Friday, November 6, 2009


I've been thinking, lately, about the way I communicate. That feeling I get when I feel someone really understands me, or the frustration I feel when I'm just not heard.

People are quick to boast "I don't complain", as if it really is something to be proud of. But to me, not complaining means not communicating and nothing good comes from not communicating.

If you go into a shop, and the shop assistant ignores you, treats you poorly or otherwise leaves you feeling pissed - then complain. If you don't, then the situation won't change - they'll treat another customer the same way, oblivious to the mistake they're repeating. When you complainicate, you give them the opportunity to change and you give them space to improve.

The same is true in our personal relationships. If you never complain when your partner leaves their towel on the floor, then they will never understand how much it irritates you, and they'll have no idea why you suddenly go postal after 15 years of it.

A few times recently, I've been reminded how important complainication is: SD and I are both tired, and stressed and worried. But until 2 weeks ago we both carried that stress for ourselves. We both worried about the highs and lows we felt in caring for our little lady, and both felt terrified about what that meant about our own state of mind.

Once we actually started to talk to one another, that fear was shared - shared in both the sense of balancing the load, and in the sense of being "heard".

All to often we carry our fears, complaints and worries alone. We say we're protecting those who care about us from the burden of our worries. We say we're "not complaining" as if that implies we're coping fine.

I disagree - bring on the complaints! Share your worries and fears. Acknowledge that you feel angry, scared, tired or stressed. Tell someone - complainicate. Trust me - you'll feel better when you do.