It seems some people love to complain. They will complain about the weather, their internet connection, their partner, their friends, and even the dress sense of strangers. Avoid those people.

If you find yourself complaining about something, stop a moment and think. Complaining is a completely negative response. It regurgitates the problem again and again, reliving and retelling the same issue only makes it worse for the person doing the complaining, there is no real satisfaction to be gained from it. In all honesty, nobody really wants to hear it either. Maybe close friends will tolerate a little complaining now and then, after all, friends put up with a lot of shit, but I’m sure they’d rather not have to.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t let you friends know how you feel, if you’re upset you can tell them without complaining about it. Also, I’m not saying that you should accept bad behaviour or bad service from others; you can make clear your disapproval and request compensation without needing to complain.

Complaining is an inability to accept the way things are. Whining and complaining about the state of the world just makes the state of the world that little bit worse, because now it’s got some crying baby whinging in it as well. To make the world better takes positive action. Making your life better takes positive action. Impressing your friends takes positive action. Getting your money back from the cable company takes positive action. Complaining is always negative and will always get you further away from where you want to be.

Whenever something goes wrong or things don’t pan out the way you’d hoped, just take two simple steps.

Step 1) Accept the way things are
Step 2) Take positive action to improve the situation

It’s worth remembering that we can’t all have what we want all the time. Maybe your TV is broken and you can’t fix it. Maybe you can’t afford a new one, or even a second hand one. Maybe you’re just going to have to live without a TV. Now you could spend the next few days complaining to everyone you know about how crappy it is not to have a TV and how if that stupid dog hadn’t vomited on the old one you could be being brainwashed by Fox News right now instead of standing here whining about it. Alternatively, you could dust off a pack of cards, invite a few friends over and play poker and have a decent conversation about something. There is always something better to do rather than complain.

I’ve noticed that the more affluent and privileged a person is, the more likely they are to complain. In the dusty back streets in South Africa, where the going is tough, everyone is talking about what they’re going to do – how they’re going to make something of themselves. In the glossy malls of America, there are girls sipping latte and whining about the tariff on their cell phone or complaining that they can’t get quite the right shade of eye shadow.

Tinkerbell; killed by a complaint about cold coffee in McDonald's in April 2011

Fairy killings rise sharply every time Microsoft releases a new operating system. Bill Gates said to be saddened by the news.

Now and then I take a look at the way I behave and I think to myself: If I’ve got time to complain about things – I’ve got it too good. So I stop wasting time and energy killing fairies and use that time and energy making the world more beautiful (by killing Insurance salesmen instead).