How to combat complaints

One of my favorite magazines that I enjoy reading is called MORE. The sections that capture my attention the most are the stories of women who transitioned into following their passions. It's inspiring and as you know, I love stories like that.  

In a recent issue, they included a short blurb about a survey that readers could take and in it they expressed that "complaints are as welcome as compliments". Sure, that makes sense when you want to improve your magazine or store, your restaurant or customer service.

However, how true are complaints welcomed as compliments in our home or with our children? In relationships or parenting!?

I will be the first one to admit that I can't stand when someone is always complaining. It feels like they can never find anything wonderful to say. And being around them can just be toxic at times.

I can't change them, but I can change how I show up with 'those complainers'!

Why even bother??

Well, for one, complaints give us tremendous insight into what is not going so well, or what needs our attention. It gives us insight to an area where a person might not be feeling valued or heard.

If that is true, then how can we take it a step further, to go beyond simply tolerating the complaints and actually begin to welcome them?? Yup, that would be huge for me.

First, don't take the complaint personally! Be slow to anger and quick to listen. This is a hard one, because sometimes it can feel like a personal attack. Instead, make a choice to listen...really listen. Listen for what is being said AND listen deeper to what is not being said.

Next, get curious and ask for solutions. How might the complainer go about resolving the issue on their own? What would they do to make the situation the best experience possible? This way the person doing the complaining can actually move from a place of complaining to being a part of the solution!

There isn’t always a solution to complaints, and in those situations the best thing to do is to provide a safe space for them to share. Acknowledge them for sharing the complaint. Not everyone is so brave to share their real thoughts.

Think about those PTA meetings at school. You have a few parents who voice their complaints and the others will share their real thoughts once the meeting is over- privately. Often the complaints are a shared perspective by many in a group but only a few are bold enough to actually say something.

Our lives as moms are often surrounded by one complaint or another. And even in those moments you can thrive and engage it differently by viewing it as an opportunity to make improvements.

Today I want to encourage you to take one small step toward making your own improvements by taking the Thrive 365 quiz. This quiz will open your eyes to where you are now so you can begin to think about where you really want to be. Change starts with one small step, and I’ve made that step simple for you. All you need to do is enter your name and email above to download your copy of the Thrive 365 quiz.

To your moment,
Coach Sheeba