In our house, growing up, we learned early on that whining, wheedling and grumbling got you banished. Who wanted to be banished? We kept our grumbling to ourselves when we just couldn’t help but indulge in it. (Especially when dad was around, he ‘would give us something to grumble about’!) I did my best to instill this same message in my boys that grumbling wasn’t an effective method of getting what you want.
My son’s dog grumbles. (Hrumphf, hmmrrr, rrrmmm, sigh) It is hilarious as long as she only does it occasionally. And only hilarious because she is a dog. I never knew that animals wheedled before.
What isn’t hilarious is the percentage of the adult population who didn’t get the same message that children got in my family – that grumbling isn’t effective in getting your point across. There are an amazing number of grown people who must have had their childish grumbling validated and have carried this annoying trait into adult life. Who have become accomplished grumblers.
What does grumbling cost the grumbler? Why were we banished when we got in that mode as kids? My mom was a Pollyanna type – amazingly positive and sunny. (Not sickeningly, perky cheerleader so.) One of the ways that she stayed that way was to focus on positive activities, which grumbling is decidedly not. Grumbling is gloomy and low energy and draining. It sucks you in rather than drawing you closer and you can’t wait to get some distance.
I try really hard not to laugh out loud when the dog does her grumbling thing. She is a clown and I don’t want her to think this is a good method to get what she wants. I don’t want her to be added to the list of accomplished grumblers.
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