Complaining, we all do it. We moan, find fault and kvetch about people, places and things. Pause for a moment and ask yourself, “Do I complain too much”? When you receive a gift from someone, do you wonder if you can exchange it? Have you ever been described as too crabby or disagreeable? Is your faultfinding of the people and situations in your life getting in your way? If you answered yes then maybe the way you complain needs some fine-tuning.
Complaining: Emotion And Behavior
When you complain you’re putting others on notice either by getting angry, stressing out, or expressing sadness that your expectations of what should have occurred, haven’t been met.
When we vent our frustrations about someone, or something people pay attention and a good blast of whine actually feels pretty good.
The weather, the traffic, the restaurant that got your order wrong, the TV show that killed your favorite character, the mobile app that keeps freezing up on you. But do you think complaining about any of these things makes any difference? Actually it does.
Complaining And Your Brain
The more you complain, the lower goes your dissatisfaction threshold. That is, it becomes easier for you to get disappointed with life. Because your constant complaining programs your brain to be dissatisfied easily when things don’t go your way.This leads to the internalization of your expressed complaints. In the language of social psychology, it’s called ‘saying is believing’. When you complain regardless of how you truly feel about the situation, your attitude begins to change in the direction of your verbal cues.Complaining is also highly contagious. After your friend complains about your boss, you join in, which creates a domino effect of complaints. And your innocent brain has to take speedy notes of all of it. The end result? Complaining often leaves us being hopeless, helpless, and makes us the victims of our own thoughts.Read more…
Complaining: Effective And Ineffective
Ineffective Complaining: If your input to others about their behavior job performance or lifestyle is fault finding and critical, then you’re a weak complainer. Ineffective complainers tend to be anxious, quick tempered and demanding. They want change, and they expected it yesterday.Even if the changes made are short-lived. When people, places, services or even the weather don’t meet their expectations, they immediately fly off the handle into a lengthy rant. You know an ineffective complainer because they ‘re draining. They’ll make your head explode with the refusal to accept any helpful suggestions offered by friends, family or co-workers.
Effective Complainers: Effective complainers have a purpose. They express dissatisfaction with the intention that the result of their input is a particular outcome. . They don’t fly off the handle, ridicule or get in your voice in your face when expressing their displeasure. They’re aware of others feelings and their sole purpose to find a satisfactory solution to the problem. Effective complainers understand that things take time, but when it happens it’s long lasting.
Effective Complaining Tips
It’s easy to miss when our complaining crosses the line. And just as easy to miss that while our venting isn’t solving anything, it is chipping away at our relationships. The good news is, a little conscious effort can get us out of the vent.
Here are a few steps to recognize and break the cycle.
Dr. Robin Kowalski is a professor of psychology at Clemson University. She’s the author of, “Complaining, Teasing and Other Annoying Behaviors”.
- Step 1. Know what you’re thinking Do any of these sentiments sound familiar?• I feel like I’m worse off than other people I talk to.• Things/people often don’t meet my expectations.• I have a hard time admitting when I’m wrong.• People don’t respond to my problems in the way that I’d like.• I just wish things were different. Thinking along these lines means we’re defaulting to dissatisfaction — fixating on how we feel about letdowns instead of working to solve them.
- Step 2. Tune into your frequencyHow often do you think you complain? “We live in such a culture of dissatisfaction and complaining that we just habituate to it,” says Dr. Kowalski. “Awareness and mindfulness are really the key to helping change that behavior.”
- Step 3. Practice complaining better“If we’re going to be good complainers, if we’re going to be effective complainers, then we need to complain in moderation and do it strategically,” says Dr. Kowalski. To shape that strategy of mindful complaining, stick to these guidelines: Read more…