This past weekend, I logged into one of my email accounts, in order to send a message to my mother, and received this error statement:

The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request. Please contact the server administrator, and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error. More information about this error may be available in the server error log. Additionally, a 400 Bad Request error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

I spent the better part of the afternoon first trying to figure out how to contact Help from outside of my account and then trying to figure out how to communicate with the “help specialists”. With growing frustration, I informed Keith of my lack of progress in copious detail until at last he said, “Yes, sweetheart, I know. I’ve had to deal with plenty of tech problems. I don’t need to hear more about this.” I didn’t really want to listen to me either, so why was I blathering, bringing both of us down?

I am a whiner. Perhaps moaning and groaning is a natural tendency among dour New Englanders. More likely, endless complaining is a well-practiced pattern, a childhood enthusiasm that I keep in good working order.

Three situations tend to trigger this chronic behavior in me: Hunger (fuss, whimper, bellyache), Fatigue (drone on and on until everyone’s tired) and Stress due to help specialists who, from some outsourced location, continue to send “help” emails to the account I cannot access online… well, you get the idea. (Gripe, gripe, gripe!)

According to therapists quoted in a recent Wall Street Journal article, the United States is a Nation of Whiners.  Negative communication gets attention and fills television screens, encouraging us to complain rather than tackle problems. What can be done to change crybabies like me into empowered, sociable creatures?  Set time limits and gently point out the behavior, suggest tough-love therapists, and establish zero-tolerance policies.

When I ceased whining, Keith and I returned to positive communication and focused on making dinner together. Ah, food! And, after a good night’s sleep (Ah, rest!), I discovered other avenues towards solution.

I have a different problem with that email account today, but I’m working on it. Not that I’m complaining or anything.   

What triggers your whining?


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