Are you ready for a bold statement from me on how to complain less?
Some complaints are insulting and embarrassing to hear.
There, I said it! I’m expecting some pushback from some of you. And I welcome your opinions!
Full disclosure here: I figured out why people complain more these days. Before you start sending me your pushback, please read the entire article. 🙂 The ideas for this post started when I spoke with my hairdresser Michelle. We always share what’s going on in our worlds every month. And, the conversation is never dull.
Is Complaining a Bad Thing? How to Complain, Less
Constantly complaining can be an easy way to frustrate our confidants. On the other hand, there is research that shows it can also be a useful tool. Especially in helping us process emotions like stress and frustration. In short: Yes, it’s bad to complain, and yes, there’s a right way to do it.
The Story Behind the Story
This is how it all started. My hairdresser, Michelle said, “I was offended by Sue, a guest at a party who complained how hard it was to find a gardener for her 4 acre home. Sue went on and on for about 10 minutes. Sue didn’t know that the people listening to these complaints lived modestly. Most of the guests had to make major financial changes since the pandemic.” Michelle didn’t sound like a victim at all. All she wanted to do was change the conversation! Additionally, she didn’t know how to stop Sue from complaining for such a long time.
Joyce Give Us More Examples: How to Complain, Less
I thought about the conversation with Michelle. And, decided to write this article on how dangerous complaining is for our health – physical and mental.
Here are three examples that I experienced in one week!
- A customer couldn’t get eggs at 6 pm because the restaurant was short-staffed – with only one cook. The customer continued complaining for a while and made quite a scene.
- Another customer sounded like a 2-year-old. As a result of not getting her way. She found out that the restaurant had to remove lamb chops from the menu. The supplier went out of business. The manager was called in AGAIN to calm down the “2-year old.”
- George and Ann made a scene in a local diner. They couldn’t eat at their favorite table. As a result, the manager had to be called in because she needed to calm down these volatile customers.
Enough already! There are more stories that I could include. In fact, I need to start protecting my own health! 🙂
Joyce’s First Impression
At first, I thought how spoiled people are that they complain about the smallest things. This sounds judgmental on my side. I know that. I take full responsibility for this.
Then, I put on my coaching hat after these 3 incidents. And, came up with a less judgy opinion. The pandemic has changed how many of us deal with challenges and change. Some people appreciate the fact that they can get out, travel, and be with loved ones. Others are having a hard time with changes that they had to make. In fact, the smallest change sets them off.
Anxiety is at a high time right now. Additionally, we still don’t know how the virus is going to play out in our future. Plus, we have bigger problems to solve in the world besides the things that we can’t get anymore – like eggs after 1 pm or lamb chops!
Some people have a lower threshold. And, you can see this by the way they complain more than they did before.
Easy Strategies to Use: How to Complain, Less
- Your happiness is your choice. Change our thinking and we will change our life. Of course, we all complain at times. Complaining daily is dangerous to your success and happiness.
“You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses.”- Proverb
2. Be grateful for who you are and what you have. Michelle wanted to tell Sue to feel grateful that she has such a beautiful home with such a huge garden. Michelle didn’t say anything because she didn’t know the guest well. On the other hand, Michelle started to feel more grateful after Sue’s conversation. Michelle loves her home. She loves the fact that she gardens herself because she doesn’t have a large lot!
3. It’s a good thing to vent every once in a while. This is healthy communication. Even more, venting all the time is unhealthy for your relationships, career, and your health.
4. Shift the direction when you are talking to “Connie the Complainer.” Ask Connie, “What’s going right with you these days?” This one question MAY shift Connie from constant complaining to sharing something positive.
Read more on changing your mindset: Think like Buddha HERE:
Joyce’s Concluding Thoughts
You are the only person who can change your unhealthy communication. Notice how often you complain to family, friends, or at work. This could be an indication that you need to vent more. Additionally, you may be having a hard time keeping up with so many changes. And, an uncertain future. This may be a good time to speak to your doctor or health care provider. Anxiety is at an all-time high now.
People ask me how I keep my positive attitude going. Especially, since I help people deal with their conflict and inner stress. It’s easy for me to answer. I am a human being. At times you will hear me complain also. This pandemic showed me how grateful I am for family, friends, my career, and my health. I realize that everyone is not as fortunate. They have experienced such loss.
I don’t take life for granted. There will always be people who complain about mundane things. It’s their choice. It’s our choice to see how the world has changed. It has nothing to do with us. We need to show our resilience. It’s our new normal.
I welcome your thoughts about this article. Bring on your contrarian views. I’m open and ready to respond.
This is a great time for you to check out how your communication skills impact your success at work and home. Take your FREE Communication Assessment HERE
Let’s Stay Connected
- Please share your thoughts about this week’s post.
- How does it resonate with you?
- How do you deal with the “Complaining Connies?”
You can share your opinions in the comment section or send me a private email HERE.
Until Next Time,
Joyce Weiss, M.A., CSP, CVP
Conflict Resolution and Communication Coach
Queen of Conflict Resolution
P.S. Please share this post on your social media. As a result, other growth-minded people can reduce their high drama and inner stress.
P.P.S. I’m the Human Resource Professional’s Partner. I coach employees and managers so that they feel heard and respected.
This means they are confident to use their voice – without losing their cool!
P.P.P.S Let me know if you are ready to discuss if working with me as your (or your direct reports) private coach. It’s easy and fits anyone’s budget and schedule.
Call me at 248.681.5831 or send an email: Joyce@JoyceWeiss.com for a Free 20 – minute discovery call.