(Friendly Note: If you don’t like the truth or tough love or brutal honesty, don’t read this post today, or any day for that matter.)

There are tons of complainers among us: Complainers who complain full-time. Complainers who are part-timers. Complainers who fancy themselves non-complainers and thus feel their complaining is more of a positive, community service, PSA kind of thing rather than a personal beef.

Whatever the style, the result is the same: A whole bunch of negativity, excuses, stories about what ‘they” did (or didn’t do) or said (or didn’t say).

We all complain about something at some point. We vent to our friends. I use this space to vent through the written word. But there is a difference, in my humble opinion, between complaining about something and being a complainer.

Regardless of the semantics, there are lots of those people around. Around us. In our lives. In our space. Co-mingling with our energy.

Complaining leads to more complaining.

Complaining takes up a lot of space and time and energy. Which, by definition, pushes out other things (many of them good and positive) vying for your limited space, time and energy.

Complaining is also a great attractor: Complainers are attracted to one another and to their Complainer Stories. They try to out-complain and one-up each other, with the “My Reason To Complain Is Bigger Than Your Reason To Complain” Game.

I could go on and on about complainers but then, well, I’d be complaining and that isn’t what I want to do here.

What I do want to do is say this to all the complainers out there:

“Shut up and look within.”

You are not a victim.

No one did anything to you.

You have not been wronged.

The world is not out to get you.

The problem is not “them.”

The problem, my friend, is YOU. All you.

You attract what you are and what you think. If your friends aren’t supporting you as you’d like them to or not helping you when you need it, then chances are you aren’t supporting or helping them in the way they need, either.

If your spouse or significant other is not loving you the way you want and need to be loved, then chances are you aren’t loving them the way they need and want to be loved, either.

If your boss or your client isn’t happy with your performance or your work, then chances are you aren’t listening to what they want and need and the work is reflecting you, not them.

If a stranger in the grocery store or a waitress in a restaurant or a driver on the street is not smiling, or not paying attention or being rude or not being helpful, then guess what? Chances are you are not smiling, not paying attention, being rude or not being helpful too.

Shut up and look within.

The problem is not them. The problem is YOU.

And before you tell me I am wrong or this may be right sometimes but doesn’t apply to you or I am being mean to you, please know this:

Sometimes, I tell myself the exact same thing. I tell myself to shut up. To stop the avalance of “he did this,” “she said this,” “I didn’t deserve that treatment” or “why is everyone so rude/nasty/standoffish to/with me?”

I tell myself to shut up. To look within. At myself. At my real motivations. At my real beliefs. At what I really did or could have done, said or could have said. Am I being truthful with myself? Am I being and showing up in the way I want others to be and show up?

The more honest you are with yourself on this, the more you look within and not at what ‘they’ did/said, the more amazing your outside experiences and connections will be what you want them to be.

I have always been very fortunate to have the most amazing friends and relationships in my life. Notice I didn’t use the word “lucky.” There is nothing lucky or unlucky about it. I am not going to play dumb and say that this “just happens” for me. It doesn’t “just happen.” I work at it. Very hard. All the time. Consistently.

Having amazing friends is very, very important to me. And, as such, being an amazing friend is equally important to me. I am always looking within, checking up on myself, seeing if indeed I am being the kind of friend/client/person I want to have in my life.

You think your friends suck?

You think the place where you live is only full of shallow, fake, fly-by-night people? (I hear that all the time where I live: “Everyone in Boca [insert criticism here].” That is TOTAL B.S. and a way to try to get out of your responsibilities of being awesome yourself. Sorry.)

You think you just have bad luck with clients, boyfriends, girlfriends, neighbors or friends?

Well, think again.  Those connections and relationships (whether deep and long-lasting or fleeting and short-term) don’t just “happen.” You attract them. They mirror who you are and what you think. And if you think I am going all “Secret” on you and full of woo-woo New Age B.S., go ahead and think that. That’s another way of trying to deflect the responsibility from yourself to someone else.

Some people are not good friends (or good anything). They may never change. Some relationships may never change. (I know people who complain about the same husbands and tell the same stories with the same complaints and the same detachment from responsibility for years. Like the very person they are complaining about, they, too, may never get it.)

The things or people you complain about may always suck. Or at least suck for you. They should not be in your life if one of your goals is to have good people and good friends and good relationships in your life. (This is where you say “Well, it is my sister/wife/best friend/brother-in-law – I can’t just get rid of them!”)

Regardless of who they are, if they keep showing up in your life, in different forms and scenarios, then guess what?

Maybe it is time to Shut Up And Look Within.

Excuses and stories and justifications are for people who don’t want to really do any work or take any consistent action. And if you are reading this blog and if you have read all the way down here already, then chances are I am preaching to the choir. Nevertheless, we all need the reminder, myself included.

Take control of the one person you can control.

Take responsibility for your main responsibility – yourself. Leave the stories for bedtime.

Don’t like the people or situations in your life? Think your town sucks or your boss is a jerk? Then please do something about it. Change something, even if it is just the story and nothing else. Or not. And if not, quit yer bitchin’ once and for all.

I care too much about all sorts of things and if I start to hear it, I will worry and stress and get too involved and then I will be caught up in your stories and won’t have room to focus on what’s really important for me and for you and then I’ll be annoyed with myself and then I will go complain to someone who, in turn will get annoyed, and so on and so on….

Get the picture?