Everywhere I go, I hear complaining. It doesn’t matter if I’m at the supermarket or at a family gathering. Complaining is almost always the tone of the conversation. Sound familiar?
I used to join in with the complaining just so I could be an active part of the conversation. It made me feel like I was part of the group and not going against the grain. It made me feel safe and normal and…it made me feel pretty negative a lot of time!
Once I realized that I had nothing to really complain about, I started to add my POSITIVE two cents to the conversations that were all about complaining. I quickly learned that NOT complaining was frowned upon in the midst of a bunch of complainers and soon I began to opt myself out of the conversation completely.
I still complain sometimes, but I try to complain only when it’s necessary. I feel better during conversations when I don’t needlessly complain, and I feel better about myself when I stay positive and focus on the good things in life.
Can Complaining Be Useful?
There are times that I find complaining useful. I still don’t like the way I feel when I spout out negative emotions and feelings to the world, but it’s sometimes necessary.
Complaining When You Get Screwed Over
I complain when I get screwed over. For instance, on a recent vacation, I stayed in a 4 star hotel where the room was not ready upon arrival and upon final inspection was dirtier than some really cheap hotels I’ve stayed in. I complained to the staff in the moment and received no sympathy towards my complaint so I wrote an email to the manager when I arrived home and eventually got my money back for the night.
In that situation, I knew that being upset about poor service was going to feel worse than complaining and getting my money back. I feel that being stepped on or screwed over almost always warrants you standing up for yourself and making your case known.
As a caveat, remember that there is no point in complaining about the situation while you are in it. If you have to spend the night in crapville and no one will listen to your complaints do not make yourself more miserable by complaining the whole night through. Keep in mind that a solid complaint to the manager or someone else in power will be coming eventually and that complaint is the one you should be focusing on.
Complaining When You Are With a Close Friend or Family Member
If you spill your issues to everyone who will listen, you will start to become the person that everyone avoids! Also nonstop complaining will make you feel worse. It will add energy to the issue and make you even more upset and can eventually lead to depression or anxiety.
But, if you keep your problems inside of you and only complain to yourself, then you will eventually explode like a volcano with anger and despair. It’s not possible to always keep your problems and concerns inside.
Instead of complaining about your problems to anyone who will listen, try using a close friend or family member to lend an ear when you need her or him. A spouse is ideal for this. Let them know that you just need to vent and you do not need them to join in with the complaining. You will feel better once you get it all out and are able to move on from the issue.
As a caveat, do not use them to complain to every time you talk to them. Your friend or family member should be able to have fun and uplifting conversations with you most of the time and be a sounding board some of the time. They will start to resent you if you only call them up to vent and complain. Use an alternate route of complaining like writing it down or talking to your dog when you feel your friend has done their part and then some.
Other than those two times, I find that complaining is pointless. It doesn’t make you feel better or solve any problems. It just adds fuel to the fire and keeps the issues going on and on.
What To Do When You Feel Like Complaining?
Try taking action against your complaints and making yourself feel better that way. For instance, if you find that you complain about your job and the way your boss treats you, then take action to get out of that situation. Complaining about the job and boss will do nothing to fix the situation, but finding a new job sure will!
Don’t let complaining control your life. Complain when necessary, but avoid it when it’s not.