By Neil Eisenberg
The unremitting pessimism and constant negativity that streams from a constant complainer offers an enormous challenge for those around them. Nothing makes a chronic complainer happier than being the most miserable person in the room. Trying to stay upbeat and productive amidst a constant salvo of gripes, grumbles and grievances can try the patience of even the most even-tempered person.
By following these simple guidelines, you can help yourself and those around a chronic complainer survive the daily grind.
Understand The Complainers Mindset
Notwithstanding how challenging their complaints are, most complainers don’t actually view themselves as negative people. Complainers perceive themselves as always being on the wrong side of everything. They feel like whatever straw they draw in life they will always end up with the short end. Consequently, they view their world as always being negative and themselves as appropriately reacting to irritating, frustrating and calamitous situations.
Even those chronic complainers who recognize they’re habitual complaining output actually believe their ill-fated lot in life more than vindicates expressing discontent to those who surround them. After all, it’s the complainer who has been burdened with more troubles and hardship than most.
Tip 1: Never try and persuade a complainer that things are “not as bad” as he or she thinks they are. And never suggest they’re “overreacting” to circumstances. This only compels them to mention 100 supplemental complaints that they have not yet vented, which may give you an appreciation of how awful the life of a chronic complainer must actually be.
What A Complainer Wants
A chronic complainer may vent to those around them because they pursue sympathy and emotional corroboration. In other words, the complainer needs you to validate their plight, to tell them that their glass is chipped, they were given tap water instead of bottled water and that they should probably get a good night’s sleep to fight off the germs that were implanted in that smudge on the rim.
Tip 2: The fastest way to remove yourself from a complainers oration or shorten the complain-a-thon, is to authenticate their feelings, by expressing your genuine and sincere sympathy for their current trouble. It is crucial that you be sincere with the complainer and then redirect them to the task at hand. As an example, “Your computer crashed again? I know how incredibly irritating that can be, but I hope you can deal with it and get back to finishing your work.”
What Complainers Don’t Want
Most habitual complainers see their lives as being filled with adversity, hardship and insurmountable challenges. A chronic complainers’ perception of their issues is deeply rooted in their personality and sense of self. Accordingly, complainers tell others about their problems, but they aren’t actually searching for advice or answers since the complaining itself is part of their life.
Even if your guidance might actually help to resolve they’re problem, a chronic complainer will not especially be happy to hear it: Remember, anything which might take away any recognition of their “adversity” will be perceived as a threat to their sense of self. Therefore, a complainer most often will respond to advice by clarifying why your suggestion will not work, or, by becoming annoyed that you don’t understand how the problem is unsolvable.
Tip 3: In the majority of circumstances, you should avoid offering guidance or help to a complainer and stick to kindness, understanding and emotional support. That said, even a chronic complainer may encounter a valid problem and make the occasional appropriate complaint. With such cases, when visible distress is actually viewed, offer sympathy followed by concise but direct advice and it will undoubtedly be accepted and appreciated.