Taming the Griper in your life

The griper.  We’ve all known one.

Some of us work with them, some of us live with them and some of us sleep with them.

The griper is that person who is just never satisfied.  They’re always unhappy about something or someone.  They’re that person who you can always count on to bring the party down.

You could give the griper everything they say their heart desires, but there’s still going to be that one little thing that isn’t quite right.  And whether legitimate or not, they plan to make sure you’re aware of it.  And they’ll likely preface it with a statement that deflects attention from the fact that they’re griping like…

“I’m not complaining, but…”
“I’m not one to gossip but…”

“I know it’s wrong to say, but…”

“Wouldn’t it be perfect if she’d just….”


These are key indicators that you’re about to hear the gripe of the day, nicely disguised as news you can use. And it’s easy to get swept up in the drama, especially when the griper is someone you can’t avoid.

So, what can you do about the griper in your life?  How do you get them to understand that you’re not interested in being part of Group Griper?

If it won’t negatively affect your paycheck, a good friendship or your marriage, you could just tell them directly. You can be bold about it and let them know where you stand.  Tell them what your boundaries are. Do a “drop the mic,” sort of thing.

But if the griper is a coworker, boss, relative or good friend, it’s a lot more complicated and requires more subtlety. And your spouse would likely notice if you unfriend them.

Some things you could try, are:

Refocus your conversations on something positive about the day, the company or how much they’ve accomplished since you met them, keeping in mind that you may need to update this every few hours because a true griper is rarely satisfied with just one gripe per day.

Share positive affirmations with them in person, through texts and your posts on social media.  And when you sense their day is turning in a funky direction, send them some more, but don’t bog down their messenger, tag them and 50 others, or give them another reason to gripe.

Decorate your home or office with art that speaks life.  This will remind the gripers that they’re entering a space that values peace. (The picture above is one of my favorite lamps). If you don’t have an office or cubicle, write it on your lunch bag, hang it from your rear view mirror, put a bumper sticker on your dashboard, make it a part of your digital signature, buy a necklace with a positive inscription or, if possible, a t-shirt.

It’s easy to get swept up in negativity and gripers know that. They don’t like to pity party alone, so they’ll try to get you to bring a dish. You must be prepared. Be intentional about being positive.

And, if this all sounds foreign to you because you’ve never encountered a griper, congratulations, my friend! My hope for you is simple… I hope YOU aren’t the griper.












Are you overdue for Date Night?

So, you’ve read my posts about the importance of girl time and I hope you’ve experienced it for yourself. If yours was less exciting than the hit movie, “Girls Trip,” don’t stress about it. That’s hard to beat! Do girl time your way.

But equally, if not more important than girl time, is the ever-elusive, often overlooked, Date Night.

That’s right, Date Night.  When’s the last time you had one?  If it was more than a month ago, you might want to reschedule that business dinner or call that babysitter.

Life is busy…I get that.  We work, we have businesses to run, we take care of others, we have events to attend, dinner to cook, laundry to do, houses to clean and the list goes on and on. And if we have kids the list can be even more overwhelming.

We get so preoccupied with the busyness of being busy, that we often neglect the business of getting busy. We give the passing cheek-smooch to our significant other and rush off to complete the tasks of the day.  But guess what?  The tasks of today will be the same or a different task tomorrow, but there will still be tasks.

And if you think your kids will miss you so much that you couldn’t possibly leave them for an evening, guess again.  Your kids are likely as much in need of a break from you as you are from them.  And your stress level is stressing THEM out.

Date night gives you the chance to re-acquaint yourself with your significant other…a chance to hear and more importantly, listen to how you’re each doing and feeling.  It replaces the noise of your chaotic day with harmony and a sense of “we’re in this thing together,” and who doesn’t want to feel that their beloved has their back?

Here are some signs that you might need a Date Night:

Job has you totally stressed out…Date Night.

Spouse seems totally distracted….Date Night

Kids getting on your last nerve…Date Night.

Spouse looking cute in those jeans…Date Night.

Admiring that couple that’s been married for 40 years…Date Night.

If you seldom have Date Night, do it this month. Finish this post and get out your calendar. If you haven’t done it in a while, do it this week. And do it spontaneously sometime.

Those tasks aren’t going anywhere.  The kids will be fine. Make date night your priority, tonight.