What Happened When I Didn’t Complain for 32 days.

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Mindful Speech & Elocution in Buddhist tradition.

I love challenges.

I love the idea of having a sort of competition with yourself to see where you can push yourself, and also when you need to back off and give yourself a break.

So I decided to do a contest with myself where I committed to not bitching for 32 days and here is what I learned.

I complain a lot.

I’m sure I’m not alone in this, but I am ashamed to admit that the very first day I started I caught myself complaining (mentally mostly) at least ten times before breakfast. So I made the trick in the first few days to catch myself when I was complaining.

To a large extent, I found that it’s important to look within yourself and acknowledge what you’re complaining about and have the discernment to realize when you are being petty and when there is something underlying your complaints.

If you can change the circumstances, great—if you can’t, let it go and carry on with your day with cheerfulness.

I started noticing the beauty around me more and more.

After practicing catching yourself complaining daily and work to letting go, you begin to see that there is actually beauty in so many things that we often complain about. The taste of tea, the feeling of walking around without any shoes on.

I learned more about what dulls my spirit and what brightens it.

I saw that the more I noticed my complaints, the more I was able to see how unnecessary they were. As far as time-wasting goes, I think that complaining is the biggest of them all. Let go of the complaints and love comes rushing in.

Love, compassion, understanding flows through you as if to say “why didn’t you do this sooner, this is a way better feeling.”

It brought my awareness to my fears.

I could see the fears of being negative, of failure, of boredom bubbling up through my complaints. The fear of being a failure, fear of financial loss, and fear of being like the person you are complaining about.

I noticed that my complaints often ending up being directed to the actions of other people, some affected me, some didn’t. And more often than not, complaints involve nasty, uncaring words directed to that person. I realized that the uncaring, nasty person I was when I complained is not the authentic version of me: I endeavor to be a kind person, through my actions and my words. 

Not bitching has helped me become aware of when I’m not following my own code of ethics to be a conscious being. Conscious of what I do and say to the humans, animals and environment of this world.

I encourage everyone to do their own version of a #nobitchingcontest if you’re not afraid to stalk your fears, to look inside and find out what brightens your spirit and what dulls it.



The Complaints Stop Here. {Adult Language}


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The Elephant Ecosystem

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anonymous Sep 28, 2015 8:04am

Great article.. fits my awareness theme these days..
What did you do, when you encountered complaints inside and outside ? just.. stop? and how about when other people close to you complains?
mucho love

anonymous Feb 26, 2015 7:56am

Next project is the use of the word "hate". I'm here to tell you if you use the word less you will find out a lot of great things from it . I challenged my kids to try it for one month and they were much happier after they realized how much it took from them.

anonymous Jun 3, 2014 12:54am

WOW, my roommate is always telling me that I complain A LOT. Who knew i wasn't the only one! On one hand it's nice to know I have company, on the other there is lot of people complaining. I will consciously give this a try. One fucking day at a time!

anonymous Jun 2, 2014 8:40am

I think this is a wonderful idea!!! I definitely want to try this. I want to see more color and bright and reduce the amount of time, energy and heart I spend on complaining. That's for the great idea!!! Catching myself will be a challenge, but I can do this! Thank you for sharing!

anonymous Jun 1, 2014 8:10pm

I've been working toward this "no complaining" thing and have found it is really a bad ingrained habit. Now I find that I suddenly realize, mid-sentence, that I am bitching and I feel my dulled spirit, and vow to stop this unhealthy habit right now, but this habit is deep, so I try, try again….I'm happy to read that I'm not alone. I have had some very painful childhood memories surface that I think caused me to develop a habit of discharging anger through whining and complaining as I continue to become more conscious. Sometimes, now, I think of something I want to start complaining about..the urge is strong, and then I have an immediate over-riding thought: NO, DON'T SAY THAT. Then the urge passes and, I am grateful and at peace that I didn't complain. I think that is progress and, I like the resulting feeling. I do think writing out fears, angers daily and tossing the paper out is a way to help the mental process heal.

