Want Some Cheese to Go With That Whine?

by Carol Hess on November 15, 2011

If there was one thing guaranteed to incur the wrath of my mother, it was a child who whined.  Come to think of it, I’m not a big fan of whining either – whether it’s a child or an adult doing it.  I positively detest it when it’s me doing it.

A really robust whine worthy of the name is a carefully balanced mixture of self-pity, righteous indignation, and martyrdom with just a soupçon of victimhood, narcissism, and passive aggression to give it that certain je ne sais quoi.

  • Self-pity
  • Righteous indignation
  • Martyrdom
  • Victimhood
  • Narcissim
  • Passive aggression

Now there’s a list of ingredients that is quite the heady brew.  And pure poison when drunk on a regular basis.  To say nothing of the lollapaloozer of a hangover you get when you binge on whine.

I’ve noticed something about whining.  The people who have the most right to do it, don’t.  And the frequent whiners have got it so good that you’ve got to wonder what the hell they would do if something really bad happened to them.

All good whines come from the master gripe called “Life Isn’t Fair.”  You pluck that gripe off the vine and squeeze the bejesus out of it, and you are going to have yourself one helluva whine.  But whoever told you life was fair?  It isn’t.  Bad things happen to good people.  Good things happen to bad people.  Get over it.

And let’s face it.  When you’re in the middle of a really, really good whine, it’s because:

  1. You want something you don’t have,
  2. You’re afraid of losing something you already
    have, or
  3. You have to do something you don’t want to do.

And by “you,” of course I mean me.  A friend of mine wrote a post the other day that I loved.  I especially loved the quotes she used, as did some of her other readers.  She mentioned she had been collecting quotes her whole life.  And here’s how my thankfully silent and unexpressed (until now) whine went.  “Oh, gee, Sandi is so lucky to have all those quotes.  It’s not fair.  I want lots of quotes too.  Boo hoo, boo hoo.  Woe is me.”

But here’s the truth.  A few years ago, I started collecting quotes too.  And then, in a fit of efficiency and file paring, I tossed them out.  Sandi didn’t do that.  So what’s not fair about the fact Sandi has quotes, and I don’t?  Nothing.  Not one damned thing.

Here’s more truth.  Why did I really want quotes?  Because I wanted my blog to be as good as Sandi’s.  I thought if I copied what she was doing, I would get what she had.  I would get something I didn’t have but really wanted.

But here’s the truth – more of it.  Sandi has been blogging longer and working harder at her blog than I have.  She has earned every single reader and every single comment and every single great conversation coming her way.  Nothing unfair about it.

There are two keys to having a successful blog (or anything else I whine about and yearn to have).  First of all, I need to be me and not a carbon copy of someone else.  Second, I need to take action, and whining isn’t action.

You know what?  Whining didn’t work when I was a child, and it doesn’t work now.

Be honest.  Do you whine?  Do you do a lot of looking at your neighbor’s greener grass?  It might be time to put your whine down and start tending the grass on your side of the fence.  I’m just saying.

by Carol Hess


Categories Carol's Musings, Personal Empowerment, The Art of Star Polishing

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Daniel November 15, 2011 at 3:57 pm

“Bad things happen to good people. Good things happen to bad people. Get over it.” <– THIS.

I will admit, I have drunk the whine of fermented gripes. What a quick and efficient way to give away your power. That "hangover" you speak of… I know it well.

I enjoyed reading your thoughts and look forward to more. I like your space here!


avatar Carol Hess November 15, 2011 at 11:46 pm

Yes, whining is a great way to drain your power. And then you can whine about not having more power! :-) So glad you are here to share the space, Daniel. I’m looking forward to sharing many more thoughts with you and vice versa.


avatar Sandi Amorim November 16, 2011 at 12:46 pm

If you could hear me whine sometimes you’d probably think twice about writing this about me! I whine and complain, and let myself get sucked into the comparison game, which honestly leaves a worse hangover than red wine!

I’ve learned to play with it. So when I hear the stirrings of a whine coming on, I turn up the volume and really get into it! Works every time as I usually end up laughing at myself!


avatar Carol Hess November 16, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Sandi, I love the idea of turning up the volume and having yourself a really good whine. In fact, I do that too. And if I know I’m going to really get into it, then I make sure I set a timer and only let myself go on for so long. But I’m like you — I’m usually laughing long before the timer goes off.


avatar Loretta December 10, 2011 at 2:14 am

I really related to this post. Especially the part about not liking whining, especially when *I* am the one doing it!

One of my favorite quotes (yeah, I’m a Quote Collector too) is from John W Gardner: “Self-pity is easily the most destructive of the nonpharmaceutical narcotics; it is addictive, gives momentary pleasure, and separates the victim from reality.”

Accepting responsibility may make me gulp sometimes, but it also gives me back my power. Nope, not gonna be a victim. :-)


avatar Carol Hess December 10, 2011 at 10:56 am

I know. Isn’t it truly annoying that the whiner that gets to us most is — well — us! I love the quote by Gardner, and it’s so true. Feeling sorry for ourselves is truly addictive. But in the long run, accepting responsibility and taking back our power is even more addictive (and healthier too). Thanks for joining the conversation here at Star Polisher, Loretta. Great to have you here! :)


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: