Author Topic: How do you define a "complainypants"?  (Read 6965 times)

justajane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2147
  • Location: Midwest
How do you define a "complainypants"?
« on: November 26, 2014, 06:32:08 AM »
This might be Mustachian heresy, but I hate the term "complainypants". Perhaps its juvenile nature is intended to draw out the supposed childish nature of the complainer's tone, but I just find it shuts down discussion of an individual's struggles. Rather than moving a thread alone, it just stops it in its tracks.

Also, where is the line between an excuse and an explanation for someone's circumstances? I often find that people (esp. in an "Ask a Mustachian") are attempting to explain how they got where they are. I think this is an important part of the journey that gets squashed by the dismissive term above.

So, for those of you who use this MMM created term, what warrants its use? Do you use it indiscriminately? Or do you recognize the distinction between an excuse and an explanation? Or are they one in the same to you?


« Last Edit: November 26, 2014, 07:07:09 AM by justajane »

mak1277

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 756
Re: How do you define a "complainypants"?
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2014, 06:35:23 AM »
To me, a complainypants is someone who complains about a situation they either put themselves in or have not made any effort to get themselves out of. 


boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7849
Re: How do you define a "complainypants"?
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2014, 06:45:00 AM »
explaining how you got somewhere is fine.  shooting down the advice given freely by members of the forum as not possible is complainypants.   

the "just cuz you did it doesnt mean everyone can" excuse  is complainypants. 

If its something you can control that you're just choosing not to its complainypants if youre broadcasting it as hurting your life in someway

Louisville

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 498
Re: How do you define a "complainypants"?
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2014, 06:51:32 AM »
All excuses are explanations; not all explanations are excuses. My explanation tells you about my situation. My excuse explains why my situation is not my responsibility.
A complainypants is someone who doesn't want to take responsibility for their own bad situation - either how they got into it or how they're going to handle it going forward. Instead, they're just going to find ways to shift responsibility.
Even if one's bad situation is really, really the fault of another party (rare), one should take responsibilty for one's own situation going forward.

That's how I see it, anyway.

Greg

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1449
  • Location: Olympia, WA, USA
Re: How do you define a "complainypants"?
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2014, 08:54:42 AM »
Agree with others here, and will add that the term "complainypants" is intended to describe the "complain and do nothing" aspect of some situations, while doing so with light-hearted, joking rather than stern, serious criticism. 

justajane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2147
  • Location: Midwest
Re: How do you define a "complainypants"?
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2014, 09:24:44 AM »
Agree with others here, and will add that the term "complainypants" is intended to describe the "complain and do nothing" aspect of some situations, while doing so with light-hearted, joking rather than stern, serious criticism.

That's interesting, thanks. I'll keep that tone in mind when I see it bandied about in the future. It always comes across as mean spirited to me, but I could have certainly misunderstood the nuance of it. It has never been directed at me personally (that I know of at least), so I don't think it's an issue of me being overly sensitive.

I've always considered it along the lines of the term "hater", a pithy, meaningless phrase used to dismiss people, but these definitions round out my view of what people are using it as shorthand for.

I know what people mean by those who shoot down every type of advice. I always wonder - why present your budget or question if you have no intention of changing? This problem often seems to come up in the case studies, and I imagine that those of you who have read hundreds of those would be more apt to use a shorthand phrase like "complainypants", instead of touting off the same explanation for what you mean.

Greg

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1449
  • Location: Olympia, WA, USA
Re: How do you define a "complainypants"?
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2014, 09:41:09 AM »
Also, it's part of the "*-pants" vocabulary in use here.  For instance, "fancy-pants" is used to describe luxury and other unnecessary or ornate things.  But with a similar light rather than heavy hand.  At least that's how I've always interpreted it.

