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Stop Complaining!

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Stop Complaining!

Postby Global Citizen » Sat, 16 Jun 2007 5:20 pm

I saw an episode on Oprah recently where she featured this pastor who advocates no complaining.

I would be less than truthful if I said I didn't have an ulterior motive here. Having been on quite a few sing-centric expat boards, this one is no different (and yes I acknowledge there are different degrees and then there's the AB) I've been privy to whinging and then some. What if its justified and what if it isn't? Are we becoming a world of whiners?

Having had the experience of being a trailing spouse (previously) and expat myself in a few places, do I complain as an expat abroad? Yes, but within perspective and certain limits as I try to be mindful of my host country's limitations although it can be very difficult and trying. My stress levels and almost burnt out phase that led to my little sojourn home should say something about my supposedly "laid back lifestyle." :lol: :roll:

I thought what could be more appropriate than sharing this here and opening it up for debate. Are people (expats or otherwise) going too far with their complaining and should we stop complaining and reflect on the positives? The pastor certainly seems to think so. Tell me what you think after reading the article.
http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stori ... 02770.html
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 16 Jun 2007 5:44 pm

GC,

Excellent topic! May I have your permission to move this to the Strictly Speaking forum? This is where it belongs.

Anyway, to start thing off, I would disagree. Not for the sake of disagreement but because I honestly feel that way.

I suffer from HPB (High Blood Pressure) I've had it around 8 years now and I know exactly what causes the bulk of it. It's because of HBP that I've done some reading in this area.

One of the major things I've learned especially within the male/female gender divide is that women are more apt to talk things out amoungst themselves and this is a release of sorts (It may not be a solution however but it does allow them to "get it off there chest" as it were). On the other had this tendency does not happen to the male normally. A male tends to keep things bottled up inside him until he has a heart attack, stroke or becomes an alcoholic) This often happens in divorces. How many divorced women alcoholics have you seen? Men? My point.

If we vent our frustrations, be they whinging against perceived injustices or wrong, we lower our bloodpressure at least temporarily, we feel good inside at having said what needed to be said and who knows, we may even put out food for thought that will change something that wants changing but nobody will admit to the problem.

I don't think bottling up what needs to be said can be healthy. All you are doing is containing thoughts, you are not eliminating them. I would love to be wrong here but anecdotally I believe I'm right. As far as the divorced example is concerned, I speak a lot from experience as well - having been divorced 2 times already. Holding your tongue once the though is there is unhealthy. We should temper what we say, not contain the thought.

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Postby Global Citizen » Sat, 16 Jun 2007 6:06 pm

By all means SMS, move it.

Great response btw and I'd agree on the personal relationship front. Good to get things off your chest provided you have a receptive partner who'll listen but what if the complaints are trivial and petty such as people shuffling their feet for instance? Yes I thought I'd heard it all, but I obviously hadn't.

Have we become so intolerant that we can't abide small things any longer? Deep down are we all reluctant to accept, never mind embrace our differences because we limit ourselves to thoughts like back home it's this or it's that, never giving ourselves a chance to feel any other way but discontented and dissatisfied with our lot?

edit: grammar
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Postby Plavt » Sat, 16 Jun 2007 6:42 pm

The Rev Will Bowen is just the type of guy who gets right up my nose; there are things that are wrong in the world and need addressing if not you can be sure that on many if not on all occasions further decay of a situation or object will ensue.

Here is a simple example but the same can be attributed to many other situations; recently I had a some trouble with a computer company's technical support department, despite having paid for a three year warranty I was not recieving the service paid for. Nobody with any sense is going to be happy paying for what they did not or are not getting at which I conclude the following statment to be utter nonsense;

It's you saying, 'There's something wrong with me.'
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Postby Plavt » Sat, 16 Jun 2007 6:50 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:One of the major things I've learned especially within the male/female gender divide is that women are more apt to talk things out amoungst themselves .


