A recent article in the Wall St. Journal, “For a Nation of Whiners, Therapists Try Tough Love”, has created quite a stir in the psychological community. The author advocates that therapists should provide ‘tough love’ for their clients, firing those who can’t stop complaining. “Crybabies be gone!” is her rallying cry. A bit harsh, I’d say. This psychologist believes that a little bit of whining is good for your health. Here's why:
Health experts say that one or two glasses of wine a day is good for you but more than that should be avoided. I think that’s true for all kinds of whines. After all, life can be frustrating. We have to have some way to let off steam. When things don’t go your way, what’s a person to do? A little whining may actually improve your outlook on life."It's not fair!"
"I was ripped off!"
"She shouldn't have done that!" You complain, you grumble, you tell your story to one or two empathetic people and amazingly, you feel better. Astonishingly simple and effective therapy! But habitual whining? Well, that’s a whine of a different color. More than one or two whines a day grates on others' nerves, creates a victim mentality for you and holds you back from finding more mature ways to express yourself. If you're a parent, you know that most kids have upgraded whining to an art form. Because nothing is as annoying as persistent whining, all but the most stoic of parents give in to their kids’ outrageous demands just to get them to shut up. Like many other childhood behaviors, however, whining becomes quite unattractive in adulthood. We understand that young children have few options to get what they want except by manipulating their parents. Adults, however, can and should develop better ways to express themselves, figure out how to get what they want and cope with the realization that life does not revolve around them. If you wish to be a winner, not a whiner, limit yourself to just one or two whines a day. When you've reached your limit and feel stymied about what else you could do, here are a few suggestions: · When problems arise, look for solutions. · When disappointments occur, take it in your stride. · When others annoy you, shrug it off. · When a situation needs to be addressed, speak up in a confident voice. Habitual whining is simply not the way to go - unless you have a bizarre desire to make whining your pinnacle achievement!
Linda Sapadin, Ph.D. is a psychologist in private practice. She specializes in helping people enrich their lives, enhance their relationships and overcome self-defeating patterns of behavior. She is the author of 5 self-help books, including the recently released “HOW TO BEAT PROCRASTINATION IN THE DIGITAL AGE: 6 Unique Change Programs for 6 Personality Styles. Check it out on Amazon. To subscribe to Dr. Sapadin’s FREE E-newsletter, visit http://www.PsychWisdom.com Contact her at LSapadin@DrSapadin.com