Forcus

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 714
  • Location: Central Illinois
Re: How do you define a "complainypants"?
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2014, 10:15:35 AM »
I don't see complainy-pants as offensive, actually the opposite. The less tactful (or more direct... pick your poison) would say stubborn, close-minded, terrified of change, addicted to the consumer mindset, a lemming, weakling, etc. So if someone gets offended over complainy-pants, they were probably going to be offended no matter how much you coddle them.

hybrid

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1669
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Richmond, Virginia
  • A hybrid of MMM and thoughtful consumer.
Re: How do you define a "complainypants"?
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2014, 10:35:26 AM »
Just about everyone I've known who is a pessimist is also a complainypants. Most folks I know have precious little to genuinely complain about in the grand scheme, and those that do anyway I struggle with. I try to surround myself with positive people where I can.

Thegoblinchief

  • Guest
Re: How do you define a "complainypants"?
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2014, 11:17:20 AM »
I agree with what others have said. I don't think I've ever used the term, but it's why I tend to respond to excuses, not with a critique, but a challenge. No one is super human.

For example with biking. People seem to think I must be some elite athlete to bike as much as I do and in the conditions I do. But here's just the thing: I was born partially paralyzed from cerebral palsy, but have recovered enough nerve and motor function to be nearly normal. I'm never, ever going to be an athlete at an elite level, but why should I let an easy excuse stop me? Nor is my city some biking paradise where the cars only exhaust rainbows.

sheepstache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2424
Re: How do you define a "complainypants"?
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2014, 11:27:49 AM »
  the "just cuz you did it doesnt mean everyone can" excuse  is complainypants. 

'Just cuz someone in similar circumstances did it doesn't mean I can' would be nearer the mark. I can improve my running time but I'll never get to a 4-minute mile. Just not built for it. In fact the, 'I did it therefore everyone else can' thinking is the scourge of the forum. I call it being judgeypants :) But for the most part people get that, say, someone with a special needs kid will have a harder time than others. It's complainypants once they start being like, but I caaaan't save any money at all because-because my special needs kid!  Even MMM has admitted that ER might not be a path open to people earning minimum wage, but he would certainly facepunch any of them for not taking responsibility for their lives.

I always think of complainypants having to do with a person referencing an external locus of control rather than internal.

I'm reminded of a King of the Hill episode.
HANK: Mr. Harrington, you seem to have a few gaps here in your work history.
MR. HARRINGTON: Well, '33 to '45, F.D.R. was in the White House, so I was on the welfare. And in the '60s, you had Kennedy and L.B.J., so I was on the welfare. And then from '77 to '81, Jimmy Carter, so I was on the welfare.

SisterX

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2760
  • Location: 2nd Star on the Right and Straight On 'Til Morning
Re: How do you define a "complainypants"?
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2014, 11:51:47 AM »
I agree with pretty much everyone else here, that it's a term for someone who is refusing to take control of their situation.  Someone who's so oblivious to their personal or financial mistakes that they don't even recognize them as mistakes, that person is not a complainypants.  When someone has been shown the light, however, and STILL refuses to make necessary changes, that person is the embodiment of complainypantsness.  An explanation is just that, but plenty of people still hang onto their excuses like a lifeline.  All of us do it in some areas, and accusations of complainypants can be helpful in being a gentle reminder to actually look at your own blind spots.

For example with biking. People seem to think I must be some elite athlete to bike as much as I do and in the conditions I do. But here's just the thing: I was born partially paralyzed from cerebral palsy, but have recovered enough nerve and motor function to be nearly normal. I'm never, ever going to be an athlete at an elite level, but why should I let an easy excuse stop me? Nor is my city some biking paradise where the cars only exhaust rainbows.

That is very inspiring.  Thank you for sharing that.

'Just cuz someone in similar circumstances did it doesn't mean I can' would be nearer the mark. I can improve my running time but I'll never get to a 4-minute mile. Just not built for it. In fact the, 'I did it therefore everyone else can' thinking is the scourge of the forum. I call it being judgeypants :) But for the most part people get that, say, someone with a special needs kid will have a harder time than others. It's complainypants once they start being like, but I caaaan't save any money at all because-because my special needs kid!  Even MMM has admitted that ER might not be a path open to people earning minimum wage, but he would certainly facepunch any of them for not taking responsibility for their lives.