Slight digression; the reason is not surprising given the fact that women relate their lives far more than men do. Experiments have shown women in pairs or groups given tasks were more likely to fiddle with objects and talk to each other whereas men would just get on with it largely ignoring each other.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 16 Jun 2007 6:50 pm

Global Citizen wrote:......but what if the complaints are trivial and petty such as people shuffling their feet for instance? Yes I thought I'd heard it all, but I obviously hadn't.

Have we become so intolerant that we can't abide small things any longer? Deep down are we all reluctant to accept, never mind embrace our differences because we limit ourselves to thoughts like back home it's this or its that, thus never ever giving ourselves a chance to feel any other way but discontent or dissatisfied with our lot?


:oops: I just replied to that thread. Wasn't nasty but was a takeoff on a particularly local trait that has been well published in the papers.

Is it intolerant when we see mindless zombies that block the escalators and thereby create a potentially very very dangerous situation? Stopping at the top of an escalator with other still coming up would only take on old auntie or uncle to fall and disaster strikes. Same with the complaints on MRT courtesy, would only take one to get dragged because a piece of cloth got caught (not thick enough to cause the rubber sensor to stop the vehicle.

But these are only examples.

Back to the Topic..........

These are not the problem. Your original post is about "Not complaining at all". As it is human nature to complain, things will rapidly "go to hell in a tin cup" as the old saying goes. Think about it. Will there be 100% acceptance of this idea? No way. Enormous numbers of people will use it to their advantage. When you see something that is not right or not cool or not socially acceptable do you just keep quiet?

If you say nothing, you are giving tacit agreement/acceptance that what that person is doing is okay as far as you are concerned. This is the problem in Singapore ("It's not my business" or "I might get bashed up!"). So much so that the Senior Minister when he was Prime Minister, said that Singaporeans will never change unless you make them change. Unless you tell them that their anti-social habits aren't going to be tolerated. This is from the Prime Minister mind you!

If you don't disagree then you are saying it's alright to do so.

I want to want to read input from our other poster here. Maybe when I get back tonight there will be some. Now the Kids & Mom are taking Dad out for Dad's day a night early. :mrgreen:

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Sat, 16 Jun 2007 10:24 pm

Great topic, GC.

I'm all for the pastor's initiative. And although SMS' point is valid, I think what the pastor is driving at is not to keep things bottled up, but rather to make an attitude adjustment instead and not even think the negative thoughts.

For example, if an old auntie were standing at the top of the escalator blocking everyone else, then instead of complaining "Some people are so stupid / inconsiderate / clueless / (your own expletive)" an alternative thought may be "Maybe I should lead her away from this area myself" or "I'm lucky to have spatial sense because not everyone is blessed with it" or "How can escalators be better designed so we don't have this problem?"

Venting is different, and I agree this is necessary in times of personal emotional trauma eg relationship problems, career setbacks, mid-life crisis etc to help us process our emotions and begin the healing process. But the constant whinging about relatively trivial matters like bad driving, weather, poor service etc is just that - whinging, and not venting. In my book anyway. I personally need to vent a few times a year when something major happens. But I think GC and the pastor are talking about people who complain as a daily habit.

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Value Addition

Postby Shankar » Sun, 17 Jun 2007 12:56 am

Global Citizen wrote:Have we become so intolerant that we can't abide small things any longer? Deep down are we all reluctant to accept, never mind embrace our differences because we limit ourselves to thoughts like back home it's this or it's that, never giving ourselves a chance to feel any other way but discontented and dissatisfied with our lot?
edit: grammar


Let me post some abstract lines which probably address things from various dimentions.

=> Idle Mind is a devil's workshop. Technology has given us time and varied problems as well. The world is also facing a literacy idleness... we get to know things which we are unable to use in real life and that starts making noise like a marble in a empty vessel.

=> Complaining is feedback. We have to complain only to those who can do something about it. Complaining constantly to wrong people, makes us only brood over it.

=> most often we demand things from those who don't have it. This includes god as well, for he has already given everything.

