This morning while I was standing in checkout line at the grocery store, the cashier asked me how I was doing. My normal response, “No complaints. Life is good.” She went on to complain about how we’ve had too much rain, how she doesn’t like being indoors and how the dreary weather makes her sad…all in the course of three minutes while my items were being scanned and bagged.
Never mind that I was thinking we really needed the rain, being indoors forced me to finish painting ceilings this weekend, and how the rain is washing away the pollen explosion. I kept these thoughts to myself and nodded in agreement. Not because I agreed with her but simply because I didn’t want to have a full-blown conversation. I smiled and wished her a good week thinking that it might be impossible for her to have a good week.
When people I don’t know ask me how I’m doing, my response is the same, “No complaints. Life is good.” The response is usually correct. I’m typically a happy person. When I’m in a bad mood, I usually keep it to myself, answer, “I’m doing well,” and smile. I then ask the other person how they are doing. The person is usually taken aback that someone is asking them how they are doing.
People are generally polite and will ask the generic question, “How are you doing?” That isn’t an open invitation to unload if you don’t know the person well who is asking.
When you feel that you need to complain, turn it around and make it a constructive response for improvement. Not everything is rosy everyday. More often than not, things aren’t that bad.
Next time you feel that you need to complain. Hold your breath. Exhale. Smile and say, “No complaints. Life is good.” Usually, by saying that you’ll realize you have few items to complain about.