You may be familiar with cognitive distortions. These distortions, as the name suggests, are inaccurate emotions or ways of thinking in which we convince ourselves that our thoughts are rational and accurate. These negative thoughts lead to negative feelings which keep us feeling bad about ourselves. You’ve heard the adage Misery likes company, that’s what happens. Can you see the cycle? These negative thoughts and feelings will, in turn, lead to negative behaviors. Can you just imagine being in a relationship with someone like this? I can. I have a friend who is like this, and it is very hard to have a conversation and try to remain positive.
One of the common negative behaviors is complaining. Ephesians 4:29 tells us to not let any corrupt words come out of our mouths. Complaining minimizes God and what He can do. It negates all He has done for us. If we complain now, we also reject future blessings. Complaining exaggerates the negative. We become the center of our life and believe everyone is here “for me”.
In the words of Bob Newhart, “STOP IT!” You have to watch his video clip on you tube.
Stop it! Stop complaining. We just feel like we have to, need to complain. We even feel entitled! Don’t focus on the negative. You won’t be able to get beyond it. Focus on something else- the positive!
My pastor presented an idea or technique once. He shared that we can wear a semi-snug, thin rubber band around our wrist. They’re inconspicuous, and no one should ask questions (if you’re concerned). Every time you have a negative thought or complaint, snap the rubber band on your wrist. It should sting a bit. This works as a negative reinforcer. It makes you aware of your behavior, and eventually will help you to curtail the behavior. Try it. Tell me about your experiences.