Are you annoyed by your colleague complaining all the time? Do you have that one friend who is whining everyday about small problems in his/her perfect little life? Are you done listening to your own moaning? Read further for the best tips on how to behave around chronic chomplainers!
What is a chronic complainer you ask? Read my first entry on how to spot them!
What happened last time?
In my previously post we have established that no matter what religion one believes in, it does not make a person complain less or complain more. Maybe you just have to believe in love as the Beatles singer said and happiness will find you, but if that seems hopeless in you eyes here is some advice on how to survive complainers:
In case someone you know is a complainer:
Pretend or the Listening and Nodding method
Unconsciously chronic complainers mostly need attention. Give them the satisfaction of being heard and listen when they talk initially and keep nodding to show that you care. Use phrases like ´I hear you´ or ´That must be tough´. Avoid suggesting a solution or asking questions because that is just fuel to the fire and chronic complainers wear themselves out in five minutes.
After validation you must show your sympathy, do not disagree. Do the best you can and let them believe, that you are not only pretending. Sarcasm should also be avoided, because they migth think you do not take them serious which will make them whine about that as well. Now for your own sake you have to use deflection. It is the best way not to seem rude and might lead them to more positive thoughts.
Use phrases like ´That’s terrible. I don’t know how you deal with that.´ or ask ´What’s going well for you?´
The latter phrase is already a bit of redirecting the conversation. Redirecting means smoothly changing the subject of the conversation without obviously showing them that they should not complain. Guy Winch from Psychology Today says that redirecting is the simplest and best solution.
Never say that ´It is not that bad´ because these half-baked prep talks will be perceived by them as an offense. Complainers will say that you think they are overreacting and that will only make them find 5 other things they can complaina bout just to convince you about how bad their situation really is.
In case you have come to realize that you are a complainer:
Is it a true problem?
Usually chronic complainer do not have a real problem, normally if you suggest a solution they will not accept it because they see it as an insult since you solved their problem easily and are done with the time you want to spend on whining about it and giving ti attention. Chronic complainers though need the attention, and will thus take a solution as an insult.
An other option is to ask yourself if your problem really is an extremely big problem with valueable aspects or you are just creating a big problem where there is no. ‘
So before you approach your complaint on something compare it to a real problem or the less fortunate, which should help you to cherish what you have.
Can it be solved?
Write all your problems down in order of importance
Write down solutions for each (if needed!)
Ask yourself how you would like to fix the problem you are dealing with. This might help you to actually fic the problem or to realiye that you do not even want to solve it but just complain about it to everyone. If that is the case you will not even want to find a solution because the endresult is winning over people´s attention, not solving it.
Chronic complainers are not bad people, but they need some guidance, if they become rude or annoying.
Humour is also a way to deal with chronic complainers, but it might only be a temporary solution to ease the current mood. Nevertheless will my next entry be about first world problems to show how ridiculously great life is and how much we can laugh with chronic complainers after all.
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