How to Stop Whiny Behavior (My Own)

whiny behavior

No More April Whine

April reminded me that I have a problem with whiny behavior. I didn’t think I had one—after all, I keep a gratitude journal (and after filling one volume, I started a fresh one in April) and a generally upbeat attitude. And yet. I let April grab me by the horns and wrestle me down a time or two. It all started with the wind.

I’m not a big fan of the wind. We’ve had four days of severe windstorms—the kind that dry your teeth out the second you smile and fill your scalp with gritty pieces of sand. Every window and doorway fills with fine red dirt, and if one should forget to close a window tightly, everything within two feet of the inside of the window acquires a layer of red as well.

During the last windstorm, as I bent at the waist to walk against the wind from building to building on campus, I pushed right on by our newest staff member—a recently discharged vet who’s khaki colored fatigues reminded me that he has served his country in far worse windstorms than the ones we have in Holbrook.

Yeah. About my whining. The next time the wind blows I think I’ll thank a vet for selflessly serving our country instead of bemoaning the extra housekeeping chores in my cozy little home.

I caught myself engaged in inward whiny behavior when I noticed that my favorite sandals have lost their sole. I fretted about the expense of buying a new pair and bemoaned the fact that things like shoes wear out. That’s when I realized that those Birkenstock sandals have lasted me approximately 3.9 years. I wear them at least once a day (combined with wool socks they make a geeky, but serviceable pair of slippers in the house). So, basically, I pay a penny a day to have comfortable sandals. No reason to whine there! I rejoice that some manufacturers still care about their products and strive to make products that last.

My physical limitations brought on my third bout of whiny behavior when I clumsily twisted my ankle early in the month. I indulged in a fair amount of bellyaching about how that injury would impede my plans. After all, I had a canyon to hike and a race to run—who has time for injuries? And then I saw a Facebook post that a former student’s father had passed away at 74. Unbeknownst to me, the father had struggled with dementia from the time he was 64. Another Facebook friend’s daughter ended up back in the hospital—again. For the past five years this young lady has struggled with the after-affects of a near-death experience and a traumatic brain injury. She’s confined to a wheelchair most of the time. Who am I to whine and complain when God has blessed me with health and limbs that work?

The wind humbled me and helped me realize that it takes vigilance to keep whiny behavior from creeping into my life. From now on out, I’ll do to myself what I did with our daughters when they were young: Have the whinies? Take a time out to rethink the negative attitude. I don’t know why it took me so long to implement taking a time out in my own life!

How to stop your whiny behavior--take a time out to think an opposite thought! Click To Tweet

What about you? Are there certain situations where you could benefit from a time out?

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Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a 'recovering cancer caregiver' who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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