complaints into requests

Me, Dreaming of earrings made of fruit, wearing a Pyrex Necklace, Canon Digital Rebel

I heard the best advice yesterday.

Turn complaints into requests!

Did y’all get that?

Turn complaints into requests!

For example: When your dear roommate/partner/husband doesn’t clean the dishes for the gazillionth time and you want to rip his hair out, try a request instead! It’s so tempting to grumble to ourselves or call our friends and complain. Or, we think we are making a request when we complain to him that he never washes the dishes. But we are not. We are just complaining.

Make a request instead!

Try this:

“Honey/sugar lump/muffinhead? I’d like to make request. Can you wash the dishes before you leave the house in the morning? It would help me SO much.”

“You will? Thank you.”

See? Easy as pie.

Where in your life are you complaining? Look to see if there is an uncommunicated request hiding out in there…

p.s. The example above is purely fictional. My husband is damn good at doing those dishes!

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Hi, I’m Andrea

On this blog you’ll be learning with me how to use our voices, share our creative superpowers and live life in full color.

As an artist, photographer, life coach + mentor, I’m redefining what it means to be a SUPERHERO — ‘cause in my world, it’s got nothing to do with capes, spandex or sidekicks and everything to do with tenderness, intuition & baby steps of bravery.



  1. Anja

    You are so beautiful. And that is great advice, I think making requests instead of complaints would make any relationship happier. I’ll try it myself 🙂

  2. morgan

    Andrea, I love your face! Seeing your smile makes me so happy! 🙂 Do you think you’ll be getting more tee-shirts soon? I need to gear up for summertime. So glad you made it back home from the islands all safe and sound…

  3. liz elayne

    Oh i love this reframing. more requests, less complaining. thank you for this invitation to pay attention to the complaining in my life.
    and to see your gorgeours smiling face and those cherries! oh you just made my day girl!

  4. bohemiangirl

    i so needed to hear this today.
    my honey/sugar lump/muffin head will definitely respond better to a request (and a kiss) rather than a complaint!
    thanks, my friend.

  5. keri Smith

    i love that photo!
    it’s the real you.
    love k.

  6. keri Smith

    i love that photo!
    it’s the real you.
    love k.

  7. keri Smith

    i love that photo!
    it’s the real you.
    love k.

  8. keri Smith

    i love that photo!
    it’s the real you.
    love k.

  9. keri Smith

    i love that photo!
    it’s the real you.
    love k.

  10. keri Smith

    i love that photo!
    it’s the real you.
    love k.

  11. keri Smith

    i love that photo!
    it’s the real you.
    love k.

  12. keri Smith

    i love that photo!
    it’s the real you.
    love k.

  13. keri Smith

    i love that photo!
    it’s the real you.
    love k.

  14. la vie en rose

    wonderful advice. and look how cute you are!!!! love those earrings. are you wearing your pyrex necklace? it’s great!

  15. shelly

    Andrea,You truly are a Shining Star!Great Photo!

  16. Rachel Carrales

    I would comment on your wonderful insights, but I’m too busy gazing upon your beautiful face…You are absolutely lovely, dah-link!

  17. The Other Brian

    That photo is great. What a smile. And your advice is genius!

  18. Jen

    What a fantastic picture of you!! I love the cherry earrings!! What a smile!!
    Thanks for keeping me in check with asking that question as I do complain – especially of the dishes 🙂

  19. Anna

    Reframing is such a good thing~ one of my favorite tweaks is this: changing “I have to” into “I get to.” It’s very excellent. “I have to clean my kitchen today” becomes “I get to clean my kitchen today.” And with that comes gratitude~ gratitude for having a lovely yellow kitchen, for having good food and clean water, for having a body that can do all the necessary things…

  20. Crissi

    Brilliant! I’ll have to try that sometime with others… And I just looove the picture!

  21. Janine

    Beautiful photo and brilliant advice – thanks!

  22. jennifer

    dang, that’s the cutEST picture ever ever. love the joy.

  23. adele

    you look absolutely gorgeous in this photo!!

  24. Kate

    Oh my God! I complain about that every morning (most of my grumblings are in my head)!
    You look beautiful in that photo!

  25. Monica

    What a joyous picture! And that’s great advice…just today I realized I spend an inordinate amount of time grumbling and complaining to myself about various things, when I never actually mention any of them to my husband.
    I think I like your idea better. 🙂

  26. megg

    FANTASTIC picture!
    I love your recommendation! (and I also love that someone else out there uses muffinhead as a term of endearment. Sometimes when I really need emphasis he gets ‘sweetheart-face!’) ha ha! Have a remarkable day!

  27. Tickled Pink

    You look marvelous! I was in bed sick all day yesterday, but I need to get back to my family and teaching today. Your words sould like the path of less reisitance need to take today. Thanks! Oh and …
    La Cucaracha
    In the land of se-no-ri-tas,
    Sweet Lo-li-tas and Chi-qui-tas.
    There they do a dance as neat as
    An-y dance at an-y ball.
    La Cu-ca-ra-cha!
    La Cu-ca-ra-cha!

