There is a story about a wailing dog.
One day, a man was walking past a house with an old couple sitting out front on their porch and a dog lying just in front of them.
The man noticed that the dog was constantly wailing and whimpering in a lowish tone.
For several days the man walked past the house, and every day noticed the same thing. The couple were sitting out front and the dog was lying on the porch in front of them whimpering and wailing.
Curiosity eventually got the better of the man, and so he decided to go an ask the couple what was wrong with their dog.
They replied, “oh he is just lying on a sharp nail”. Perplexed, the man asked why the dog simply didn’t move off the nail. “That’s because it hurts enough to groan about it, but not enough to move”.
This story illustrates how many people experience problems in their life. They moan and complain about them, but do very little of nothing at all to actually fix the issue.
In fact, some people, actually get a kind of pleasure from their complaints, it’s almost like a source of comfort, or something to talk about.
I’m sure we can all think of people we know who are like this. They aren’t really looking for a solution or change, they just want to enjoy a little bit of complaining.
A little complaining here and there is perfectly normal, but it’s important that those little complaints don’t grow and expand over time and become part of our identity
The 5 Minute Rule
The 5 minute rule is a useful strategy where all complaints, moaning or negativity are limited to 5 minutes – not a second more!
Then simply STOP, and move on to some other conversation or activity – preferably neutral or positivist.
This can be challenging at first, but many people doing this consistently over time find they feel more calm, centred, and peaceful.