Complaining is the fuel that fuels many personal conflicts. One of the keys to overcoming conflictive experiences is precisely to stop living installed in the complaint and learn to take care of the real needs that are hidden behind this attitude.
The complaint is reminiscent of the infantile cry with which we try to move the world, our mother, to take care of us. It is a natural and healthy expression of our feelings. Of course, yes. But the complaint can turn into harmful behavior if it is installed in our lives already in adulthood. Because every complaint contains within itself an unspoken need that remains implicit and it is the receiver of the complaint who is in charge of discovering and addressing said need. In this way, we become dependent and powerless beings who seek to be comforted by the arms of the world.
Continuing to maintain these childish attitudes as an adult, and anchoring ourselves to these archaic coping modes, has important consequences. For example, it is very likely that we will antagonize the people who listen to our complaint and find their refusal or that they withdraw their support.
Experiencing frustration, be it due to the loss of something or someone important to us, or for not having achieved a desired purpose or desire, is normal and is part of the experience of living. The problem is how we live it, the particular way of coping that we use in this situation, the particular way that we choose to express our feelings and our need.
THE COMPLAINT IS INNATE
Do you know what the first self-supporting behavior is, the first self-help act in our life? When we tried to get someone, most likely our mother, to take care of us. And we did it through an extraordinary mechanism that nature put in our hands: crying.
Generally, for a boy or girl who is in the first phases of his life, the world works according to two basic premises related to his well being. The first, someone has done something that has caused my frustration the second, someone has stopped doing something that I expected and that is why I feel bad.
Having established both premises, you get an obvious conclusion: someone is going to have to do something to stop this frustration; to regain my well-being I have to “ring the bell”, cry, and the world, my mother, will put her breast in my mouth to satisfy me, because she always feels empathy with this cry of mine and comes to my aid.
In this way, the baby’s cry, that primal complaint that we all launch as soon as we arrive in this world, fulfills a fundamental function: to attract the mother in search of food, affection, protection; draw their attention to satisfy those aspects that the little one cannot obtain by himself. His only responsibility, for the moment, will be exactly that cry, complain. And we say for the moment, because it will be so until the day comes when you have the appropriate resources to deal with the situation in a different way.
When the mother senses that her son’s crying is no longer the product of a lack of resources, honest helplessness or transparent pain for example when she asks to be carried in her arms when she already knows how to walk, she no longer attends so readily. and empathetic as she did months ago.
WHAT TO DO IF THE COMPLAINT IS INSTALLED IN OUR LIFE?
At this point, someone may think that if the complaint is an expression of pain, lament, sobbing, etc. all of us, in certain circumstances, continue to walk through life with the aim of being taken instead of exercising our legs. We continue, at certain times much more than we think – trying to mobilize those around us to take care of us.
But when we do not assume responsibility for our experience but rather delegate it to the other to help us be it the partner, the boss, life, God, luck, destiny, parents, we become passive beings who live relationships and all experiences in a one-way fashion, just like an infant the other gives or cares and I receive.
It is important that we manage to develop alternative behaviors, new ways of facing our needs that allow us a more responsible, healthy and mature expression of them.
Therefore, in these types of situations, ask yourself what is the message you want to convey with your complaint, what is the need that is hidden in that form of expression.
Do you need to feel more displays of affection from your partner? If so, analyze how you let them know is it a frank and open expression or, perhaps, a recrimination, a victimizing attitude? When you discover what your real need is, ask yourself if you want to convey it clearly and honestly.
Learning to ask, at certain times, that we need to be carried, far from becoming dependent children, transforms us into adults responsible for our own needs. At the same time, the fact of showing an honest attitude, of expressing our authentic needs, of taking responsibility for our lives, will give us something that only we, and no one else, can offer us, a more mature way of being in the world and relating to each other. with the rest.