I sort of agree, but then again don't.  Just because you'll never run a 4 minute mile (I won't either) doesn't mean you can't be a runner, but that is how most people take it.  I'll never be great at this so might as well not try.  That is the ultimate complainypants attitude, and you do seem to be saying that toward the end of the paragraph.
I think that when someone says, "I did this so you can too!" it's not meant to be a 1:1 thing.  Just because I walk to work in -40 weather and love it doesn't mean I think everyone else can or should, but pretty much everyone else can and should dress for the weather in their area and walk/bike more often, rather than letting their excuses get in the way.  Again, most people DO use those excuses as reasons why they can't do something.

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 10199
  • Age: 61
  • Location: NorCal
Re: How do you define a "complainypants"?
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2014, 11:56:45 AM »
Short version: complainypants = whiner.

Cromacster

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1696
  • Location: Minnesnowta
Re: How do you define a "complainypants"?
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2014, 11:59:32 AM »
Nor is my city some biking paradise where the cars only exhaust rainbows.

You win the day!

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8524
  • Registered member
Re: How do you define a "complainypants"?
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2014, 11:24:15 AM »
Classic complainypants.

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/10/07/how-to-tell-if-youre-a-complainypants/

Quote
A Complainypants looks only at results Ė seeing the external trappings or the successes of a particular role modelís life, and justifies why he canít have those things. And then makes himself unhappy because of not having those results.

sheepstache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2424
Re: How do you define a "complainypants"?
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2014, 11:43:40 AM »
'Just cuz someone in similar circumstances did it doesn't mean I can' would be nearer the mark. I can improve my running time but I'll never get to a 4-minute mile. Just not built for it. In fact the, 'I did it therefore everyone else can' thinking is the scourge of the forum. I call it being judgeypants :) But for the most part people get that, say, someone with a special needs kid will have a harder time than others. It's complainypants once they start being like, but I caaaan't save any money at all because-because my special needs kid!  Even MMM has admitted that ER might not be a path open to people earning minimum wage, but he would certainly facepunch any of them for not taking responsibility for their lives.

I sort of agree, but then again don't.  Just because you'll never run a 4 minute mile (I won't either) doesn't mean you can't be a runner, but that is how most people take it.  I'll never be great at this so might as well not try.  That is the ultimate complainypants attitude, and you do seem to be saying that toward the end of the paragraph.
I think that when someone says, "I did this so you can too!" it's not meant to be a 1:1 thing.  Just because I walk to work in -40 weather and love it doesn't mean I think everyone else can or should, but pretty much everyone else can and should dress for the weather in their area and walk/bike more often, rather than letting their excuses get in the way.  Again, most people DO use those excuses as reasons why they can't do something.

Yes, thank you for asking, the 1:1 instances are what I was trying to talk about. I see it more on the non-money related topics.

SporeSpawn

  • Guest
Re: How do you define a "complainypants"?
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2014, 03:57:55 PM »
I'll admit I hate the term as well, as well as "Mustachian" and "face punch." It's the sort of in-group lingo who say right before a cheap grin and a fist bump while someone outside the groups takes a drink and pretends not to care. But, as long as it's efficient at conveying information, I can't complain.

"Complainypants" to me is basically what it sounds like. Someone who complains. "I can't stop spending $35 a month on medication because I literally need the medication" isn't complaining, it's stating a fact. Complaining is using words to keep broken those things that actions could fix instead. "I can't fix my roof myself because that would mean buying the shingles and nailing them on by myself." Unless the inference here is "I'm crippled," that's not stating a fact. That's complaining.

milesdividendmd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1913
  • Location: Portlandia
    • Miles Dividend MD
Re: How do you define a "complainypants"?
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2014, 04:04:48 PM »
 I also hate the term complainy-pants unless it is applied to oneself.

In general it's a good idea to be more charitable to others and less charitable to ourselves.

Labeling others weaknesses is an escape, labeling our own leads to progress.