In the past few years, I’ve been trying to clean out my complaint center. Instead of complaining, I try to look for positive solutions – or at the very least a solution. Complaining does nothing to help me move forward. All it does it keep me stuck in a place of – well, complaining!
The problem is that when I get around someone who complains all the time, it can start to affect my mentality negatively and put me in a place of complaining about the complainer. So, instead of complaining about them, I try to do something different.
Try To Help Them Find A Solution
Complaining really is about problem solving. When we complain, we are not happy, and we need a solution to make us happy again. For instance, complaining about traffic means I am not happy with traffic. This means that I need a solution to get over that unhappiness, such as deal with it, take another route, or start taking the bus. A solution will help me to stop complaining because it will provide a different experience.
The problem is that complaining doesn’t necessary make us feel good. This is why I stopped complaining and, instead, just try to find a solution when I feel there is something to complain about.
“Those who turned to social support, (including denial, venting, disengagement, and self-blame) felt less satisfied at the end of the day than those who used positive re-framing, acceptance, or humor.” Shape
So, first try to help someone who complains a lot find a solution. For example, if they complain about their nosy neighbor, then help them find a solution to keep their neighbor out of their life. You may suggest something that they can physically do like file a restraining order or talk to the neighbor.
If that doesn’t work, help them re-frame the situation. Help them to see that the nosy neighbor is really not a big issue, and that they are probably just bored and have nothing else to do. This may help them see that the neighbor is not out to ruin their life but, instead, is just trying to add something to their own life.
If that doesn’t work, try to help them accept what is happening and stop resisting it. One thing I learned from Mind Calm is that resistance is what causes most of our anger and negative emotions. When we want something to be different, we stress ourselves out. If they can accept what is happening, then they can move past it easier and find a solution.
Lastly, try to help them have some humor about the situation. Looking at it through a lens of humor is much better than looking at it through a lens of anger. For instance, help them to see how ridiculous their neighbor looks as they peek over the fence, rather than how annoying they are when they look over the fence.
When They Are Not Ready To Take Action On Their Complaining
The problem is that many people are not ready to take action on their complaints and start to feel better. They complain for the sake of complaining.
Many people are so used to complaining that they don’t know what else to do.They have done it for so long that their mindset cannot see anything else but complaints.
Nothing you say or do will help them have a new mindset. They need to do that on their own.
If this is the case, try changing the subject to something more positive. It’s a great way to get off the rant and give you a break from hearing all the negative thoughts and feelings they have in their body without any desire to fix the situation.
If that doesn’t work, then you will have to accept what they are saying and find a way to not let it affect you. For instance, if your friend is complaining about his love life, and you know that he is not going to do anything to fix his love life, you may want to feel compassion for your friend and the pain he is mentally and physically going through. Having compassion will allow you to listen and be a shoulder to cry on, without soaking in the negative energy and letting it affect you.
Live In The Moment
I find this is a great way to stay present and not get caught up in anger, exhaustion, and frustration. When your friend or family member is complaining, live in the moment and allow yourself to listen to them without judgement. There is something about staying present that removes all judgement from your thoughts and allows you to just experience it for what it is.
The above things are what I do to deal with someone who complains all the time. And believe me, I have a lot of people in my life who complain. It works. It allows me to stay in a centered place where I don’t start to complain. And best of all, it keeps me from wanting to stab them with a knife as they continuously talk about how much everything sucks.
If YOU have any suggestions for dealing with someone who complains all the time, please feel free to share in the comments below!