Debbie’s Golden Rule #18 – Complain, complain, complain! Do your Mah Jongg buddies put you in the category of complainer? Can you turn this around, or should I dare ask? Do you want to turn this around?


This blog is dedicated to the memory of Arlene Johnson, a dear friend who passed unexpectedly not long ago. Arlene was such a wonderful friend, and although Mah Jongg brought us together, our friendship became so much more. Our mutual support of our endeavors was terrific. Arlene, you will truly be missed.

Golden Rule #18: Complain, complain, complain! Do your Mah Jongg buddies put you in the category of complainer? Can you turn this around, or should I dare ask? Do you want to turn this around?

This Golden Rule was inspired by a few fellow Mah Jongg lovers who are challenged with complainers around their Mah Jongg table. What exactly is a Mah Jongg complainer or what I refer to as a constant complainer?”

Look at these possible verbal cues to help identify them:

  • “I haven’t gotten a Joker all night!”
  • “Well, at least you had Jokers!”
  • “This is no fun! I haven’t won a game in weeks!”
  • “This sucks, I’m almost pie!”
  • “Oh my God, I cannot for the life of me pick good tiles today!”
  • “Please God, just give me one Joker, that’s all I ask of you!”
  • “Please, God, just let me win one hand so I don’t feel like a total loser tonight!”
  • “Well, at least you’ve won a game!”
  • “This is so ugly; I cannot put a hand together!”

Do any of the above sound familiar to you? I bet. Keep in mind what I am saying is, to fit into the category of constant complainer, you would have to be complaining all day or evening long. Partaking in a once in a while complaint would put you in the category of being “human.” There is a big difference between one that makes playing with a person unpleasant and the games less fun through their non-stop complaints and a now and then complaint.

This Golden Rules, as with many others, can be a bit touchy if you like the person you are playing with, especially if you would like to broach the subject with them without hurting their feelings. I had this discussion with a friend recently and made a few suggestions that I hoped worked for her.

Try this:

  • Assuming the rest of the group feels the same way about this one player, have one person begin a discussion before the next game that might go like this:
    • Hey guys, I know we all have good days and bad around the Mah Jongg table, but can we try and keep it more positive and complain less. None of us are singled out when it comes to the absence of jokers or winning a game. We all experience those days.
    • If one player is closer to the complainer than another, have a private meeting. Ask them to lunch. Tell them you want to talk about a Mah Jongg challenge. Broach the subject gently and with love. Start the conversation with a positive such as, “You know we all love you and want to enjoy your company around the Mah Jongg table for years to come. Would it be possible if we asked you to tone down the complaining a bit?”

You will be surprised at how in the first example, the person will know you are referring to him or her and might even say something like, “Are you referring to me?” Or in the second example, she or he might say, “I didn’t know I was doing that?” Both openings allow you to discuss the situation more and, of course, as gently as possible.

In a perfect world, things might work out just fine, but since we all know this is far from an ideal world, you might run into the snag with a very defensive person who, no matter what, will get upset. With that said, well, you cannot please everyone, but at least you did your best.

Etiquette and playing Mah Jongg or while Learning to play Mah Jongg is something from which we can all benefit. These Blogs might even inspire me to write another book on Mah Jongg Etiquette one day. Kindness, good habits, and behaviors around the Mah Jongg Table can go a long way!

Happy Mahjonggin, everyone!






This Post Has One Comment

  1. Glendahabel

    Thank you DebbIe, for your insight to matters of etiquette in the world of MahJongg?
    Appreciative yours

Leave a Reply