Lately, I’ve noticed how often people complain about the weather. For some, it’s too hot. For others, it’s too cold. Here is what I find interesting: we have no power to change the weather, yet it is often a topic of conversation filled with emotion. People say things like, “I’m so tired of this heat.” Or, “It’s so cold, I’m freezing!” Complaining about the weather, something outside of your control, is a lot like rocking in a rocking chair; you are moving, but it doesn’t get you anywhere. Complaining about the weather seems helpful, like we doing something to change it, yet, in reality, we have no control over the conditions out of doors.
I read a quote last winter. I don’t remember the origin, but it was something along the lines of – the snow has no malice or good will, it is simply snow. It is our interpretation of the snow that makes the difference. So it is with the behavior of other people at work. We complain that “they do this” or “they do that”, yet complaining doesn’t change anything. And to make matters worse…we complain to everyone except the offending party. The next time you are tempted to complain to a colleague about someone, stop and remember that it’s like complaining about the weather. It may feel good in the moment, but in the long run, no one benefits. If you want to take it a step further, have a conversation with the person. Warning – a conversation like this can be a challenge and is best if thought through and planned in advance. Remember your EAP counselor can help you with the preparation for such a conversation.