Do you catch yourself whining and complaining needlessly about what ails you and what you don’t like? Do you notice your lover doing the same? Whining and complaining rarely elicit compassion from those around us but rather tend to annoy everyone. Certainly it is necessary to deal with real problems, remove blockages, overcome difficulties, and find solutions, but whining does not help the process. The Whine Cellar technique is a simple, elegant, tactful, and respectful way to get rid of whining every time it rears its annoying head.
Set the stage for using this technique by agreeing to give each other permission to identify when the other is whining and to catch your own whining as much as possible and to stop.
Time for Exercise: one minute
Properties Required: none
- When you realize you have been whining, own up to it by naming what you were doing. For example, say to your partner: “I just listened to myself and realized that I have been whining.”
- Banish your whining to the Whine Cellar, never to be heard or seen again. Say to your lover: “I am just going to drop this whole business into the Whine Cellar.”
- If you catch your partner whining, say as tactfully as you can, “It sounds like whining and complaining to me. Can we just drop this into the Whine Cellar?”
Sometimes the thing you or your lover are complaining about is a very real issue that needs to be addressed. If that is the case, after you have dispensed with whining about it, get down to finding a real solution to a real problem. The Whine Cellar is not intended to be an escape from the responsibility you have to become fit for your relationship and to deal honestly with real problems. There is an important difference between problem-solving and whining about problems. Both of you will know the difference when you hear it.