Complaining about it is not productive

Whatever you are going through — relationship woes, career dissatisfaction, a flat tire — complaining won’t fix it.

However, complaining will:

  • Make you feel worse about the situation
  • Reinforce a respond-first versus a react-first mentality
  • Make those around you more miserable (and sometimes uncomfortable)
  • Zap precious time and energy from actually solving the problem

In my old field of study, complex processes were often looked at as a simple black box.

What went into the black box were called inputs and what came out were called outputs. Before we’d even attempt at changing the black box to create our desired outputs, we’d look at the relationship between the inputs and outputs.

If we change the input, how does that affect the output?

Let’s say you are driving to an important meeting and you get a flat tire.

You could complain about the situation (input) but doesn’t change anything about missing your meeting (output).

Instead, you can try different inputs such as:

  • Calling ahead to see if you can reschedule meeting
  • Calling AAA
  • Requesting an Uber and dealing with the car later
  • Asking a friend for a ride

The black box is the process of getting to a meeting on time. Don’t try to reinvent the black box (or complain about it), evaluate your inputs.

Complaining might feel good at first, but it is never a solution to your problem.