Careful how you count your blessings

Complaining is an art. Too much, and you annoy everyone around you. Too little, though, and how are you going to form close bonds with anyone?

Counting your blessings can also be an art.

I think we all know what it’s like to experience someone who complains too much. A coworker who’s always whining about work. That friend who doesn’t know how to let relationships go. On the other hand, if you never complain, not even a little, most people start to think you’re out of touch with reality. “Does that guy even know what’s good for him?”

The problem with counting your blessings, though, can be a little more sneaky. A friend of mine, a former teacher with McGill who’s now my boss thanks to the tumultuous cancellation of extended contracts for the former bosses, is getting hit with this problem.

My friend hasn’t taught for the past month or so because of his new position as coordinator. He’s been really helpful as a coordinator, getting us information and backing us up when we’re trying to call out the nonsense that often gets thrown our way. He made a mistake the other day, though, when he mentioned how well things have gone over the past month.

“I had a laugh when he said classes have been easy lately,” one of the other teachers said about him later. “Easy for him to say, huh? He hasn’t been in the classes.”

“And wasn’t he the one wanting to throw in the towel back in July?” added another teacher.

The problem with counting your blessings instead of complaining is when you count the blessings no one else has but assume everyone else has them too. Then, same as when you never complain, everyone thinks you’re out of touch with reality, their reality anyway. And the problem is that they’re right.