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90: Generational Toxicity: Why We Love to Complain

By November 26, 2019November 9th, 2023Mastermind Parenting Podcast
90: Generational Toxicity: Why We Love to Complain

Today, I’m complaining about the problem of complaining. I’m not here to pretend that I don’t do it or act sugary sweet and barfy as if I’m so above it. I just want to share some of my thoughts, learning and ongoing love/hate relationship with complaining about things I wanna change… in other people mostly :).

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Randi Rubenstein helps parents with a strong-willed kiddo become a happier family and enjoy the simple things again like bike rides and beach vacays.

She’s the founder of Mastermind Parenting, host of the Mastermind Parenting podcast, and author of The Parent Gap. Randi works with parents across the U.S.

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0 (1s):
You’re listening to the Mastermind Parenting Podcast with Randi Rubenstein episode 90.

1 (8s):
Hi, my name’s Randi Rubenstein and welcome to the Mastermind Parenting Podcast where we believe when your thoughts grow the conversations in your home flow.

0 (21s):
So this week I’ve got another fun topic. I want to talk about Generational Toxicity like Why We Love to Complain. I was somewhere recently and I was with someone in the grandmother generation, and I noticed as the con, as the conversation went on, there was a lot of underlying negativity and, and it was sort of masked, but once you, I was sitting there and I was like, she just kept saying things. And I was like, Ugh, I would just have like a Pang in my gut.

0 (1m 4s):
I just knew there was just, there was, there was a lot of negativity. There was a lot of seeing the glass as half, half empty instead of half full. There was a lot of I’m asking me questions and kind of a, a way that I could tell she was, you know, just, you know, when somebodies like poking a bruise a little bit, you can just tell they’re not coming from a place of love and support. They’re coming from a place of like wanting you to maybe question yourself more, but not in a loving way. Like, I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to challenge. And if I’m in no way, do I advocate being a yes, man, and just stroking other people’s egos.

0 (1m 47s):
I think honest conversations are so important. And when it’s not coming from a loving, supportive place, you just know it, right. You just know it when somebody else almost like wants to expose something in you. That’s going to have you questioning yourself in a way that’s not going to be useful or helpful in a way that’s going to have you second guessing and feeling somewhat insecure about something. So I sense this from this grandma and, and the truth is I know her daughter and her daughter does the same thing, like seems really friendly and happy on the surface. But then once you get into a conversation, there’s just this constant sense of just devils advocacy.

0 (2m 33s):
Is that a term? And maybe that just made it up, but she plays devil’s advocate a whole lot. And she does it where I just know, like, I know she’s not coming from a loving place or a supportive place. And I started thinking about this woman that I know. And, and I remember years ago her telling me about her grandmother, right? So her mom’s mom and how she was just the nastiest most negative person. And she basically like died alone in a nursing home. And like no one ever went and visited her because she was just so hateful. Nobody could stand to be around her.

0 (3m 15s):
And, and so that got me thinking, and I’m like, you know, I know like patterns passed through generations and sometimes they even look different, like the grandma and the nursing home, by that point, like she wasn’t putting on a smile for anyone and maybe she never did, but as it’s passed down, it’s like now the, you know, the mother and the daughter have learned that they don’t want to show up. So outwardly negative. And yet the negativity, negativity is still their, as this underlying thread, that’s been woven through their family history.

0 (3m 56s):
And, and I mean, look, I know it comes from some of theirs, I’m sure there’s generational trauma. Right. And so it just, it gets passed out and passed down. So I just want you all to start noticing a about complaints, right? And, and I’m not saying like, you know, you need to start just like shooting out rainbows out of your butt. Like, I’m like, like none of that fake phony baloney stuff, that is not it at all. I’m saying, if you find yourself bonding with other people through complaining, and if you find yourselves constantly thinking of all the things that are wrong in your life, all of the things that you’re unhappy about, all of the things that other people are responsible about, that that should be different.

