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Monday, August 30, 2010

Make Suggestions, Not Complaints

In the context of a conversation among friends up in Las Alpujarras (a well-known mountainous region near Granada) over the weekend, where we had gathered to attend a spectacular flamenco performance in the Moorish cypress-lined Generalife gardens of La Alhambra (recently visited by Michelle Obama - photos 7 & 10 are the best - and I do beg your indulgence for straying into such a touristy description of this country I love so much) on a moonlit night in celebration of Garcia Lorca's Poemas del Cante Jondo *, the topic of suggestions and not complaints came up.

When we complain we are voicing something negative. When we suggest we are voicing something that can very easily be positive, depending on the tone and choice of words used.

  • I can say what an awful day I've had or I can say perhaps if I look at what has happened today from another point of view, I can see it differently.

  • I can say why can't you ever do anything right? Or I can say let me show you how this can be done in a time-efficient manner.

  • I can say who do you think you are to speak to me this way? Or I can say speaking to me like that is not acceptable. Here's what would work for me, but if you can't respect that, this-and-this will be the consequence. (See also Do Your Relationship Boundaries Contribute To Your Well-being? or Finding it Hard to Love Yourself? Check Out Your Boundaries),

  • I can say I'm so drained, I've just spent nearly two hours listening to so-and-so speak about his/her problems and now I have no energy left or I can say the next time this happens I'll deal with it differently so that I am not drained of energy. (See also Emotional and Energetic Vampires).
In each of these situations we can choose how to view an event, how to react with regards to an event that has already occurred, or - we can even choose - during the course of the event - to deal with it differently, whether in how we react or how we think about it, or in the exact actions we take, so that after the event is over, there is no cause to complain at all.

There is also an audio clip from my old local radio show here in Marbella called The 21-Day No-Complaint Challenge . If you click on the link, then scroll down to the section called Awareness & Consciousness and in that section you will find the clip in question.

* If you are curious and wish to see a few minutes of the flamenco and song spectacle, click here for a brief video of it on YouTube

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