Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction. Break the habit. Talk about your joys.

Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction. Break the habit. Talk about your joys.


When you get together with people, do you tend to talk about your problems or do you tend to talk about your joys?

For many of us, it tends to be the former, and not the latter. Why is that?

When you get together with people, are you excited that they’re potentially going to share their problems with you? Do you have enough problems of your own that you are trying to wrestle with, such that someone else sharing their problems only compounds the situation, or are you overflowing with compassion and empathy and seeking to be the repository of everyone else’s woes? (Not that these traits are not exemplary, because they are, but are you genuinely hoping in advance, that your get together with them will be on those topics?)

In Los Angeles, the traffic is so bad, that we often start a face-to-face meeting in person with people talking about how much time it took them to get across the city to make that meeting. This has only grown worse now that most meetings are on video. Does anybody else in that meeting really care? Or do they pretend that they care because that’s what the person is saying? 

Take a few moments to recognize that, for the most part, when we are griping about minutia details, no one really wants to hear it! In fact, it is a courtesy that we extend one another by listening to each other gripe about stupid things. It is not conducive to building relationships, generating long-term friendship or garnering any form of respect. 

Instead, try showing up and starting the discussion on a topic that is joyous and watch the body language, and the verbal reactions that this engenders. People are excited to start a discussion on an up note. Once we become cognizant of this core variable, we must learn to be the guard gate at our lips, such that the complaints do not come spewing out. 

Does this mean that it is never appropriate to talk with someone else about your problems? Of course not. There are many times and places where this is not only appropriate, but accepted, as part of a healthy friendship. 

So how does one determine when it is fair game and when it is not? That answer would stem very specifically from understanding the true dynamics of the friendship that you are involved in and talking honestly with that person about whether or not when you talk with them about issues…are they feeling comfortable with the conversation or would they prefer that you did not always come to them with these kinds of conversations. 

If you are the person who is continually being leveraged as the recipient of someone else’s continuous stream of complaints, may I suggest there are multiple polite ways of addressing this issue with the other party without hurting their feelings? It is a tactful move that requires finesse, but if you are heartfelt and gracious in the way that you set your boundaries, you will discover that many people don’t  contemplate that they are doing this and by you are increasing their awareness of this, you might actually be doing them a bigger favor in life, for they may be wearing out other relationships in their world with the same practice. 

Life has so many joyous moments. Talk about them in your conversations with others and watch how everybody lights up in the process. 

Happy Sunday!

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Written by Brian Weiner
When I was 5 years old, I discovered that the lemon tree in the backyard + dixie cups + water and sugar and I was in business. I have been hooked on that ever since. In 1979, I borrowed $14,000 to create a brand new product... photographic greeting cards with no text on the inside, called Paradise Photography. That was the start of The Illusion Factory. Since then, The Illusion Factory has been entrusted by all of the major studios and broadcasters with the advertising and marketing of over $7 billion in filmed, live, broadcast, gaming, AR, VR and regulated gaming forms of entertainment, generating more than $100 Billion in revenue and 265 awards for creativity and technology for our clients. When I took a break from film school at UCLA to move to Hawaii, my mother did not lecture me. Instead, she took 150 of her favorite aphorisms and in her beautiful calligraphy, wrote them artistically throughout a blank journal. That is the origin of the Lessons from the Mountain series. Since then, on my journeys to the top of a mountain to watch the sunrise, I have spent countless hours contemplating words of wisdom from the sages of all races, genders and political persuasions, constantly accumulating the thoughts to guide me on my life path. I hope you enjoy my books. Please let me know your thoughts, as I highly value your feedback!