anonymous May 31, 2014 4:46pm

Great article. I think you're right- most of us probably don't know how much we complain. I am going follow your advice!

anonymous May 31, 2014 9:52am

Very self-aware! Inspiring read, thank you.

anonymous May 31, 2014 5:20am

Thanks for pointing that out Ed, here’s a link to my blog, this one should work: http://www.peopleshouldbeshocked.wordpress.com
I’m loving all the positive comments and support, you are all awesome!

anonymous May 31, 2014 1:13am

Thanks for letting me know, Ed, here is the link…this should work!
I love reading all the amazing comments, keep the feedback coming!

anonymous May 30, 2014 2:12pm

I wouldn't call it complaining. I would call it enlightening others in their opportunities for growth.

anonymous May 30, 2014 12:16pm

This is great stuff Susan! I think most of my complaining is internal so I'm going to focus my efforts on not complaining to myself!

(BTW, the link to your blog is broken).

anonymous May 30, 2014 10:59am

I saw this headline yesterday and found that I was still thinking about it this morning at the beach. I have tried to maintain an awareness since then of my own complaining/being judgmental. It brings to mind the a well-known quote from Hamlet:
"Why, then, 'tis none to you, for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." This can be looked at in different ways, but the words still hinge upon the same point.
It's a tough thing to do: If somebody is being a blatant asshole, for example, it is almost second nature to call them out on it. But, by not complaining, etc. the essential lesson boils down to "Be the bigger person".

Did that make any sense? I'm kinda just typing out my thoughts…

anonymous May 30, 2014 12:31am

Let me know how your challenges go, would love to feature some in my blog!

Thanks for all the love and best of luck with your challenges…loving all the positivity!

anonymous May 29, 2014 8:33pm

My bf tells me I complain a lot. I feel so bad when he tells me this and yet I can't stop myself sometimes. I am really going to make a conscious effort, starting RIGHT NOW to NOT complain. It's my worse vice. Thank you for helping us to be more aware.

anonymous May 29, 2014 7:53pm

this is weird. I really needed this. serendipity

    anonymous May 31, 2014 9:39am

    Yes I got the same feeling WEIRD, I was just saying to myself my God maria every thought send to be a negative or poor me thought. Well maybe I will try this someday but not today, I have to clean my stupid house, cut my grass because my boyfriend is soo lazy! (LOL…get it?) Actually yes I will try it for one hour beginning RIGHT NOW

anonymous May 29, 2014 6:57pm

Hi, yes, noticing is the first part and then NOT condemning, blaming ect yourself when you notice the internal chatter, possibly, "oops judging", notice, breath and move on. Practicing only 1 hour daily if a whole or half day is too much. Remember when you are continually looking out you cannot look within. light and love k

anonymous May 29, 2014 6:10pm

I can soooo relate, I too have been thinking along the lines of NO Bitching! And from your results, it is on. Thanks for a great post!

anonymous May 29, 2014 9:54am

I tend to complain…a lot. I am going to do this. I need a new outlook and this is JUST the way to begin. Thank you!

anonymous May 29, 2014 8:27am

Woo this seems like a tough challenge. I don't know how much I complain, but it's definitely daily and a problem. I think I will give this a try but start out small, maybe a week at first. 🙂 And it will most certainly not be one of "those" weeks… if you know what I mean! Thanks for sharing how impactful your contest was for you!

anonymous May 28, 2014 1:18pm

I think I'm going to give this a try. I don't consider myself a complainer, but maybe I am and maybe I need a different outlook. Thank you for leading the way.

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Susan McFadzean

Susan McFadzean is a Yoga Teacher and student of life. She is currently living in South Korea, drawing inspiration from her travels and learning as much as she can about life, Yoga, inspiration-creating events which she just wants to share with the world around her. Her main goal is to offer different perspectives to the world and hopes that through her writing will bring about even a small shift in the overall consciousness of human beings, and looks to inspire through bringing beauty and positivity to the world. To follow her #nobitchingcontest, and other challenges, visit her website, or follow her on twitter @LittleYogiSu.