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Complaining

  • ... don't you hate people who say they're not complaining and then complain?

  • ... bad temper is its own safety valve. He who can bark does not bite.

  • If anything diminishes a person, it is the cancer of constant complaining.

  • Naggery is the mother of lies, and the enemy of love.

  • But I mustn't bother you with this. One should consume one's own smoke.

    • Rose Macaulay,
    • 1950, in Constance Babington-Smith, ed., Letters to a Friend 1950-1952 ()
  • The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate. The more you complain, the more you find fault, the more misery and fault you will have to find.

    • Oprah Winfrey,
    • in Bill Adler, ed., The Uncommon Wisdom of Oprah Winfrey ()
  • ... to be reasonable one should never complain but when one hopes redress.

  • Don't make it necessary for me to complain about you to Christ crucified. (There is no one else I can complain to, since there is no one greater than you on earth.)

    • Catherine of Siena,
    • letter to Pope Gregory XI (1376), in Suzanne Noffke, trans., The Letters of St. Catherine of Siena ()
  • Those who do not complain are never pitied.

  • This world is a sad, sad place I know; / And what soul living can doubt it. / But it will not lessen the want and woe, / To be always singing about it.

  • Talk health. The dreary, never-ending tale / Of mortal maladies is worn and stale; / You cannot charm or interest or please / By harping on that minor chord disease. / Say you are well, or all is well with you, / And God shall hear your words and make them true.

  • Talk happiness. The world is sad enough / Without your woe. No path is wholly rough. / Look for the places that are smooth and clear ...

  • If we could make up our minds to spare our friends all details of ill health, of money losses, of domestic annoyances, of altercations, of committee work, of grievances, provocations, and anxieties, we should sin less against the world's good-humor. It may not be given us to add to the treasury of mirth; but there is considerable merit in not robbing it.

  • ... bluster will scarcely produce a mouse.

    • Abigail Adams,
    • to her daughter (1791), Letters of Mrs. Adams ()
  • ... I hate to complain. No one is without their difficulties, whether in High, or low Life, & every person knows best where their own shoe pinches.

    • Abigail Adams,
    • 1790, New Letters of Abigail Adams: 1788-1801 ()
  • ... I always thought the laughing philosopher a much wiser man than the sniveling one ...

    • Abigail Adams,
    • letter to John Quincy Adams (1816), in Lynne Withey, Dearest Friend ()
  • Everyone bowed to that unwritten law of family life which ordains that, in the long run, everyone submerges his personal preference in the effort to conform to that of the member of the circle who complains most loudly and is most difficult to satisfy.

  • We relate all our afflictions more frequently than we do our pleasures.

    • Fanny Burney,
    • 1773, in Annie Raine Ellis, ed., The Early Diary of Frances Burney, vol. 1 ()
  • ... grumbling, as things are at present arranged in this world, does not always, nor I might say often, do good ...

  • But nerves! Be glad you have a nice little cirrhosis, Mrs. Munniman. Not like me with a husband silent as a stuffed sausage. I could drop dead asking him how many lumps in his tea.

    • Helen Hudson,
    • "The Strange Testament of Michael Cassidy," The Listener ()
  • This, it seemed, was one of those angry natures that feeds on grievance; nothing would madden her more than to know that what she complained of had been put right.

  • Grumbling is the death of love.

  • A sure sign of a crisis is the prevalence of cranks. It is characteristic of a crisis in theory that cranks get a hearing from the public which orthodoxy is failing to satisfy.

    • Joan Robinson,
    • title essay, in Rendigs Fels, ed., The Second Crisis of Economic Theory ()
  • ... a woman of the world should always be the mistress of sorrow and not its servant. She may have a grief but never a grievance.

  • Never complain, never explain.

  • ... nagging is the repetition of unpalatable truths.

    • Edith Summerskill,
    • speech to the Married Women's Association, House of Commons ()
  • You can't wring your hands and roll up your shirtsleeves at the same time. Pick one.

    • Patricia Schroeder,
    • "Running for Our Lives: Electoral Politics," in Robin Morgan, ed., Sisterhood Is Forever ()
  • Legalistic quibbles have no place in the answer to a complaint. The customer is rightly or wrongly dissatisfied; business is built only on satisfied customers. Therefore the question is not to prove who is right but to satisfy the customer. This doctrine has its limitations, but it is safer to err in the way of doing too much than in doing too little.

  • Some people act as if there were a penalty for carrying concealed troubles. They exhibit them at every opportunity, begging for sympathy, even condescending to accept pity. Such persons never realize that the very ones to whom they are complaining are often struggling under a burden greater than their own.

  • The squeaky wheel may get the most oil, but it's also the first to be replaced.

  • [Complaining about Prime Minister Gladstone:] He speaks to me as if I was a public meeting.

  • Seal my lips on aches and pains. They are increasing, and love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by.

  • I've always tried to be cheerful, because I think people who whine are boring, and I never could tolerate bores.

    • Beverly Sills,
    • in Beverly Sills and Lawrence Linderman, Beverly ()
  • Complaining is good for you as long as you're not complaining to the person you're complaining about.

  • She knitted a loud woolen cap of her recriminations and yanked it over his head.

  • Some people take pleasure in regaling one and all with details of their poor health. They are happy to give an organ recital to anyone who will listen.

  • Don't whine over evils, daughter, sharpen your teeth on them.