In Praise of Complainers

Reframing Complaining

© By Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, A.C.T., MCC, SCAC
Foundational Concepts in the Self-advocacy Series

ComplaintHorseYou have no right to complain . . .

How many times have we heard that one?  What in the world is that supposed to mean?

OF COURSE we have a “right” to complain! We all maintain that right, regardless of circumstance.  It’s feedback — it communicates to others that something is not right with our universe.

Is the expectation that we will suffer in silence?

Feedback is an essential component of the success of any life lived in the company of others. Nothing works for everybody. How else are we likely to get our needs met, if we don’t provide negative feedback when something isn’t working for us?

Whether one is able to offer feedback in a “charge-neutral” fashion or not, without our negative feedback, the rational assumption is that “all is well.”

If that’s not the case, we MUST “complain” if we ever expect more functionality and life satisfaction than we have right now.

HOW we complain makes a difference, however.

The Self-advocacy Series will take a look at some of the more effective ways to get your needs met, but until you get over some unconscious fear of “being seen as a complainer,” you probably will find it difficult to use any of them.

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