Be Guiding’s Pollyanna

Do you complain a lot? At home, at work or in your spare time?

I’m not sure if I do. It’s so hard to tell. Does it count as a complaint when I say “Oh no! It’s raining again”? Or is it a complaint only when it’s a full-fledged registered grievance with a restaurant manager when I was served cold soup?

Apparently, the average person complains 15 to 30 times a day.  Yikes! Yet, complaining is just part of what makes us human. We perceive things that are not normal and point out what’s wrong with the picture. Not too damaging if our complaints only affect our personal well-being. Unfortunately, once a complaint is given wings – others can’t help but mimic that sentiment!

Now take those 15-30 complaints per person, per day, and do the math in an organization of 18,000 adult Members. Enough said.

So how can we work around this?

After all, complaints aren’t “wrong.” Nor are they necessarily ill-founded. But, sending them out into the world, without offering some solutions, does no one much good.

So I ask: could you be one of Guiding’s Pollyannas? Would you consider cutting down on just one complaint a day, and instead making a suggestion to solve the problem? It’s won’t be easy, but I challenge you, our dedicated GirlGuidesCANblog readers. Take that frown and turn it upside down: by blogging about it!

If misery truly loves company, your blog post may resonate with others and make you feel less like “it must be me!”. More importantly, you’d get it off your chest and offer your solution of how the issue could be resolved.

In the past, we’ve encouraged you at the bottom of our guest blog posts to consider pitching us your idea:

“Did you enjoy this post? Didn’t enjoy it but have something to say about it? We encourage you to share your comments and to pitch us your blog idea!”

 We even lied at one point: (sorry!)

 Hey blog reader! Yesterday, five people pitched us their ideas for future blog posts. Where’s yours?”

Today we’re potentially offering you the blog as a place to vent your frustrations – as long as it’s accompanied by a suggestion as to how you, your Unit, Area or District managed to work things out!

But hey, if this blatant call for blog post pitches still doesn’t work out for us, and no one comes forward, don’t be surprised to find subliminal messages in our next communication to our Members!

By Talya, GGC staff

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6 Responses to Be Guiding’s Pollyanna

  1. SparkGuider says:

    “If you point out problems without offering solutions, that’s not helping; it’s just complaining.” I was taught this principle when I entered the workforce and it’s always stuck with me. No one’s going to give you a pat on the back for pointing out what’s not working, but everyone will take notice when you offer up a better alternative.

  2. Firefly says:

    Ah complaining! Must be one of the greatest joys in life since people do it so frequently and with so much gusto. Seriously, complaints abound, whether u want them or not. And let face it….who wants them? In reality, I would say no one. I have never heard of “Being the Manager of The Complaints Dept.” Being someone’s goal in life. I h, but I bet we could think of a line up of eligible candidates. But enough humour. Or is it? HAVE WE lost that great remedy in life – laughter? Have we forgotten how to laugh with a friend? Like a child? Or, in an easier vein, to simply smile? There are so very many ways that complaining could be washed aside, but my favourite is by simply smiling. We are all faced with daily challenges that make it so easy to complain, complain,complain. And we could so easily get sucked into another’s foul mood. But, in guiding,especially, I think we need to remember the first basic promise….”I promise to… a friend.” And do not friends smile at one another through the good and bad. My friends, it is all in the outlook.

    • Firefly – you do realize that A) you made us smile with your humour, and B) your comments can almost be a complete, stand-alone blog post!? You are so right that no child evre says when I grow up I want to deal with complainers all day, everyday! Thanks so much for taking the time to share your comment!

  3. Kathleen says:

    Yes, I’m a “Polyanna” in a lot of people’s eyes. I find it frustrating that some issues don’t get resolved or take so long. Many times my frustrations are for the new leaders who will not stick around to see a solution.

    I know that sometimes the “complaints” that are being issued are actually cries for help. These are coming from the women who volunteer their time and have found something that isn’t working and often don’t have a way to voice their opinion. Or sometimes it just doesn’t get heard by who it’s directed to. And sometimes the complaint is actually a way of commiserating and bonding with other people who are in the same boat and trying to work out a problem. Complaining isn’t a negative thing unless there is no change and unfortunately many times the complainer doesn’t have the resources to fix things or the power to implement the solution.

    Before anyone dismisses a “complaint” please look what is behind that complaint and see where it’s coming from and what needs to be addressed. A Guider who feels they are on their own with no recourse is a volunteer we will lose unless someone steps up and offers a solution.

    • Well said Kathleen. A complaint shouldn’t be brushed off as something that person does all the time. It isn’t like the boy who cried wolf! It really is, underneath it all, a cry for help. Now it’s up to us to recognize it and figure out how to offer help. Cheers

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