When You Complain

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When you complain
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“When you complain, you make yourself a victim. Leave the situation, change the situation, or accept it. All else is madness.” -Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart Toole (1948 – present) is considered by the New York Times as the most popular spiritual author in the United States. The Watkins Review hailed him as the most spiritually influential person in the world. He is best known as the author of the 1997 book “The Power of Now”, one of the New York Times best seller list in 2000.

Originally named Ulrich Toole, some reports say he changed his first name to Eckhart in homage to Meister Eckhart, a German philosopher and mystic. Changing his name was part of his “inner transformation” after a long bout of depression, anxiety, and fear.

The quote above refers specifically to passive complaining which may lead to depression, according to scientific studies. Consequently, people who modulate their complaining or complaining only when it serves a purpose, are reported to be happier than those who complain more often. The lead author of the study, Robin Kowalski, explains that deliberate complaining is a sign of mindfulness which happy people practice. People who complain with the hope of a certain result are reported to be optimistic and socially adept.

A study by social psychologist James Pennebaker suggests that complaining is essential for emotional release, especially when done through writing. He says that writing down ones feelings is enough to help a person to have a deeper understanding of the event and how to cope with it.

Ultimately, complaining is beneficial, but to an extent. Habitual and passive complaining eventually ruins relationships and robs one from having a happy life.

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