This is Part 2 of a three-part series to help us nix the negative patterns that may be damaging our relationships. Last week we tackled suspicion, and the secrets for overcoming it. With Thanksgiving in view, we focus this week on gratitude – the solution for grumbling.
A couple years ago, I spotted a glass coffee mug that, on one side said “1/2 empty” and other the other side said “1/2 full.” You could face the appropriate sentiment toward you depending on how much liquid was in the glass or how, I suppose, you felt about life at the moment.
How would you face the mug right now? Go ahead and think about it. I’ll wait.
Even though most of us want to think we’re glass-half-full types, we all grumble and complain more than we know. As one of the seven patterns of negativity and unkindness found in the research for my book The Kindness Challenge, grumbling and complaining are close cousins of the relationship-killer of criticism. The good news is, grumbling has an antidote! And Thanksgiving week seems like a good time to explore it.
In the research of those who did the 30-Day Kindness Challenge, habits of discontentment and dissatisfaction – the horsepower behind much of our complaining – dropped dramatically. When we fill that grumble void with gratitude – especially, as Indiana University researchers found, gratitude that is expressed out loud – our brains actually start to crave more gratitude!
With Thanksgiving upon us, let’s examine common scenarios in three key areas where we can find and express gratitude in ways that might make a difference in our lives and the lives of others.