  28. banna

    That’s it, go natural.
    Not only do they look fab but you can eat them thought-out the day.
    And you will have plenty of friends who will soon wear banana hats and grape necklaces that you’ll can share.
    Do I hear a fruit salad party coming up?

  29. Kelly

    What wonderful advice… thanks for making me smile today with your lovely earrings and your words of wisdom 🙂

  30. delia~rose

    Um, YOU are so beautiful.
    OhMY. yes.
    And I lurv your vibrant fridgey/necklace/housey******

  31. nadine

    I love your fridge. I have come to notice that fridge-adornment is not unlike tongue-folding – some do, some don’t. My husband grew up in a house where nothing was ever stuck on the fridge (can you imagine?!), and sometimes I find him standing infront of ours, shaking his head in wonder at the ever-changing collage. Whenever I go to a home with an unadorned fridge, I always have the urge to open up the nearest drawer just to find out where they keep all the good stuff!

  32. maureen

    you are truly gorgeous!!!

  33. Stevie

    I love your blog and jewlery! You are adorable!

  34. Lynn

    Gorgeous photo!

  35. pixie

    what a treat to see your smiling face this morning! oh complaining….but its so familiar and cozy and fun!!!! *whine* i get it.
    thank you!

  36. matirose

    you are just glowing in this photo!!! i love it:)

  37. Georgy

    Brilliant! I will await the very nexy complaint I hear – or utter – and try it – thanks for the tip.

  38. Joy

    Great advice! Maybe I will start carrying a sign on my morning walk/commute that has written “Please yield to pedestrians at crosswalks!” in bright, cheery colors…

  39. Carla

    That is great advice!
    By the way, I love the picture!

  40. Laura

    Muffinhead! *snarf* 🙂
    Great advice!
    Oh and I love “I get to” (Anna’s comment) — I am *so* gonna try that.
    Another thing that my husband and I do that keeps things running smoothly is to ask for credit. For example, if I do the dishes and I wait for him to notice and thank me, I might get grumbly and feel unappreciated if he doesn’t say anything. But, instead, what I say is, “I did the dishes today! I want credit! Aren’t I wonderful?” and he says, “Yes you are! I’m so lucky!” and everything is shiney.

  41. kyra

    Great advice! I’m going to try to start implementing it… Love the photo too!

  42. Meg

    Oh my god! You look so happy and tan and glowing and I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!! What a great photo. Whatever you are doing, keep doing it, it’s magic.
    Wow wow wow. Wonderful.

  43. Cali

    I love it! There is a market for someone — personal request buttons: “Please say only kind words to me today” or “Tell me that you love me!”…..
    I once had a button that said something like, ” I am an amazing, beautiful person” — I really loved to wear it but I would sometimes have people ask me if it was a joke!??? So funny!
    Great post — so true: ask for what you want.

  44. Sarah Jane

    Oh so clever! I catch myself complaining a lot about silly, trivial things so I’m definitely going to try this out…it just makes so much sense!

  45. jen

    purty you…xoxo jen

  46. azura

    LURVE the pix.
    This is great advice! i think my paradigm has just shifted, im definitely going to try doing it

  47. azura

    What a fab pix. I lurve it.
    I will definitely try requesting, what a paradigm shifting suggestion!

  48. rachael

    hahah. “muffinhead” made me laugh. 🙂 My husband calls me that all the time as a sort of joke.
    You look gorgeous, by the way.

  49. wendy

    What a great post, A! And timely! I’m always complaining about my husband clipping his hair or shaving and leaving the hairs all over the bathroom sink. Then one day in the shower I had an epiphany. He professes to be a feminist so I tried a new angle. I said, “I just want to know one thing…do you want it to be my job to clean up after you because if you do then I will do so and stop complaining…otherwise I would appreciate it if you would clean up after yourself”. This really seemed to reach him, It worked for a couple of weeks anyway.

  50. G-Man

    Great post, great idea, great perspective, and, damn girl, great smile! 🙂

  51. linda

    whoa. can someone say ‘photogenic’? you are beautiful.

  52. chrissy

    y o u
    a r e
    b e a u t i f u l !

  53. Jenn

    love the picture! very intro-to-amelie-esque.

  54. Jenn

    What a pretty picture of you. You look lovely.
    I love this entry. I’ve been trying to work on this. I’ve been practicing daily only complaining to the person the complaint is about. Not just to anyone. Complaing to someone who can do something about it and not just complaining.
    This seems to be a hard practice but I feel like I am treating others better so it’s worth it.

  55. angela

    oh beautiful sweet you…
    have just made me smile something big when i saw this.
    and waiting for the promise of spring and cherry blossom trees… and then those cherries too!
    loves to you andrea!

  56. Emily

    andrea!!! that picture is adorable!!!
    youre too cute!!
    its been a while, but its always nice to read what youre up to!! i look at your site everyday to remind me of the finer things in life!!! or such i say “funer” things in life? hhehehe, im too corny for my own good!!

  57. nadine

    What a great idea!! i got to talk to my boss… and make some requests!! 😉

  58. rani Shah

    Awsome advice!!! Made me laught, but you are so right!!!

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