“Complaining about a problem without posing a solution is called whining.” (Teddy Roosevelt).
I run into quite a few whiners in my real estate business. Usually these are people complaining (whining) about their lives or what fate has done to them. They would rather whine than seek a solution, because they are looking more for sympathy than for resolution of their issues. Besides, it is easier to just stand (sit) there and go, “Woe is me”, than it is to actually try to solve their problems. For many this is behavior that we deeply ingrained during a childhood of whining to get what they wanted. They never outgrew the practice of just whining in place until someone comes to serve or comfort them. One can still imagine them standing in their little cribs whining and crying away the hours until mommy or daddy came to pick them up. Later they found that they could get treats or toys or whatever by continuing the practice of whining.
Now, as adults they have refined their whining techniques but continue to find whining to be a satisfying alternative to actually doing anything about their problems or needs. Whining is a display of the lack of maturity on the part of the whiner. Many have never accepted the fact that, at some point and some age, they became responsible for resolving their own problems. For them, the solution is always to keep complaining about things until someone else solves the problems or comes up with a solution.
I deal with a lot of divorce cases in my real estate business and the whole divorce scenario is prime whining territory. No one ever wants to admit that they might have been at fault; that there was something that they could have done differently to make it a better marriage; that perhaps they contributed to the problems more than to the solutions. They’d rather just whine about it and about the other person and how bad their life had become. Whining and divorce seem to go hand-in-hand.
Do you know some people who are whiners? Do you give in to their complaining or tell them to grow up and get over whatever it is that they are whining about? There are lots of Stop Whining or No Whining signs and posters available that are aimed at this practice. One can also challenge the whiner with the question, “Well, what are YOU going to do about it?” That is the key to really helping a whiner. Don’t commiserate with them; don’t show them the pity that they are seeking; in fact, don’t give them the shoulder that they are seeking to cry upon. If you really want to help them; then help them see that they need to accept the situation and try to find a way to resolve the issues or deal with it. Help turn them from a whiner into a winner. Help them grow up, fess up, own up and stand up. You’ll be glad that you did and they will be, too (maybe not right away, but eventually).
And, if you have a true friend who is brave enough to look you in the eye and tell you to stop whining and start doing something about things, value that friendship, because that person is doing you a big favor. What they are saying to you is – “Don’t be a whiner. Get your head straight and become a winner.” Thank you would be an appropriate thing to say back to them.
Have a great week ahead and remember – No Whining!!!