0 (4m 49s):
And it’s just complaining, complaining, complaining. I want you to get curious. I want you to start to get curious about what’s really coming up. Like why so complaining is really about blaming, right? And blaming is really about looking outward and looking outward leads to control and, and control right. Leads to disconnection because no one wants to feel control. Like it feels terrible and other people are trying to control You. And so you just try to avoid the person whose trying to control You. And so that leads to disconnection and disconnection feels lonely when you, you know, cause we’re pack animals, we’re meant to be in human connection.

0 (5m 38s):
Where meant to be in relationship with each other. Loneliness feels terrible. And when you feel terrible, it’s really hard not to be negative. So negativity leads to ruminating. Thoughts were, you know, are all of these ruminating thoughts about like your work, what you’re worried about, what you’re fearful of, what you regret, what you resent, nothing that feels good, positive or PRODUCTIVE. And what is all of this that starts with the complaining? What does it all lead to all of these ruminating thoughts, right? With all these negative emotions, it leads to exhaustion.

0 (6m 19s):
It’s so exhausting. So it, so if you find yourself like chronically tired, exhausted all the time, and you’re ready to start taking your life back. I want you to follow these three steps. I want you to one, notice the words that come out of your mouth, the complaining ones, right? Notice that you notice when you go to that complaining place and you’re just kind of, you can’t help yourself even before you change it. Just notice it. I’m doing it again. I’m doing it again. Okay. And then I want you to get curious. So number two is get curious and notice what you’re actually thinking.

0 (7m 5s):
What’s what are you thinking? That’s leading to the complaint’s like what happened? There’s a circumstance that happened or something that’s caused you to think certain thoughts. It takes this as an art. You guys, this is a muscle that you strengthen. So what are you actually thinking that it’s causing you to react with the complaining words? And I want you to look inward, right? And this is the hardest part. And it’s the only possibility of taking the control back. It’s the only thing that you actually have control over, because write like they should do this and they should do that. And we really have no control of, of over other people.

0 (7m 46s):
We can try to control them. And sometimes it may work in the immediate moment, especially with our kids, but it’s not a longterm solution. And it’s not, there will always be rebellion when control’s on the scene. So I want you to ask yourself what the message is intended for you to learn from it. Like in relation to whatever is happening, whatever the circumstance is that you are unhappy about, like what really is going on. And I want you to own up to your roll about what’s really coming up for you. Like, get honest, look inward, change the story, replace the complaining with reflective thinking, reflective thinking like what’s coming up from me right now.

0 (8m 34s):
Why am I feeling so negative? What am I really worried about? You know, sometimes it can be the littlest thing. Like for that grandma, we were talking about college, right? We were talking about college. Can you just asking me all kinds of questions about my kids in college, which is like the worst topic of conversation right now. Every time it’s almost like have stock answers now ’cause, it’s just not anyone else’s business. And we find that most people that are asking about it, they’re really not concerned. It’s just going to cause them to do some self-reflecting. So if you, if you say that your sites are set on certain colleges that they deem not prestigious, then that person is getting a false sense of maybe they’re all like, Oh, like they asked that question and they got curious because they’re like, Oh, am I still winning?

0 (9m 26s):
Or maybe if you give an answer that they deem as really prestigious, then maybe they’re like gonna feel jealous or less than, or their kid didn’t go to the same. You know, th it’s like, it’s just a loaded conversation at, it seems for the people. And the bottom line is an, our family. It’s like everybody we know most likely everybody’s gonna go to college. Even though my husband feels stronger about it than I do. If I had to child that all of a sudden said, I’m going to follow in your entrepreneurial footsteps. I did go to college. But now where I am, I’m like, if you didn’t want to go to college, like I wouldn’t, I’m not the parent that would say you have to go to college. I think my husband would disagree.

