Complaining Vs Responding

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I think we, humans, have this peculiar habit of taking our complaints with us wherever we go. We not only carry them with vigorous labour, but also make many other people we meet, aware of them. Whenever something happens in our lives, we instinctively find external factors responsible for it and put blame on them. But what do we really achieve by being in complaining mode?

  • We disassociate ourselves from the situation.
  • We find various reasons for why something has happened.
  • We convince ourselves that the situation is not in our hands.
  • We feel victimized by the situation.
  • We do not feel responsible for taking corrective action.

Will we ever get the best out of the situation by complaining about something? How about we start responding to the situations instead? The basic step to start doing this is to take responsibility for everything that is happening to us and stop blaming it on others.

All that is happening to me is solely because of me, and not because of others. Not my parents, not my friends, but only me.

Once you are able to take responsibility of everything happening around you, you are suddenly flooded by the ways in which you can respond to the situation, which were unavailable to you in the first place if you were in complaining mode. You can choose any way to respond to the situation in, or you can choose not to respond. Ultimately, you have the choice. And this gives you freedom. If you felt victimized, you wouldn’t feel free.

Taking responsibility doesn’t have to burden you in any way. Responsibility is “Response + Ability”. Only when you take responsibility, you have ability to respond. Else, you are left to average things that will keep happening to you, which in most cases, not something that you want or are best for you.

We have already been practicing this art our whole life. But the only difference is we start responding only when it happens to others, and we start complaining when something happens to ourselves. Whenever our friend faces any difficulty in her life, we start thinking about all the solutions instead of complaining about the situation, but we don’t do the same when it’s about us.

Whenever we are playing a computer game, and an event happens which puts us in a slightly worse position, we don’t complain, but we respond in a way that will help us win the game!

Then why is it so difficult to do it during our own life events? Because we don’t feel responsible enough! But it shouldn’t be too hard to practice! Why don’t we start small and slow? Let’s start responding to all the events that happen to us instead of complaining and may be life will be much more fun game!

[This article is inspired by excerpts from the book ‘Inner Engineering‘ by Sadhguru]