=> A situation or calamity is an opportunity for a work around, which can make even the current main system which failed to be sidelined.

=> Keep a notepad and write down our complaints about life and ask what if the next generation OR someone else asks us the question ? if time permits, start answering the question, which is when we will know how so many things depend on so many other things to fall in place.

=> Developing empathy helps a lot and wins people.

=> Learning to Analyse the situation helps a great deal. If the complaint is not simple, start writing a letter rather than using the hotline.

=> Everyone is good in written english because it is unaccented. Our own accent is the prime cause that frustrates the other, which in-turn bounces back to frustrate us.

=> adamancy and instant demand puts pressure all the way and can cause a burst somewhere along the pipeline.

will add more when I think of any.

Cheers!!!
Shan
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Heater Problem

Postby Shankar » Sun, 17 Jun 2007 1:20 am

I see that this incident that happened recently has context here.

I moved into my new apartment last november and a few weeks back I heard the sound of "water running into the siphon" in my bathroom. I just ignored it a few times thinking it must be residual water. But once I heard it in the afternoon when I was just passing by and found how does this happen when all taps are closed.

So I opened the lid of the siphon and suddenly felt hot steam in my hands. Hey.. how come this is hot water ? so quickly turned back to find that the water heater switch was on. Since keep myself abreast with electricity & electronics, I knew that the thermostat must have spoiled & that the water is overflowing. As suspected, the water stopped about 10 minutes after I switched off. But to change it I called the Electrician, who came by to take a look and I had left the heater on and the water was flowing through.

He took a look and came down and said "Sir, it is a leak from the outlet pipe going to your bathtub. To rectify we have to tear down the floor and replace the outlet pipe"..

I asked him, have you checked the thermostat, for which he said " in modern technology heater will not work, if thermostat fails. so thermostat should not be the problem, since we get hot water.

Made sense since the pipe for the bath tub runs that way..

But then I asked him one question "Do you think the Architects are so intelligent that they make a water leak from a normal pipe, go into a siphon ? " or "is there anyother pipe coming direct to siphon"

That is when he started scratching his head .. went up to take a look again and said "Yes Sir, there is a overflow pipe which is hot.. " and "yes sir, you are right, the thermostat must be spoilt, so heater is not going off, so water is boiling over into the overflow pipe.

So I told him previously Heaters had whistle or pressure release wall, that can fail and create a blast when steam builds up.. So they must have changed the system to a siphon technology , so there is no lid on top and the water is allowed to boil over...

All this I told him without taking a single look at the heater or the model.

Now imagine what can happen, when we fail to analyse the situation we are in.

Cheers!!!
Shan
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Postby earthfriendly » Sun, 17 Jun 2007 5:50 am

May I complain that the article is too long and I have no time to read it ? Next time please post a shorter article. :P


Wind In My Hair wrote:For example, if an old auntie were standing at the top of the escalator blocking everyone else, then instead of complaining "Some people are so stupid / inconsiderate / clueless / (your own expletive)" an alternative thought may be "Maybe I should lead her away from this area myself" or "I'm lucky to have spatial sense because not everyone is blessed with it" or "How can escalators be better designed so we don't have this problem?"



I like your positiveness and OP for starting this thread. But do we really have time nor patience to teach 4 million (yeah a somewhat exageration) people on how to walk and behave just so to facilitate the human traffic? Eventually, it is going to wear one out trying. Singaporean themselves complain about stress living on the island. It is little things like that that contribute to the overall stress level.

But of course there are many ways to express one's rants. A put-down tone vs diplomacy.

I also believe that positive thinking can have a positive effect in one's life. Placing focus on what's going well in one's life and counting ones' blessings rather than asking for more, bigger, better and insisting on one's right allthe time. Learning to be at one with oneself and your surrounding even when you are dumped on the worst place on earth. As the saying goes "Contentment is Bliss"!

