“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.” – Dale Carnegie
Some people complain about everything under the sun. We find them in our home, in our neighborhood, in our workplace or even when we go on a vacation. Sometimes these complains are genuine but what to do when we have to deal with a chronic complainer.
“The tendency to whining and complaining may be taken as the surest sign symptom of little souls and inferior intellects.” – Lord Jeffrey
A chronic complainer is a person who finds fault in everything and everyone around him/ her and makes everyone around
aware of the fault. A chronic complainer highlights the negative points in everything no matter how good the situation is. Nobody enjoys the company of a complainer/ whiner and dealing with a chronic complainer is very stressful and challenging.
“If you have time to whine and complain about something then you have the time to do something about it.”-Anthony J. D’Angelo
Have you noticed how tired and low you feel after listening to complainers long list of complains. This happens because the complainers are energy drainers our brain shutdowns and losses energy when we constant hear whining and complaints. Avoiding such people is not always possible so how to save our brain cells from melting in the presence of such negativity.
“Instead of complaining that the rosebush is full of thorns, be happy that the thorn bush has roses.”-German Proverb
I have divided complainers in two categories: –
1. Loved ones:
It is emotionally challenging and very frustrating to deal with a loved one who starts behaving like a chronic complainer. We feel the pressure to support and sympathies the complainer and we try to make everything as pleasant as possible to stop the complaints.
“He that falls by himself never cries.” – Turkish proverb
You may try solving all the problems the complainer is talking about and you may get mentally and physically exhausted. Still it should not come as a surprise to you if the complainer keeps complaining even if everything is perfectly good because a chronic complainer can find faults in anything and everything.
Tough love is the only solution when you want a loved one to stop whining. Talk back to the complainer in firm and clear voice.
If the complainer is complaining about something not so bad say clearly and firmly; “That’s not so bad.” or “It doesn’t bother me that much.”
If the complainer is repeating complaints from past and not letting it go; say something like “Didn’t we just discuss about this an hour ago?”
When you find the complainer in a calmer mood discuss your concerns about his/ her chronic complaining habit. Help him/ her become aware of the problem. Tell how you feel about it. If the complainer cares about you in the same way you care about him/ her you will see immediate improvement in the behavior.
You may get into lots of arguments and fights as the complainer will go into a complete denial stage initially but when he/ she wants to change and ask for your help you can suggest a remedy mentioned in the book by Will Bowen; “A Complaint Free World” – ware a rubber band or thread or bracelet on one of your wrists and change it to the other wrist every time you complain. Your goal is to go 21 days without changing it from one wrist to another. If you can go 21 days without a single complaint you can get cured of becoming a chronic complainer. You will also become a positive, happy person that others love to have around.
“Complain to one who can help you.” – Yugoslavian proverb
2nd category continued in “Dealing with Difficult People – Complainer/ Whiner (Part 2)”