Maybe You’re a Grouch


If February 16th rolls around and someone randomly does something nice for you, the news may not be all good.

February 16th is “Do a Grouch a Favor Day.”

Sure, it could just be a coincidence, but it begs the question: Are you a grouch?

Before you answer, I should tell you that grouches are often the last to know that they are, well, grouchy. Merriam Webster says, “A grouch is a habitually irritable or complaining person: GRUMBLER.” The really bad news is, you may be an irritable, complaining grouch without even knowing it.
Just Google “are you a complainer?” A list of quizzes will pop up in the results. There are lists of warning signs, too.

Sure, the most obvious sign that you’re a complainer is that you complain a lot. That’s only part of the equation. The other warning signs, which turned up on multiple websites, include being overly self-critical, unable to accept compliments, a perfectionist, struggling with criticism, comparing yourself to others and living in the past, focusing on “what-if.”

That list of symptoms says something very important about grouches – they are generally unhappy with themselves. The truth is, people who do not like themselves typically do not seem to like much about anyone or anything else. Makes sense, right?

If those traits seem to fit your personality and you are also showing signs of depression, you may consider getting some help. Therapy may help you work through negative feelings you have about yourself.

If you are just a garden variety complainer, the good news is that there are things you can do to change. Multiple websites suggest getting more exercise and sleep, as well as eating better. Isn’t that the advice for pretty much everything that ails us? It is; but these things can all help boost your mood, which probably needs an adjustment if you are only able to see the negative side of life.

One tip I found to help put the brakes on habitual complaining really seemed to stick out, however. When you catch yourself complaining, whether it’s about yourself or something else, try finding a little gratitude. Just make a list – it doesn’t have to be long – of things you are grateful for. This simple exercise will remind you that things really are not that bad, after all.

Another suggestion: if you are feeling a little grouchy, doing something nice for someone else can boost your mood and make you feel good about yourself.

Conveniently, if someone did single you out with a good deed on “Do Something Nice for a Grouch Day,” you can easily pay it forward. The entire week of February 17th is devoted to “Random Acts of Kindness.” You can do nice things for a slew of people without even telling them, if you would kind of like to hold on to your grouch persona.

When you are creating a list of people to randomly do kind things for, remember your fellow grouches. Remember that they are the ones who need those kind deeds even more than most.




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