Complaints nearly always sound just as foolish, and amusing, as they really are once they are replayed…
Have you ever stopped to consider the fact that it would be possible to go through your whole life without ever bothering to complain about anything? Many people have made commitments to do just that and they love the results. So would you.
When you catch yourself in the midst of a complaint, you know you are hardly at your very best. You’re mumbling, whining, dragging life through the mud. The condition you’re complaining about makes life bad enough. Why drag yourself down even further by complaining about it?
Does this mean you have to smilingly accept everything that ever happens? Of course not. You are free to fight for your beliefs, to organize people to help you, to point out injustice, foolishness, stupidity, or evil whenever and wherever you find it. Just don’t bother complaining about it.
This may seem more like a life lesson than a sports lesson, but it probably belongs in every book where excellence is a goal.
Certainly it belongs in a sports book because sports seem to offer many opportunities for complaining. The weather, the conditions, the administration, the referees, the coaches, the field, the fans, the players. Every aspect of sports is ripe for complaining if that’s what you choose to focus on. But let’s assume you don’t.
What now? You’ve made your commitment to not complain and your concern is now what to do with your teammates and maybe even coaches who are often complaining.
What can you do? You can’t avoid them, you are with them every day. And what if explaining this simple logic and offering some words of encouragement—or attempting to change the subject—just doesn’t work on them? What can you do with teammates who complain?
So you don’t cause ill feeling, tell them you are doing a paper for a sociology class or a study for a science project. Carry a mini recorder with you and be ready to turn on the tape any time they start complaining. When the tape is replayed, other people, even avid complainers, will enjoy it immensely. Complaints nearly always sounds just as foolish, and amusing, as they really are once they are replayed.
However, people can become very reluctant to complain when they know their complaints may be passed on to others. If you don’t have your tape recorder with you, squint and tilt your head in some special way reserved only for “complaint recognition and recording.” If they fail to get the message, beg them not to forget what they are saying so you can record it later for your paper.
And, hey, if none of this works, why not really write a paper?
It will enable you to think of all those stupid comments with amusement and as research.
THINK THE GAME
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