Skip to content

    Women's Health

    Font Size

    How I Stopped Complaining for a Week


    "That's so weird, Mom," said my son. "You don't sound like yourself."

    "I know! That's the point — I want to change!"

    I hope they'll recognize me when I've become Mommy Sunshine.

    Day 3
    I had to get a car-emissions test today, and I didn't complain to anyone — just went off and did it. Shouldn't I get extra credit for that?

    But when I was watching TV with my daughter, we saw an ad for The Biggest Loser — and I couldn't help saying, "I don't see how anyone can watch this show." Normally, my kids and I bond over criticizing TV. But now this was just another negative statement, so I added, "On the other hand, I've never seen it! Maybe it's great!" My daughter rolled her eyes.

    Day 4
    Today I caught myself about to say "I hate it when — " and quickly changed it to "Don't you hate it when — ?" But I'm pretty sure that's cheating. I've also found another way to cheat: I'll say I hate something and then add, "That's not a complaint. It's just an observation."

    "Please stop," said my son. "I can't stand you trying so hard not to be negative."

    But I can't stop. If nothing else, this test is making me realize how often I fuss about things that don't really bother me.

    Day 5
    Progress! I've had a headache for a few hours. (Not a complaint. Just an observation.) So when the supermarket checkout lady asked, "How are you?" I could've launched into my sad story — but instead, I just replied, "Great, thanks. I love your nails. Where'd you get them done?"

    Biting back the real answer didn't cure my headache, but it did improve my self-image. Now I can see myself as the type of person who's friendly to store employees and cheerful in the face of adversity.

    Day 6
    Even when you've put a sock in your complaining, it's not easy to stay positive. Last night, my women's hockey team lost to a rival that I swear is not as good as we are. Back in the locker room, one of my fellow players said, "That was fun." I just looked at her. How could I respond without going on about the refs, the other team, the fact that it was almost midnight? But instead of complaining, I expressed what was really on my mind.

    Today on WebMD

    hands on abdomen
    Test your knowledge.
    womans hand on abdomen
    Are you ready for baby?
    birth control pills
    Learn about your options.
    Is it menopause or something else?
    woman in bathtub
    bp app on smartwatch and phone
    estrogen gene

    Send yourself a link to download the app.

    Loading ...

    Please wait...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    Blood pressure check
    hot water bottle on stomach
    Attractive young woman standing in front of mirror