0 (10m 7s):
But when I say it, I’m like, Oh, if you want it, if you’d like to be an entrepreneur and just come and work for me, we could do that. My husband’s like stop saying, so we have our own thing. But you know, really looking at for yourself, right? When you find yourself going to the complaint’s or if you find yourself thinking negatively, if you find yourself blaming, I want you to really start to say, what is coming up with me? Why am I feeling so negative? What is it like connecting the dots so that we can start to change the pattern? Cause you can’t change the pattern unless you’re aware of it. And you start to notice it.

0 (10m 47s):
So just start to notice right now, number one, notice the words that come out of your mouth, right? Notice what it is to get curious and notice, like, what am I thinking? What am I really thinking? What am I really worried about? What is coming up for me? And look inward, look inward to what it is that, that that’s really the story. Are you feeling less than in some way? Are you looking to feel more than in some way? Why are you comparing yourself to other people? It’s really hard to get honest, like this with yourself. Like it’s easy to talk about, but I mean, I like journal and journal and journal about this stuff every day and start to like notice really.

0 (11m 30s):
Like when I wake up in the morning, what is coming up from me? Am I excited about the day? Am I ready to tackle the day or might having a little bit of a sense of dread? And then if I’m feeling like I have a little bit of a sense of dread, or I know just a little anxiety, I’m like, why, why wouldn’t I, what, what is it? Most days I get up and my heart, the hard thing for me is to stay asleep in the morning because I’m kind of excited to go and conquer the day. And there’s like, lots of things I want to do. And I think it’s because I do this on the regular, I study in my own brain and I figured out what’s coming up. And then I realize like, I like anytime there’s ruminating, thoughts are a feeling that doesn’t feel good or feels like dread.

0 (12m 12s):
I know it’s time to get curious so that I can really have a plan and dissolve the stuff that’s bothering me and realize everything is, figureoutable like, nothing’s that big of a deal. But I have to get curious about why, why do I have this feeling? Oh, its connected to something that I’m thinking, what the heck am I even thinking? Oh, I got to notice that. So I think the, the best first Avenue into starting to study, what the heck you even are thinking that’s causing you to feel a certain way so that you can truly take back control of your life is to do is to just start getting curious, asking yourself, what am I really thinking?

0 (12m 59s):
What am I really worried about? And isn’t everything figure out-able nothing is that big of a deal. We can figure it all out, but we have to notice what it is in the first place, right? To know how to tackle it. So it’s easy to live a life. It is. It’s easy to live a life complaining, blaming and stuck in your negative thinking. But it’s not fun. It is not fun. You know it, if you’re doing it, I know when I feel this way, it’s not fun. I don’t wanna tackle the day like that. I wanna be excited for my day. So let me dissolve this stuff and really figure out what’s coming up from me and what’s going on so that I can tackle and conquer the day.

0 (13m 41s):
It doesn’t feel loving when you have this, this way of operating it doesn’t, it doesn’t feel loving for yourself. It certainly doesn’t come across as loving to other people. And it’s freaking exhausting for a reason. It is tiring to have ruminating thoughts that you’re not even aware. Exactly. They’re just swirling and swirling. It’s like a cycle going on in your head. So you deserve to feel like you’re ready to tackle the day you deserve to live a life. That doesn’t feel exhausting. And I promise you, it’s not all of the things that are happening in your day.

0 (14m 21s):
So busy because when you’re doing things and it feels like you’re tackling the day, you can accomplish a whole heck of a lot and end the day still feeling energized. Like your body might or might be tired, but your brain and your heart feel energized and you deserve to live a life like that. So start here, start by noticing the complaints. Start by noticing the blaming. Start by understanding what’s coming up for you. It may be a generational pattern and you might just be like at the beginning of the rest of your life. So you guys have a beautiful week. I hope this was helpful.

1 (14m 60s):
Have you read my book, the parent gap? Have you listened to my book? The parent gap? I doubt you’ve listened because my publisher hasn’t released it yet on audible. However, I have the audio version of the parent gap that I would love to send to you. You can download it at Mastermind Parenting dot com For slash book that’s Mastermind Parenting dot com For slash book for your Free audio version of the parents that you are welcome. I.

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