How Long Could You Go Without Complaining
Baseball fans are gearing up for the World Series, but we all know what's the real national pastime: complaining. Could you go without griping about anything for a day? For a week?
A couple of editors at Slate's Double X women's site are trying to go a whole month without complaining. Both Jessica Grose, managing editor, and Hanna Rosin, founding editor, say on the site that they've grown concerned about over-relying on complaints in getting through their juggles Ms. Grose is newly engaged, Ms. Rosin married with three young children. Over the course of their efforts, the two realize how much of their interactions with friends and colleagues are based on the common currency of complaining.
Ms. Grose recounts a recent pleasant drive during which she realized she was enjoying a good moment in her life and had nothing to complain about which led to "a twinge of panic" at the very fact of having nothing to complain about. "This shining moment of whine-free living made me realize how much kvetching I do on a daily basis. If I am honest with myself, I would estimate that about 70% of the things that come out of my mouth are gripes. Good-natured，often, but still nonessential and sometimes obnoxious to others."
So Ms. Grose decides to "try to stop complaining entirely about small things and quit excessively complaining about the bigger ones," for a month. She enlists her boss, Ms. Rosin, in the effort to reach a state of more "mindful complaining," as Ms. Rosin terms it.
Ms. Rosin relates her own tale of addiction to complaints: After she griped about keeping up with her children's complex schedule of after-school activities, her husband made up a weekly schedule and posted it on the fridge. "I nearly killed rum. Honestly, it was our most dramatic marital fight to date. Why was I angry with him? It took me a few days to figure it out. Because by helping to solve the problem, he had robbed me of my God-given right to complain."
I certainly join Ms. Grose and Ms. Rosin in spending a fair amount of time complaining, especially at work. As we've written about before, at some workplaces, people end up spending more time kvetching about work than actually working. Most of our gripes there these days center on our new publishing system, which remains a bit buggy after five months of use. But there's some modest enjoyment in commiserating about an experience we're all going through together, and for the most part I'm fortunate not to have truly awful work woes to complain about, my co-workers are talented and conscientious，and the section we produce is something we can be proud of.
I have few serious complaints at home, either. We have the usual little squalls, but my wife and I often remark how much we enjoy our children, our friends and each other. I try to look on the bright said most of the time, so I feel like whatever complaining I do isn't a debilitating problem in need of aggressive correction.
How about for you? What are the sources of your biggest complaints? Do you think you complain too much at home or at work, and could you see making a concerted effort over some period of time to cut back? Do you think you could go on a complaint fast?
女性网站Slate's Double X的几个