PsychotherayHELP Newsletter




As a therapist and a human being I am the subject and the object of a phenomenon called complaining.  Every one of us feels justified in our complaints.  But the complaints, by themselves, constitute a deeper problem that belongs strictly to the complainer.

I would like to speak about a whole system of complaints that really covers up the real problem.

And what is that problem?

The problem that I wish to address that is hidden under a mountain of complaints is the experience of being brokenhearted ... that is at some point in your life, you may have suffered one or a series of broken hearts.

For children who have to learn to survive in a particular family and the environment, a series of broken hearts can leave a universe of deep primal pain.  In our culture, we very rarely ever address the question of a broken heart.  But, for many it is a serious matter.

If you were overwhelmed by a series of broken hearts in childhood, you will be extremely vulnerable to serious broken hearts in adulthood.  Some important relationships can leave a huge mountain of hurt and pain that gets piled up on top of brokenhearted pains from childhood.  The result is an unconscious feeling of extreme failure at getting your needs for love ever fulfilled.  Your experience may lead to a sense of being a loser at the game of love.  And, if your losses are so great, hopelessness can set in and eventually a deep clinical depression invades your entire being.

For some people, these kinds of broken heart experiences can actually lead to the attractiveness of suicide.  Extensive experiences with childhood brokenheartedness can cause a complete shutdown in areas of the brain that provide access to deep healing insight and the acquisition of skills that lead to closure.  Without closure and resolution, you will carry a huge reservoir of repressed feelings and that includes both bad and good feelings.

What does this have to do with complaining?

If you take a survey of all of your own complaining and the complaints of other people, you will be surprised and deeply enlightened by the amount of complaining that exists.  Usually, most of this superficial complaining just leads to difficulties in interpersonal relationships, work situations and other important avenues of human interaction. 

If we look a little bit deeper, we may find an emotional state of being that suggests that complaints themselves might actually be covering up deep or hurts and broken hearts.  If you orient your mind to being sensitive about the behavior of yourself and others, you may begin to notice how much broken heartedness there is in the world.

These feelings of being brokenhearted may not seem apparent on the surface.  But, if you look a little closer you may begin to notice the brokenheartedness in other people and maybe even into yourself.

So ... what good will this sensitivity and awareness do?

It may put you in touch with what there is in your life that smacks of being a broken heart.  It may also give you some insight and compassion into the brokenheartedness of those who seem to complain and complain and complain some more (chronic complainers).

Failure is a fact of life.  Failure is always an option!  Failure to get your needs met at any stage of your life can set the stage for you to develop the tools, strategies and methods that will help you be successful and happy in life.  If you are overwhelmed and completely suppressed by monumental amounts of failure, you will be robbed of the necessary energy, desire and motivation to pull yourself out of the extreme failure mode and reach for the stars.

My suggestion is to stop blaming everything else outside of yourself, other people and even yourself for failure.  People love to blame and shift the responsibility for failure and pain on to something or someone else.  That just causes more turmoil.  In a strange sense, I love it when people put their "stuff" on to me.  I know it's not about me.  It's really about them.  When I complain about someone or something, it's me who has the problem and it's up to me to resolve it.  I have the tools and the techniques to do that.  My recommendation is to adjust, adapt and grow beyond your wildest imagination into a universe of infinite possibilities.  The answers are already inside of you.  It's up to you to do the inner archaeology.

"I came to Dr. Paul loaded with repressed pain, pessimism and hopelessness.  I couldn't get closure or insight into anything that I was doing that set me up for thousands of broken hearts.  I was broken down in childhood by parents who never told me that they loved me.  My whole life has been a struggle to suck love out of every man that I could get my needy clutches on.  I could see that I was completely obnoxious and sickening in their eyes, even though I was absolutely gorgeous physically.  I was emotionally ugly and filled with poison and toxins from childhood.  What was worse, is that I thought I was entitled to demand love, even though I could not feel loving emotions.

When I broke up with my last lover, I never recovered and wanted to kill myself.  For months and years I blamed him for everything and I hated the woman that beat me out and married him and the two of them seemed so happy, while I was doomed to a life of misery and death.  And I did everything I could to stop Dr. Paul from being successful in treating me.  Failure is all that I knew and failure is what I was going to bring to others.  No wonder they ditched me.  It took me a long time to see how I was responsible for setting up my own failures and misery.

With patience and expertise, Dr. Paul slowly got me to tap into my real feelings and I began to become aware of how much torture and misery I have been carrying around inside of myself.  In time, I let my ex-boyfriend and his new wife off the hook and freed myself to find out who I truly am.

My broken heart caused me to fail at every relationship and caused every man to run like hell to get away from me so that they would not fail.  My parents failed me.  I failed myself, I failed everyone else and now I am learning to turn my failures into triumph.  I have become much more authentic as my complaining whiny fašade crumbled piece by piece.  My heart is mending and my memories are clearing."

Conclusion: Deep pain implanted in the past resonates throughout the system and begs for release and resolution.  You are doomed to repeat past failures to get your needs met.  You can reverse that tendency by establishing the need for stick-to-itiveness and the willingness to take risks at self-discovery.  Running away from your self will only cause others to run away from you.



Paul J. Hannig, Ph.D. MFCC 



voice: 818-882-7404