A whingeing pom’s week without whining

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Woman with black umbrella in heavy rain

Labelled ‘whingeing pom’s’ by Aussie’s, the English get a bad rap for being bad tempered. But while the grey skies in England may have left us lacking a year round sunny disposition, it’s not just us. People all over the world are partial to petulance. And since common culture carps on about complete negativity avoidance, I wondered when it stops being harmless venting and starts being something more serious, affecting our outlook on life. So for a week I decided to stop whingeing. Here’s what I found.

The whingeing pom.  An arguably unfair stereotypical characterisation.

You can’t even whinge about the injustice and discrimination lest you prove a point.

So after five years of being branded a narky knickers in the Land of Oz, I tend to beat them to it god forbid a moan escapes my miserly mouth.

For example;

Me in 40 degrees cant-breath heat ‘ gosh its hot today…

Aussie; ‘Isn’t that why you moved to Australia?

Me. ‘ha yes so I did, I’m such a whingeing pom’!!!

Me in 1 degree temperatures ‘I’m freezing’

Aussie: ‘Surely you’re used to it from England’

Me ‘yep you’re right I’m just a whinger!!! You know what us whingeing poms are like!!!!

Nevermind the half-baked attempts at heating this side of the hemisphere leaving us ‘where-are -the-radiators’ poms feeling the chill twenty four seven throughout the ice cold (yes it does get cold) winters.

However, despite my weariness at the whingeing pom label, there is some justice in the jesting.

You only have to be away from the UK a few months to grasp the degree of grumbles so easily exclaimed by the English.

And while overall I believe it to be a harmless habit, I wondered if at times it can cross the line from light-hearted haughtiness and have a detrimental effect on well-being and happiness.

So for a week I decided to stop whingeing.

I failed.

I found the frequency of my unfortunate fables would require some further finessing before I completely fling the habit.

I did however become considerably more conscious of complaining.

These were the top whines I noticed from myself and others;

  • Weather whinges: While I believed constant climate criticism was a mainly English affliction stemming from unfortunate home country conditions, the weather is a worldwide whinge. I shared a mutual moan with Aussies, Brits and even an American over the phone. Because this hot topic is an ice-breaker. Small talk. And small talk leads to friendly talk making it a worthwhile whinge.
  • Sick stories. Feeling under the weather during the week, I noticed I repeatedly verbalised over the top grievances relating to my symptoms. I was, shamefully, searching for sympathy. But unless you’re in the vicinity of your mum this one only serves to reinforce your sickness. And can cause more discontent if you don’t get the pandering you’re pursuing.
  • Kid kvetches: There’s no denying parenting is challenging. But the trials are trivial when weighed with the wonders. So I was surprised I griped a great deal more than I’d have guessed. Although in my defence almost entirely about bedtime battles. However, this was also a healthy venting and bonding exercise between fellow parents and accompanied with plenty of praising for our cheeky cherubs too.
  • Road rages: Unavoidable. Especially in Australia!
  • Grub gripes: I found myself bothered by a breakfast portion size complaining it too small. Since I reside in a rich nation with an abundance of fancy food at my fingertips, this gripe was ungrateful, ignorant and gratuitous. I vow never to verbalise this vex again!
  • People protests: Many protests among people are, unfortunately, about people. And while we all seek expression and support, I observed much complaining about situations or altercations seemed not to have, nor want, reasonable resolutions. But unless constructive, aiming for change, these moans are meaningless and only feed unfortunate feelings. Or worse, they’re malicious, judgmental or manipulative!
  • Work woes: Cranky colleagues, bad bosses and wild workloads; with most work weeks 40 hours long, irritations are inevitable. And while common complaints can cement colleague connections, non-stop narking about job dissatisfaction is not only annoying but a hallmark of responsibility avoidance.
  • Country comparisons: Constant comparisons to your motherland can seem ungrateful. But between expats complaints cultivate connections through mutual understandings and shared longings. They help you feel closer to home. That said, persistently pessimistic people can cast a shadow over a bright adventure. And also annoy the Aussie’s. So keeping the whinges for your expat associates is advised!

Of course, throughout my conscious complaining phase, there was much positivity too. Importantly, I found it’s not the complaining that’s the problem per se, but the reasons behind it.

The key is whining awareness.