Hmmnnnn... in regards to your comments on better escalator designs, perhaps they can have split paths on top of it just like a "Y" junction. Turn to left arm for those interested in continueing their journey and the aunties who interested in pursuing their conversation can proceed to the right so they don't halt the moving traffic. LOL, speak about positive thinking. :P

Wind In My Hair wrote: But I think GC and the pastor are talking about people who complain as a daily habit.


I think we need to recognize that it takes all kinds to make this world, including non-productive whiners. :P . I complain to Mr. EF all the time that he should give me a bigger allowance, eat out every meals, hire a live in, allow me to indulge in all the shopping my heart desires. I even complain about his hairy chest and hinted he should get it waxed. :P . He can either live with it or once he reaches his breaking point, he may decide to move on to greater things (or woman) :cry: . Such is the nature of life. It is filled with very complex human interaction and dynamism.

But on the other hand, perpetual complainers may have some issues themselves. And their constant complainings may just be manifestation of their general unhappiness about their lives. To which I don't think we are able to go around helping everyone fix their lives or their ailments. Then for expats living in SG, there's also the element of cultural shock. Some transplant better than others and I think SG is harder for westerners (vs asians) to adjust to. And these people do need a place to vent or they may become walking dynamites, waiting to explode.

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length

Postby Shankar » Sun, 17 Jun 2007 11:09 am

earthfriendly wrote:May I complain that the article is too long and I have no time to read it ? Next time please post a shorter article. :P

Hi EF, your complaint is not specific as to which article's length you are referring to. ?
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Postby earthfriendly » Sun, 17 Jun 2007 11:22 am

Hmnnn...how do I say this ....but you are barking up the wrong tree. I was referring to OP's posted article.

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You have a book to Author.

Postby Shankar » Sun, 17 Jun 2007 11:29 am

Global Citizen wrote:
Having had the experience of being a trailing spouse (previously) and expat myself in a few places, do I complain as an expat abroad? Yes, but within perspective and certain limits as I try to be mindful of my host country's limitations although it can be very difficult and trying. My stress levels and almost burnt out phase that led to my little sojourn home should say something about my supposedly "laid back lifestyle." :lol: :roll:


Hi GC,

I see that you have a great opportunity to Author a book. You already have a title "Trailing Spouse". You can very well document all the mood swings you have been through. Either you can shape the book as a "Problem narration" or as a solution to future Trailing Spouses.

As an individual, we are forced to re-invent life in many ways. We often end up in situations, which was passed by or by passed , by our predecessors who did nothing about it. Your book can as well become the hertitage for your family.

Once you start, you will know that occupancy is not in employment and that it is in the mind. By authoring, we will also realise that "There can be no better critic in this world, than ourselves."

Cheers!!!
Shan
recently attained my Nirvaana and became a Budha.

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Sun, 17 Jun 2007 4:13 pm

earthfriendly wrote:But on the other hand, perpetual complainers may have some issues themselves. And their constant complainings may just be manifestation of their general unhappiness about their lives. To which I don't think we are able to go around helping everyone fix their lives or their ailments. Then for expats living in SG, there's also the element of cultural shock. Some transplant better than others and I think SG is harder for westerners (vs asians) to adjust to. And these people do need a place to vent or they may become walking dynamites, waiting to explode.


I didn't mean we need to change the world. Just ourselves. By not complaining so much. Moreover, relocation counts as a major event and so warrants venting during the adjustment phase. However, I think that if the "venting" goes on for years then it just means the person cannot adapt and should consider going home since the expat life doesn't suit him / her. To stay on and continue complaining is just a bad habit.

And I liked your idea about the Y-shaped exit escalator design! Better yet, extend the end portion of the escalator and have multiple exit points along the end (comb or fishbone design) so you can avoid exits obstructed by aunties. Ha, we should both be architects! :D

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Postby ScoobyDoes » Mon, 18 Jun 2007 2:47 pm

Isn't the Pastor simply complaining that everybody complains so much? If you think he is only expressing an opinion, then what's the difference?

Not really the most reliable source then, don't you think.


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