People of my nationality are known for complaining at all times and about everything, but even though I would say this stereotype is quite justified, this post is not going to be about Polish people.
It’s going to be about what some might think they do when they complain, and about what I recently started to think that we actually do when we complain.
Because we all complain, right? We never stop whining about our stupid bosses, poor health, lazy partners, bad roads, ugly weather — you just name it.
Some of us might think that when we complain…
- we help ourselves feel better
Because we’ve let the frustration out of our systems, unloaded it unto somebody else. And with no harm to that somebody, because seriously, how many people actually care enough to feel sorry for us?
- we bond
Because complaining about the same things together brings us closer, and makes us like each other more, doesn’t it? We deal with the same shit, and that surely means something.
But what I recently started to think about complaining runs against these two interpretations. First of all, I noticed that sometimes, I complain about things that don’t bother me much, or even about such that I’m satisfied with.
For example, my studies: yes, they’re time-consuming, yes, they’re far from easy, but am I really dissatisfied with the way they are? I chose the translation faculty because it seemed challenging, and I’m happy about the fact it really is.
Still, I complain about it. When my co-students gather in the corridor to complain about the amount of homework, or whatever, I join in or nod in agreement. Because it’s a safe and easy thing to do, and why would I want to diverge from others?
It’s safe, it’s easy, but there’s always an end to this sense of convenience. There always comes a moment when I realize I have been complaining about a thing I’m in fact completely fine with, or in other words… that I’ve been pretending. And that’s a really inconvenient thing to realize.
Because then, you start to wonder: how many of the things I do have I really chosen to do? How many are just a result of the inert desire to blend in with others and not cause any “problems”?
I think that now I know why it is that sometimes complaining, instead of helping with stress, and helping to bond, is so dead tiring.