When I was little I had a stuffed Eeyore. I loved the toy and I felt a real connection to the character. You see, I was a bit of a complainer, even at an early age. I am not sure if I picked this up along the way or if I was born with a melancholy disposition. As I have come to terms with this I think the former is probably the truest. Misery loves company and Eeyore seems to attract plenty of it even if that crowd often thinks we are obnoxious. One day I realized that this was miserable to be around. I began to dive into the reasons I had to complain and go after ways to either change my attitude or my life. We all have due cause to complain about something after all. I realized I could change more than I thought.
Add in social media and platforms for anyone to express themselves through blogs, podcast, YouTube and we have an overexposure of the uglies. It begins with feeling camaraderie with others who are complaining, but then quickly turns in to one big downer. I am not proposing that people should never have an opportunity to share their hurts to find support. However, I am challenging people to turn around and see how others are impacted by your outlook. Who wants to be around someone who constantly is complaining? And yes I have those days that I still sigh a lot (A former co-worker never believed me when I said I was just needing more oxygen those days). But I find I have much better connection with people when I can optimistically take on my day.
This post was first inspired by Gini Dietrich’s post on SpinSucks and by her link to Peter Bergmans post in The Harvard Business Review, both excellent read on the subject.