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I focus on frustrations


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For some reason, I tend to focus on things that are frustrating/unfair/annoying, etc.  I've always been this way, and it's verry hard for me to shift my attention once it's on something.  Unfortunately, life is unfair and there is always something to be annoyed about.  I think I irritate my friends and family by compalinting about things that cannot be changed, for example, an unfair policy at work or how men are or something else that it is pointless to get upset about because that's the way it is.

How can I change?  How do *you* distract yourself from complaining/worrying about something that is annoying.  Do you have rules that you follow (eg. "no complaining") or tricks that help you to not sweat the small stuff?  I feel that this problem plays a large part in my depression and has a negative effect on my relationships.  I wish I could learn to let things roll of my back, but I don't know how to start.

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Hi, Devon,

Some cognitive behavioral therapy might help a lot. It kind of teaches you how to recognize and diffuse negative thoughts, many of which are so automatic that you barely notice them anymore. A good therapist can give you several thought stopping techniques, too.

Good luck. It's a hard habit to break and good that you see it and want to do something about it.

Greeny

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Devon and Greeny

To be truthful, I thought that was only me that was like that.  I just blamed my black sense of humour and sarcastic way of looking at things as just my personality.  But yes, I seem to focus on bad things and use those to validate my anger at everything.  Ummmm could be a thing to bring up to my therapist next week.

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Some cognitive behavioral therapy might help a lot. It kind of teaches you how to recognize and diffuse negative thoughts, many of which are so automatic that you barely notice them anymore. A good therapist can give you several thought stopping techniques, too.

Greenyflower's dead on the money.  I've had just a little of it with a tdoc, and have studied CBT on my own quite a bit.  It would be better to have some guidance, especially at first, but a lot of CBT boils down to learning by lots of repetition until you get away from destructive thoughts like "always/never."  Things change, nothing is for always or never.  It's hard, but it's worth the effort. 

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I got sick of hearing myself complain.  I can't hide the pain on my face, or my obvious stress, but someone sees it and asks I simply say:

"I can't complain."

The statement has more meaning in it than "fine" or "nothing" or whatever, people who are close to me know there is a whole page long list of complaints but I'm too tired/stressed/ sick of my own voice to say.  So I'm not really lying, just sayin I can't tell you again..and again...and again..

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I complain a ton.  Even when things are good, I complain because it is familiar.  At some point I remind myself that things could be worse, I could be alone, I could have a terminal illness (instead of just feeling like I do), I could be dead....  Until then I need to find people who will listen and not get too sick of me.  Head shrink anyone?

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Everyone in my family is a complainer, so it isn't hard to see where I got my proclivity for looking on the dark side of life.  I do try to keep my negativity in check, mainly by catching myself in the act and attempting to argue myself out of my bleakness.  I think it's been helpful, as I now find myself countering some of my family's rant-for-sake-of-ranting with upbeat observations.  I listen to them go on and on about how miserable and unfair life is and think to myself, "This is ME; how I feel right now is how other people feel when I complain incessantly.  I DON'T want to be like this."  It motivates me to keep working on my attitude.

I also think depression is a significant factor in how positive or negative your outlook is.  When I'm dissatisfied with life, that dissatisfaction infects every thought, like a virus, distorting my perception of everything.  When you aren't happy with yourself, or your life, nothing can ever be good enough, you know?

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Hi, Devon,

Some cognitive behavioral therapy might help a lot. It kind of teaches you how to recognize and diffuse negative thoughts, many of which are so automatic that you barely notice them anymore. A good therapist can give you several thought stopping techniques, too.

Good luck. It's a hard habit to break and good that you see it and want to do something about it.

Greeny

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I second Greenyflower's rightness.  CBT has helped me identify the negative patterns and try to change them.  Starting with a therapist is a good idea.  Once you get the basics, you can persue it on your own if you want.

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I complain all the time but it is internal.  You see I never want to bother anyone with my problems (although they seem to like to give me theirs).  So at least you can vocalise them, even if noone is around to listen - I suppose that is why I have a psych, she is paid to listen.

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