Creative Complaining

Do you suffer from a chronic condition and feel like you’re constantly complaining but your listeners are at a loss with how to respond. Cynthia Reyes offers some tips she’s learned from her experiences.

Cynthia Reyes

Amazing how people can lie, when asked a simple question: “How are you feeling today?”

“Great!” they reply, when what they really mean is: “Horrible! Really horrible!”

Why do they lie?

“No-one wants to listen to a complainer,” says a woman I met in my pain management program at the hospital. “After a while, people don’t want to be around you.”

“Everybody’s already got their own troubles,” says a woman who’s living with cancer.

“What’s the point?” asks a man who recently lost his job. “Even if they listen, they feel helpless.”

And finally, from an elderly woman: “I just don’t want my children to worry.”

They had given up on telling the truth. Even people who find dishonesty repugnant, would sooner lie than admit the sad truth about how they’re feeling on a given day.


In my group at the rehabilitation hospital, most people I asked admitted they’d…

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9 thoughts on “Creative Complaining

  1. What a great post! Thanks so much for sharing, Susan. I too live with a chronic condition and I’ve learned it’s best to keep my pain to myself. I’ll express my feelings in my journal, but not to friends and coworkers. Only close family hears the real deal. 🙂

  2. before Dad died, people would ask “how you getting on Fred” Dad said “not so bad” he maintained the askers didn’t want to know, but felt better if they’d asked.He died 2014 October 4th, the last thing he said was “I’m okay”.

    1. Aww. Bless his heart. We really do want to hear that they are okay. I was told a long time ago by one of my aunts to not ask what I can do for somebody or they will say, nothing, I’m fine. Instead, decide what you can do and do it.

      1. He was open with nurses and medical people it was the man in the street. Dad would say “they have enough baggage without carrying mine” O ften he would come back with a quip or a joke, as we do.

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