The Complaining Conundrum


Me and Cole Henson being dorks, but smiling too!

Hannah Smith, Editor in Chief

Last week I got to have the great experience of having Dr. Cathy Ream as my English Sub. She had taught all over the world and at many different levels of education. She regaled us with stories of communist Russia and her children and as our week together came to an end she brought in this article for us to read. She wanted us not only to see a great example of an essay, but as with everything she did that week it had an underlying purpose. Now I really wish I could remember who wrote it or what it was called, but I can’t so, sorry! The article talked about complaining and then compared it to smoking. It went on to say that the effects of complaining were much the same to smoking except without the COPD. You would lose pieces of your community, it was destructive to your relationships, and it would start to control your life.

In the time since I read that article, I’ve began to realize how much of my time is spent complaining. More than that I’ve realized how much I rely on it to have social interactions. I’m not great at relating to my peers and even less so at talking to them, so I tend to use complaining to bridge the gap.

A prime example, I don’t like pep assemblies; there are far too many people and I don’t love them. The day of the beginning of the year pep assembly I walk into my second hour and this student asks me what time the pep assembly was and I answered him and then asked if he was “trying to figure out a way to avoid the pep assembly day too?” He said no that he was looking forward to it.

I was indirectly complaining about the pep assembly. And the more I notice it the more I notice that this is how I interact with my peers. So as the article suggested I’m trying to limit my complaining and it’s hard. The article explains that when someone complains it strengthens the connection that lead to the brain telling you to complain again and then again and again. You keep doing this over and over again.

I would really like to tell you that as I became more aware of it the less I complained, but that would be untrue. I haven’t at all, and as I got ready to leave school, I started to complain about having to drive home and before I wrote this, I complained about writing it. So, at the end of the day I guess the only wisdom I have to impart is to be aware of your complaining. It does affect your mental health and with stress from school and being a teenager in general the last thing any of us needs is for the thing we do the most to directly affect our mental health. Smile today even if you don’t feel like smiling.

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