I’m terrible at complaining.
Actually, that is a total lie. I’m amazing at complaining. I’m just terrible at complaining to the people who can actually solve the problem.
For example, a friend of mine texted me today with a picture of an incredibly disappointing sandwich that cost her ten dollars.
Me after seeing the photo: Oh dear…
Her: I was so sad when I opened the box… This used to be my favorite sandwich!
Me: I would complain…. Actually that’s not true. I wouldn’t complain, but I’d want to, and then they’d come and ask me how everything was and I’d be all, “Oh this is delicious, thanks so much! Are you guys number one on Yelp around here? Because you totally should be.”
Her: Same here!
Me: And then I’d complain to everyone else in the world about it. Because I’m productive.
And then something hit me: When do I ever actually complain to the person who can fix the problem I’m having?
If I’m not feeling well, I whine to Boyfriend about it instead of actually going to a doctor or the drug store. (Side note, I actually count this as partially effective because by complaining about it to Boyfriend, he often goes to the drug store and takes care of me, which in turn means that I actually did complain to the right person. He doesn’t necessarily agree. His reasons are ridiculous.)
If someone hurts my feelings, I will talk to everyone else in the world I can before I confront them about it. I will call my sister and tell her about it, and then I’ll call my best friend and talk to her about it, and Boyfriend will definitely get an ear-full for WEEKS about how frustrating and insensitive that jerk was to me, but if someone were to suggest that I actually open up and be vulnerable and confront the person responsible for my hurt feelings? No, thank you. BEING VULNERABLE IS HARD AND I DON’T WANT TO.
Bad service at a restaurant? You’re totally still getting over-tipped, but I’ll say something to my friends about how lame our experience was once we’re out the door because I don’t want to hurt your feelings and I’m sure your day was really hard or something like that.
At this rate, if my house caught on fire, I’d call my best friend who lives three hours away before I actually dial 9-1-1 and admit that something has gone wrong.
Why? Because addressing problems makes me incredibly anxious.
If I have to address an issue, it means telling someone that they did something wrong, or it means admitting to someone else (like a doctor) that I did something wrong. And nobody likes to be aware of their mistakes, and I certainly don’t enjoy being the bearer of bad news. I want to be the person that says “Hey! You did an awesome thing! And I feel awesome! Yaaaaaay us!!”
So, until I figure out how to look at a waiter or waitress and say “This food sucks… and you’re awesome,” I think I will just swallow my horrible sandwiches and complain about them on the Internet. Because that way we’re all happy, right? ….Right?