You’ve just come home from a long day at work where you’ve had to discipline some people who think they own the place, having dealt with a resistant HR department, and have been told to improve efficiency and reduce costs further. Your team already think they’re doing the job of 2 people.
It’s easy to become acutely stressed at this point. Dealing with these pressures over an extended period of time, can take a toll on the best of us. It’s also easy to take these issues home with you. It’s also natural to want to share these things with your family, your partner and friends.
Misery Loves Company
Perhaps you’ve also been supporting your friends with their challenges and issues. There’s that old saying “misery loves company” and is the cause of us having “pity parties”. The thing is, most of us are not aware that we’re doing it. You’re smart enough to know that constantly moaning or whining is not going to get you results.
The first step is observation. Take time to observe the conversations between you and your closest peers and family. Is the conversation positive or negative? Are people complaining about their problems constantly? Remember, it is normal for us to share our problems, but not if it becomes a constant stream of negativity about the same thing without any change over time.
Next observe whether you are contributing to this with your own issues, in a manner where the problem is discussed but not the solution. Are the others giving you solutions to your problem or reacting in a “poor you” manner? Are you offering solutions to their problems? Are they even looking for solutions or are they just letting off steam (either intentionally or unintentionally)?
Of course it’s entirely possible that you’re just in the company of too much whine and not the person doing the whining. Unfortunately, people rub off on us, so we must be careful to not become part of the same mentality.
A Mental Shift
Sometimes it’s easier to help others than ourselves. But sometimes it’s best to try and set an example. Next time you catch yourself complaining about something, ask yourself the question – Is this something you have a solution to? Can you come up with a solution? Can you adapt to the situation or change it?