No Complaining

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No Complaining

Emily Keown, Editor In Chief

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As someone who likes to verbally tell people how much they dislike things, I decided to see if no complaining for three days would have an impact on my life. So I tried my best to eliminate all complaints from my speech. This turned out to be more difficult, with less effect on my life, than expected.

I began this experiment by asking people what defines a complaint. Throughout the three days, this was my biggest struggle.

According to, a complaint is, “an expression of discontent, regret, pain, censure, resentment, or grief; lament; fault finding.”

Elijah Schott defined a complaint as, “A statement or suggestion that deals with situations or circumstances that are unfair or difficult; it often is used to gain the pity or sympathy of others, or to inspire others to change the certain situation/circumstance.”

The first day, I found myself confused on what I can say and what I can’t. An example, is “I’m tired”. Is it a complaint or simply a fact that could explain why a mood could differ from normal?

Although Elijah said that a complaint can be beneficial, other people explained that a complaint is something that doesn’t need to be said. If it does not better the other person, then I should not say it during the three days.

The first day was easy going. I was wrapping my head around what was a complaint and what wasn’t, but besides that, it wasn’t too difficult. Throughout the day, I was able to catch myself almost typing a complaint text a few times and reword the messages to allow it to not sound like a complaint or I deleted it all together. This, however, was not the case in person. I tried to keep complaining to a zero, but I caught myself slip a few times.

My biggest complaint that I heard come from my own mouth was, “I’m sore.” But, if I’m honest I’m not sure if I was really complaining about it or stating it in order to make myself feel better because I actually worked out.

The second day was both harder and easier. Now that I had a grasp of what was a complaint and what wasn’t, I felt like I understood my experiment much more. The issue with day two was, well let’s just say it was a mentally taxing day. That Wednesday proved to be a rough day for me. As the day felt negative, I wanted to as well, but I couldn’t complain so I felt forced to be positive when I wasn’t.

Not complaining made me think more positively when I didn’t want to, and it really forced me to think about whether or not it is actually necessary to voice my complaints. Even after realizing this, the first words out of my mouth when I came home were, “I’m tired.” It just slipped out and I couldn’t help it but I personally let that one slide because it was building up all day and was a hard one to keep back.

The last day seemed to go easier. I got used to the flow of things and although I did still end up complaining a few times, I still felt improved. I even noticed myself pointing out others complaining in the halls. But, as someone pointed out to me, one of the first things I said that day was, “I’m cold.” Granted I’m practically a Floridian and 25 degree weather is not something we’re used to.

Going into this, I expected one of two things. One was that not complaining was going to eliminate negativity and I would be more positive and more people will notice this ‘new me’. The other option (which I found more likely) was limiting what I said was just going to frustrate me and make things worse. I received a mix of both.

I learned that people shouldn’t change in order to fulfill something. I’m almost positive no one even noticed my fewer complaints, so did it really make a difference?

Clearly complaining is something that is common and doesn’t need to be completely eliminated from one’s life, however, limits can benefit someone. I realized that those small, non-profitable comments could be kept to myself and it will overall brighten my day if I do.