This was posted on Pinterest (the sign is for sale at UrbanOutfitters). It immediately caught my attention.
As a mom, I’m pretty sick of whining and complaining as the end of summer vacation wraps up. But then I read the rest of the message.
That’s what I hear as I read, “No frowning. Only hugs, smiles, and warm fuzzy feelings are allowed.”
What kind of message is that? One I think many of us heard growing up.
Stuff your feelings, stuff your frowny face, and stuff your “negative” opinions.
If we’re not allowed those feelings as a child, we end up having to deal with them as an adult. If they’re not dealt with, they come out in unhealthy and destructive ways. Is this the message we want others to get from us?
Stuff it =
- Your feelings are invalid
- Your thoughts are unimportant
- You don’t matter
- No one cares
- You’re stupid
No one enjoys a whiner or a complainer but telling anyone to bottle their emotions is abusive and destructive. Don’t do it.
Instead, let’s empower others. Give them tools to deal with the yuck in life. We’re all going to have it. Tackle it.
Encourage the person to:
- take it to the Lord
- journal it
- scream into a pillow
- punch the pillow or bed (just the mattress)
- create something
- write a letter and burn it
- go for a walk or run
- talk about it
- do yard or house work
Every item on this list is free.
We have power when people come to us with their troubles. We can encourage them or we can deflate them and damage them. If someone is coming to you for help, it’s because they trust you.
What other ways can you empower someone who is whining or complaining? Is there a time when you have to say enough is enough? How would you go about that?
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11