Post A Day | #68 Complimenter or Complainer?

24 October 2019

Why don’t people review stuff they enjoy? Whether it is books, a restaurant, a park, music, or anything else in which they find pleasure, our community just does not review. I think we are very quick to review something that we have NOT enjoyed because we are a society of complainers, but we just don’t put up a positive comment when we have enjoyed something.

Why do we find it easier to complain than to compliment? I have a friend who tells strangers in the shopping centre how wonderful they look and I see the astonishment and joy on their faces when she does this, and it inspires me to do the same.  In my opinion, it all has to do with conditioning. We are being conditioned to be a society of people who only know how to complain, and very rarely, to compliment.

The influence the people around us have on our behaviours is staggering. Humans are social animals. There are very few who genuinely do not enjoy interacting with others, but have to because that is the way our society is structured. There is very little we can do without interacting with others, although as I grow older and technology advances, experience is telling me that we are pulling away from human interaction more and more. Things like having to go to the bank. In my youth there were no cash machines or online banking apps and so we had to physically go to the building housing the bank, stand in the queue, talk to the teller; all just to get the grocery money for the week. If we had an account with a provider of some sort, we had to physically go to the shop and hand over a cheque or cash to pay the instalment. It was a great improvement when shops started accepting payments via mail, but we still had to physically go to the post office to post the cheque and of course, we had to buy the stationery to enable us to do this. All of this involved interacting with other people. We simply could not live life without talking to others.

All of this interacting conditioned us in so many ways. For example, if we received bad service from a teller at the bank, we would complain to the bank manager, who would then talk with the teller to find out why there had been a problem. In this process, the bank manager would apologise to the customer and assure them that he would investigate and since we would be back the next week, he could report back on what the problem had been in person to the customer, in person. The customer felt great, the worker then knew that they had a caring manager, and how their issues affected their work, and the manager felt great because not only had he helped a customer (part of his job) but he had also helped the teller to deal with whatever the issue had been on the day (part of being human). So everybody benefitted from a work or service level and on a basic human level.

Have you tried to complain to a bank recently? Not only have these organisations grown, but it has become so complicated to just find the right person, with the right knowhow, just to tell of your unhappiness with something. And this is the case with many of our companies. Companies simply cannot deal with a complaint because this all starts with the employees who interact with the customer. Customers are not seen as humans. Customers have become a part of doing a job which the employee probably only does because they need money to buy food and pay for a roof over their head. That employee comes from a society in which they only ever hear complaints – complaints from their partner, complaints from their parents, complaints from their children, complaints from their friends and now complaints from customers. How can that person be expected to have a positive attitude when there is all this complaining surrounding them?

I need positive reinforcement in my life – people who enjoy my company, hobbies I enjoy, pastimes which feed my soul and I am choosing to do more of these things because I don’t want to be a complainer! I want to recognise good stuff and comment on that – not take the time to vent my anger at some soulless technology driven robot who can only give a scripted answer, which is only going to suck my energy because it is unlikely that I will receive feedback that makes me feel that I am being taken seriously.

I love technology, don’t get me wrong, but I believe that the impact of these advancements are changing our society in ways that could never be imagined. The intention of technological advancements is to make life simpler so that all of the steps required to pay a bill for example, are less time consuming, freeing up time for us to enjoy life. The problem is that in removing all of those steps, people have forgotten that the time freed is supposed to be used to enjoy life! Not to work harder and exhaust ourselves so that our lives are just a blur of events passing us by.

My hope is that this stream of consciousness will help you to see how negatively you are impacting society when you complain and that you will take time (and discipline yourself) to give at least one compliment a day. You will be amazed at the difference this will make in your life and although you will never see it, you will be impacting the lives of those around you in an enormously positive way. Start today – thank someone for good service (not just a throw away thank you, but give them a reason why you found their service great) and look at that issue you want to complain about. Is it really that important?

Go on – give a compliment…….I dare you!

#postaday #68 #compliment #complain

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