Creative Complaining

Creative Complaining…I like this idea very much because it allows us to be honest and simultaneously to respect our listener’s threshold/inability/discomfort for listening to the same sad story over and over again…thanks for sharing, Cynthia Reyes and Chris Graham!

Cynthia Reyes


Amazing how people can lie, when asked a simple question: “How are you feeling today?”

“Great!” they reply, when what they really mean is: “Horrible! Really horrible!”

Why do they lie?

“No-one wants to listen to a complainer,” says a woman I met in my pain management program at the hospital. “After a while, people don’t want to be around you.”

“Everybody’s already got their own troubles,” says a woman who’s living with cancer.

“What’s the point?” asks a man who recently lost his job. “Even if they listen, they feel helpless.”

And finally, from an elderly woman: “I just don’t want my children to worry.”

They had given up on telling the truth. Even people who find dishonesty repugnant, would sooner lie than admit the sad truth about how they’re feeling on a given day.


In my group at the rehabilitation hospital, most people I asked admitted…

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7 thoughts on “Creative Complaining

  1. Thanks for this reblog – I doubt I would have run across it otherwise. It brings up some excellent points with some VERY helpful solutions in an extremely upbeat manner. I hope all of your readers will click over to read it, even if only to understand what others are dealing with.

    We ALL need this advice sometimes, however. I don’t know anybody who hasn’t suffered through something that lasted longer than those around them believed it “should” have.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    • I can’t imagine being in the kind of situations described – how hard not to be able to express one’s pain, especially in chronic cases! To do so skilfully would be a great skill to master, yes. Love!

      • It is a challenge in any situation that is chronic. I left a comment on the source as well — how difficult it is for others to understand much of anything about “invisible” disabilities of any kind (unlike broken legs or something that is obvious to the eye).

        Even if/when one eventually recovers (some TBIs/ABIs for example — Traumatic or Acquired Brain Injuries), it always seems to take longer than those who are more fortunate seem to be willing to believe – or support.

        People with longer-term struggles really NEED the support of others, and none of us wants to chase away our friends and loved ones on days when it’s tough to put a smiley face on things. Many isolate instead, only interacting on their “good” days. It’s a lonely way to have to live.

        My hope is that folks who do NOT struggle with chronic, long-term, or invisible disabilities will read it and come away with at least a bit more understanding, empathy and a longer attention span for their friends who may seem a little grumpy, frustrated or weepy more often than they would prefer. After all, THEY get to walk away and feel better!

        It needs to be a balance of course, but it seems logical to me that it is a bit lopsided already to expect better communication skills from those who are not really “fine” when people ask that question vs. expecting a bit more stretch on the part of the folks who feel good and can say “fine” without fudging. 🙂

        It takes a village.

  2. Thanks Madelyn, thoughtful and loving response…chronic illness is so hard for both the patient and for those around him/her – but its what so many have to deal with and its good to know how best we can grow through the situation. Om!

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