Everybody has terrible days. Your boyfriend broke up with you for the third time. The barista messed up your latte order. Your hairdresser just didn’t cut your hair the right way. Maybe you didn’t get enough likes on that fire Insta pic. So what do you do to mend the pain from your awful experience? Complain about it, of course. You hunt down your pledge sister and talk her ear off for an unnecessary amount of time. There’s something about sharing your story of defeat with someone that is
forced willing to listen. It lifts all the pain and agitation off your shoulders and you can finally move on with your life. You’re probably addicted to the release of complaining and you don’t even know it. I know I am. Complaining is one of my favorite things to do.
There are two possible goals when complaining:
1. The person you’re complaining to will be able to relate to your issue and make you feel better
2. The issue will be out of their realm of experiences and they’ll feel bad for you, ultimately fueling your attention-seeking desires and making you feel better
Complaining is a win-win situation.
And don’t forget complaining’s number one sidekick exaggeration. Every story is better when the details are inflated just a little. So what your period is a few days late. Make that into a few weeks and you’ll have everyone on the edge of their seat, wondering if you remember the name of the father. Feeling a little hungover this morning? Say you’ve never felt this awful after a night of drinking before and you’ll have people offering to buy you Gatorades left and right. Sure, it may sound bad in context, but everyone does it. Don’t pretend you don’t.
Some of the time when you start complaining, it creates a domino effect and you can’t get yourself to stop. You start out with how your new fling hasn’t texted you back in the past hour and before you know it you’re complaining about how your grandmother never showed you affection. This type of complaining takes a special audience to handle it. Only someone who is an active listener and doesn’t have many problems of their own can take on the role. These people are essential to have as friends for those really, really bad days.
People always preach about how you shouldn’t complain about things and instead look for solutions. What they don’t know is that complaining is the solution. If it’s my time of the month and my cramps are so bad it feels like my uterus is trying to exit my body, nothing feels more right than complaining to my mom about the excruciating pain. She tells me to take some pain killers and they’ll be gone soon enough. Even though her diagnosis is so completely obvious, her acknowledgement of my problems and consolation gives me relief and satisfaction. Or when I complain to my sisters that the guy I’m sleeping with has no idea what he’s doing. They all come together to assure me that neither do the guys they’re sleeping with. Relating to them and realizing everyone is going through the same things puts me at ease. Complaining completely solves all my little concerns.
Ironically, one of my favorite things to complain about is other people complaining. Complaining is an art and not everyone is gifted the skill. Don’t over-complain about something. Know when your audience is buying your complaint and when they could care less. Don’t complain about completely pointless things. And try to avoid complaining when you’re drunk because no one likes an annoying, wasted girl. Use complaining as the freeing, comforting tool it is. Complain your way to happiness.