One of the first suggestions in the book is to have a complaining fast or a “no complaining day”. The purpose is to become mindful of the complaining you’re doing and redirect yourself. To do that, Gordon offers some suggestions and techniques. I’m going to summarize them in this post. You can find a downloadable poster with a detailed explanation here: http://jongordon.com/files/9514/8911/5696/NCR-Poster-3NoComplainingTools.pdf
First tip is the “but-positive” technique. When you catch yourself complaining about something, stop yourself and say “But…” and then add a positive. For example, “It is so cold outside! But…I am so blessed to live in a warm house”.
Next is the “get to instead of have to” technique. For example, instead of “I have to go to Enid tonight to pick up a prescription”, think “I get to go to Enid tonight and pick up a prescription. I am so lucky to have a car that can take me to Enid and I am so lucky to be able to buy my medication!”.
The third one is the “turn complaints into solutions” technique. There are two types of complaining: mindless complaining and justified complaining. With justified complaining, you identify the problem and then find a solution. “Every complaint represents an opportunity to turn a negative into a positive”.
In my next post, I will share Gordon’s alternatives to complaining. But for today, consider trying a “complaining fast” and try some of these techniques!