Chronic complaining distorts your perspective.
It makes you instinctively zoom in on the negative while ignoring the positive aspects of being alive.
(Your brain loves the path of least resistance.)
Before long, you develop a pessimistic mindset, and your joy goes out the window.
All because you’ve taught yourself to dwell on grievances rather than gratitude.
People who are genuinely happy never complain about these 9 things.
Might I suggest following their example?
1) The weather
The weather is a common social topic, but it’s rarely worth complaining about.
You can’t do anything to influence it, and letting it ruin your mood is unwise.
Natural disasters aside, there is no such thing as bad weather – only inappropriate clothes.
Wear layers, pack an umbrella/hat, and don’t allow the (lack of) sun to turn your smile into a frown.
Not even when you’re on vacation.
Happy people don’t. They adapt.
2) Minor inconveniences
Complaining about minor inconveniences makes you focus on the bad bits of your day rather than appreciate the good.
Inconveniences are temporary and often insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
By complaining about them, you make them seem larger than they are.
A few examples:
- Traffic jams (listen to feel-good music or an educational podcast)
- Waiting in line (catch up on social media updates)
- Negligible delays (take a deep breath and go to your happy place)
- Spilled coffee (buy/make another)
- Noisy neighbors (earplugs!)
- Misplacing things (if the thing is replaceable, it’s not the end of the world)
It’s natural to feel annoyed when this stuff happens.
But if you act like the universe is plotting to ruin you because your bus arrived 10 minutes late, you’re a drama queen wasting precious energy.
You know what helps? Applying the will-it-matter-in-five-years rule.
If you don’t think that the problem stressing you out will affect you in five years, it’s not worth the frustration.
The only things that still get to me nowadays are tech glitches.
Give me a slow internet connection or a laptop on its dying legs, and I crumble.
I’ll call my two friends to complain, curse my bad luck, and allow this inconvenience to detract from my regularly scheduled bliss.
I’m a flawed human who is working on it.
I’m guessing you complained enough about your ex when you were together.
Why would you still do it now, when they’re out of your life?
You typically go through a grieving period when you break up with someone.
You experience intense feelings, try to make sense of what went down, and process the loss.
However, once you enter your healing era, nothing good comes from whining about the failed relationship.
Quite the opposite happens.
Complaining requires you to relive conflicts and negative emotions, which hinders your ability to move forward.
It can also put you in victim mode and give you the impression that you cannot take control of your own life.
Remember that closure is a personal journey. It takes time to reach a place where you no longer care about unanswered questions or lingering emotions.
Unproductive rumination won’t get you there.
All that it does is keep you stuck in the past.
4) Past mistakes
Speaking of the past, people who are genuinely happy never complain about it.
They know you can’t change what has already happened.
Instead of obsessing over past mistakes, direct your energy toward making amends and becoming a better person.
If you focus on developing a growth mindset, you understand that messing up is a part of life and recovering from failure builds resistance.
While everyone experiences regret, it’s mentally healthier to acknowledge wrong choices, learn from them, and not repeat them in the present or future.
Happiness will soon follow.
5) Lack of social media likes
I am not one of those who advocate you ditch social networks because they destroy your attention span.
That said, complaining about a lack of social media likes is plain silly.
(Unless, maybe, if you’re an influencer.)
In real life, whether five or 500 people like your post doesn’t make much of a difference.
In fact, measuring your worth against arbitrary online metrics hurts your mental health:
- It can lead you to compare your social media numbers with others’, affecting your self-esteem
- Excessive focus on clout can distort your self-image
- Social media is fun – and being preoccupied with metrics decreases your enjoyment
- It can distract you from fully engaging in real-life experiences
- It may lead to inauthentic behavior, like jumping on trends you don’t like to gain popularity
Genuinely happy people don’t feed on external validation.
Their contentment comes from within.
I used to hate my birthday.
Celebrating it was fun until I turned 25, then it became a hassle. Things got worse once I reached my 30s.
Instead of acknowledging the fact that I’m wiser with each year, I dwelled on the things that were suddenly out of my grasp:
- Drinking too much alcohol for two nights in a row (why would I even want to do that?)
- Clubbing (why is the music so loud?)
- Pulling an all-nighter (I would need approximately 12 business days to recover)
- Uncomfortable shoes (never worth the trouble)
- Suddenly having issues with processing cheese (this one still bugs me)
I complained about my joints, being perpetually tired, and having too many responsibilities.
But then, a shift happened, like an epiphany of sorts.
I can’t explain it, but instead of whining about my age, I started to feel grateful for each passing year.
Aging is an inevitable part of life.
When your birthday is around the corner, it simply means you were lucky enough to experience the world for another year.
That’s worth celebrating in my book.
7) Other people’s success
Genuinely happy people never complain about others’ success.
They’re only in competition with themselves, and they know that someone else’s windfall doesn’t affect their own chances of succeeding in life.
Sure, it can feel discouraging if someone gets a promotion instead of you. Dates someone you fancy. Affords to buy something you don’t.
But lamenting how they “don’t deserve it” is petty and unproductive.
What if you took all that energy and focused it on your objectives?
Now, *that* might make a difference.
8) Negative news
There’s a reason why doctors insist on the drawbacks of doomscrolling.
First off, frequent exposure to negative information translates to anxiety and a skewed perspective on the world.
Moreover, complaining about news doesn’t lead to solutions.
While anyone paying attention is likely concerned with how things are going, constantly expressing frustration over the state of the world takes a toll on your emotional well-being.
Stay informed, but don’t overdo it.
Instead of having endless debates with your friends about how bad the economy is, see if there are ways to boost your savings.
Constructive action is preferable to wallowing in despair.
You can also support organizations that work on causes you care about, volunteer, or engage in activism.
People who are genuinely happy aren’t ignorant.
They channel their stamina into practical ways to inspire change.
9) Unmet expectations
Expectations breed pressure. You feel like a big, stinking failure when you fail to meet them.
Growing up, I thought I would stumble upon my soulmate sometime in my 20s and buy a house by 30.
I was wrong, but I learned that letting go of the idea that you must do things on a schedule is incredibly freeing.
Being less attached to specific outcomes makes you more flexible when facing challenges.
The journey becomes as important as the destination – and complaining that you haven’t yet found your purpose at 23 or 34 or 48 seems futile.
Plus, freedom from rigid expectations leads to greater life satisfaction.
Ask any genuinely happy person you know.
Venting your frustrations now and then can be beneficial, as it enables you to clear your mind.
When you’re a 24/7 negative nelly, though, your outlook on life suffers.
Recognize when you’re about to complain and pause to consider whether it’s necessary or productive.
At the same time, practice gratitude by regularly reminding yourself of what you are thankful for.
This will shift your focus away from the less desirable aspects of everyday life.
A happiness surge will follow.