As while small scale sniping shields us from the rain, summoning support and allowing us to seek solace in our social networks, when it comes to steering somewhat stormy weather chronic complaining can perpetuate the cycle.

Regardless of the conditions outside, if your complaints of less than satisfactory situations are common, constant and coupled with inaction, you’re handing power to your environment. Akin to being whipped by the wind while shunning shelter or soaked to the skin yet refusing to brandish your brolly. Eventually you’ll be swept into the eye of the storm, left saturated in irritability, indecision and injured victim mentality.

And you’re not Dorothy.

So while I maintain some moaning is a must, I vow to complain less and celebrate more. After all, compared to some, the forecast is always pretty mild where we come from.

I’ll be a positive pom.

Unless it’s bloody raining.

Find me on facebook Upside Down

 

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8 thoughts on “A whingeing pom’s week without whining

  1. Jules

    Great read Nic and for the record I think you’re a realistic Pom. No one wants to be a false positive (much like Americans) and You have to be aware of the downs to appreciate the ups (if that makes sense) but I totally agree that moaning can affect and influence your life. Let’s face it, I’m married to King of the whinging Poms! So much so that it was detrimental to our return to the UK! However, we decided to try mindfulness this week and voice what we are grateful for each day and be positive with the hope in the theory that good things come to you when you tell your mind they will. So far in a week he has been offered a job, taken back on following redundancy and we got our house and signed for it!

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  2. Thanks Julie! Totally agree – and I think it’s important to be realistic I’ve been at both ends of the spectrum; totally positive and negative at times too both usually driven by external factors; when in actual fact it should be the other way around we determine our outlook regardless of what’s going on, because both bad and good things happen to us all but choosing to be grateful and placing our energy on the positive does in fact attract more positivity and the same with being negative. steven is the King 😂 There is comedy in whingeing though too! That’s great on the house and job!!! I’ll email you soon xxxx

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  3. Mr. Mouse

    Poms to winge… but so do Australians. That is to say, they do when they are in the UK. As a mate said to me once, if you like Australian w(h)ine, then hang around Heathrow airport early in the morning when the flights come in from Oz. To be fair, I think most people like a good moan when far from where and what they are used to, and moaning keeps many of us going.

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    • I definitely thinks it’s a worldwide habit and healthy too but like anything it’s about balance; anything to excess becomes unhealthy. And yes the Aussies whinge too 😂 But they do tend to have a generally more positive outlook as a rule I think it’s the sun!

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  4. I think its really good to focus on the positive. My cup is always half full ans I’m lucky I’m not usually disappointed. We can all hope for better things in life and I’m not saying I would not want more of certain things, mainly money but it would always be for what I could do for the benefit of others ! like if I won the lottery I would be able to help all my offspring to be comfortably off and we would all be able to see each other more often, Sadly the loss of people so dear to me has a way of putting things in perspective, but then I can only turn that into a positive and be thankful I had them in my life for the time I did. We should all be grateful for our health and what good fortune we do have. But I’m certainly not saying I never ‘winge’ in the true sense of the Brits/ Poms I sometimes forget and do so as do most people. But congratulations Nic on another great read, It certainly makes you think.

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    • Hey babs I think you’re definitely a positive person overall! and we shouldn’t deny the crappy parts of life anyway that’s whats whingeing is for, but it can also become problematic when we lose sight of all the great things in life i think and keep focus on the negatives! i’m guilty of it too! only recently i decided that my focus would be on all the amazing things in my life, because there are many, instead of whingeing about the things lacking and i’ve never felt more positive even given difficult situations. i agree when things really bad happen its actually an opportunity to be grateful for all you’ve got, as things could always be much much worse!

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  5. Rob stephenson

    Sorry to be behind with these blogs. Really enjoyed it. How do I access your previous ones? There was a programme here up over about very British problems. And a discussion about talking about the weather as beign a way to tell people how you are feeling whilst remaining British. For example sayin it might clear up later if it’s raining now is saying you feel upbeat and saying how it’s cold and it’s going to get colder (a Kirsty macoll lyric) is insinuating a more pessimistic attitude. So keep on with your Britishness nic

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    • Hey robert really that’s so funny because i actually had a couple of paragraphs in about the aussies being more open in general so that perhaps the British complain more as compensation for the deeper issues they are really feeling but are too reserved to come out and say. took them out though. i reckon anyway but everyone’s different at the end of the day!

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