.

21 Days to Turn Your Complaints into Fuel for Problem Solving

I came across a simple, yet extremely effective way to eliminate action-less, negative thoughts out of your day, and become a problem solving machine.

By solving problems, you actively eliminate chances of the recurrent negative situations in our lives that turn us into broken records broadcasting the same complaints to our friends and loved ones day by day.

I recommend you read the whole article, but here it is in a nutshell:

Step 1

Define what a complaint is. The author uses one that I really like:

describing an event or person negatively without indicating next steps to fix the problem.

So basically, acknowledging a negative situation is completely fine, but only if you also think about a solution that prevents the same problem in the future. There are some good example in the original article.

Step 2

Put a bracelet or rubber band on one wrist. When you think or say something that doesn’t match the description of a complaint, move the bracelet to the other wrist and restart at Day 0.

That’s pretty much it.

Here’s a quick, funny story.

When I first heard of this, it was in the podcast. I was cycling around and heard him say, “You put a rubber band on your wrist, and when you complain, you just switch your wrist.”

Maybe it was because I was a little distracted with my cycling, but I thought he was talking about using the rubber band to pop your wrist if you complained… I guess that could be a pretty hardcore way to go about it, but I was glad to realize a few seconds later that he meant only changing wrists!

What do you think? Going to try a 21 day challenge for turning your complaints into fuel for solving problems in your day to day?

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Nate

Nate

Founder at LeafOut
LeafOut is an iPhone app that helps you easily track your experiences, fill your days with more gratitude, and look back on your life -- even if you rarely have the time to sit down and write about it.
Nate

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