I got on the elevator of our building this morning and a woman rushed to the elevator door to get on. I was happy to hold the door for her and wished her a “good morning.” She was initially quite pleasant and then she proceeded to complain about everything that came to her mind—it was humid, hot, it gets hot then the air conditioning makes you sick, you get sick and then it just drags on, etc. I am sure she didn’t realize how negative she seemed since some people often “connect” through their complaining. In fact, sometimes people try to outdo each other with how bad things are. But if you are a complainer you may inadvertently be driving people away.
A number of my patients have complained about the complainers to me. I know that I am complaining about them, as well, so I hope that I can turn this around to something positive.
What does the complainer want?
See if you identify yourself or someone you know with any of the following:
What drives people to complain so much? What are they looking for? Let’s look at the different styles of complaining.
How to Turn Complaining Around
If you or someone you care about is stuck in the complaining style, consider the unintended consequences. First, the more you complain the more you are stuck on negative feelings. The more you dwell on negatives the more things seem worse. Second, the more you complain the more negative you seem to other people. They might not want to hear these complaints. And, third, if you alienate your friends you will have something else to complain about.
What can you do?
Ironically, people who complain often end up with more to complain about. Once you open the complaints files there is no end to the misery that you can experience.
Look in a different file.
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