I, for one, have to say that life can be stressful at times, and it’s probably not realistic to decide one day to stop complaining completely. Everyone needs to vent occasionally. The thing is how can you stop complaining? Do you know how to stop complaining in a relationship or even in your workplace?
Complaining has become the habit and the normal thing to do in society. It’s how people are connecting and communicating with each other. Have you ever complained about the weather, the traffic, or the service at a restaurant? I have! We complain about the movie we paid too much to see, about politics, and so forth. It looks like there is always something to complain about. Don’t you think so?
And the sad thing about this new but invisible behavior is that we have learned to like it. Especially when there is a group of similar complainers, we can really ‘get into it’. However, complaining doesn’t just get something off your chest: It damages your brain, overall health, and the ability to be happy.
The good news is that you can train your brain to stop complaining. This, stop complaining challenge, is possible to accomplish in a short period of time if you are serious and honest about it.
Do you remember the last time you had a piece of your favorite chocolate? Do you remember how you felt drinking that cold beer after working in the yard on that hot summer day? Or how it felt to go to your favorite vacation spot?
So, What is a complaint?
Before you start complaining or stop complaining, take a moment and step back to really think about what a complaint is. Is there a valid reason for the complaint? Are you complaining merely for the sake of complaining?
Let’s say you can’t stand living in your current city because it’s too cold, that’s an observation. What’s more, that complaint serves no purpose than to fuss over the weather. If you were to say that the weather was affecting your health or work, you’d have a legitimate reason for your cold ( Gripe ).
How to stop complaining in a relationship
A person who is always complaining can destroy nearly any relationship. In a romantic relationship it eats away at it bit by bit as it upsets the normal balance between partners that is necessary in a healthy relationship.
Complaining to your partner automatically puts them in a position of needing to fix the problem or make them right in order for the complaint to be remedied. Even if there is no stated request to “fix this”, whatever this is, there is unspoken pressure exerted when one partner complains to the other. As time goes on this pressure builds and can create resentment and friction between partners.
So the question is, how can you handle things if you are in a relationship with a complainer?
It is important to understand that each situation and person is different, but I have a couple things that might help you with this
Understand the want
Many times in a relationship the person that is complaining is looking for attention or respect.
The wife that complains about her husband’s socks on the floor is more likely looking for him to show her the respect of putting things where they belong and honoring the organization and cleanliness of the house. The husband who says all the time, “You are always on your phone at dinner,” is probably looking for his wife’s attention.
Learn to spot when or where you are doing this behavior to eliminate the complaint.
As annoying as the complaining can be, arguing about it, or getting mad won’t make things any better. In fact, if the complainer’s motivation is different than the actual complaint, it will likely make things worse.
Try to reframe the complaint in such a way that it can make the complainer look at the solution rather than the problem.
Confront the complaint head on
If you think nothing else is working it may be time to have an open and honest conversation about what the pattern of complaining is doing to your relationship.
It’s possible that you haven’t recognized what your own behavior is doing in this case. Sometimes the solution is very simple: Ask for a solution. Instead of you feeling the pressure to fix everything yourself, try asking the complainer how they would like to see things fixed.
And, if they have a reasonable answer, this will help work out the solution. It takes two to tango, right? It is human nature that people who complain frequently don’t want to be known as the complainers of the relationship. Despite the frequency of their complaints, the complaining doesn’t actually make them happy at all.
The fact is...
It is a fact that complaining will eventually drain the pleasure from their life and relationships. So if you’re in a relationship with someone who complains constantly and it’s ruining your relationship, try to find some compassion and work with them on changes that address the underlying problem.
But, if this is not a possibility, then maybe you need to seek another relationship because complaining negatively affects our brain and our physical health. A sense of sadness begins to increase, along with a real dissatisfaction with our daily lives. This is not fun at all.
How to stop complaining about your life
I would like to say to you that in order for you to stop complaining, you need to be more self-aware and mindful of what you are putting out there in life. The ‘secret sauce’ on how to stop complaining in life is simple… Stop complaining and become more grateful with things in your life.
Jon Gordon, author of The No Complaining Rule, says, “The more we look at something that can hurt us and kill us, we are programed to be on guard against that.”
Nothing unites people more strongly than a common dislike sadly, but if you think about it, it’s kind of true, at least in my personal experience. But, if you’re honest and if you’re serious about complaining less, here are some things I used to improve my happy and healthy life.
Ask yourself what you get from complaining.
What is the purpose of it? Yes, sometimes you just need to let off some steam, but will complaining actually help you with that? Is it temporary or permanent relief? Make it a habit, always, to take a moment to assess whether or not it deserves your energy and effort. Always think and reflect before you start complaining.
If you can’t change it, then move on.
Can you control the weather? Can you control the traffic? When you cannot control certain things, the best thing you can do for yourself is to accept the situation and simply let it go. Don’t waste your time feeling frustrated about something you can’t change. If there’s a solution, then focus on that instead of dwelling on the problem.
Learn to adapt, it is the key.
Some unforeseen circumstances cannot be avoided. Cultivate the good habit to be more flexible and make the most out of a negative situation. If it’s too hot, go for a swim and treat yourself to an ice cream. If your flight is delayed, grab a book or get in touch with a loved one. You can’t control the situation, but you can control how you react!
There are positive ways to avoid venting your frustrations.
If you are feeling frustrated about something, go for a jog or a hike. Practice meditation. Listen to soothing music. Go for a drive. There’s a lot you can do besides complaining. Find an alternative that works for you and resist your urge to vent. When there is a will, there is a way
How to stop complaining in the workplace
You and I know that when it comes to work we often hear the following: “Work is work. It’s not always going to be fun.” The reality is, at least for me, is that you’re going to have boring projects, difficult assignments, and co-workers who occasionally (or often) make you want to quit.
So, how to stop complaining in the workplace? It is a valid concern, because the last thing you want, especially if you also want a promotion, is to be seen as a constant complainer.
These are something to keep in mind if you find yourself complaining:
Identify what you can or can’t control.
Before complaining to a coworker, write a list of the things that are bothering you. Pick the three of them and put them in sequential order. Once you have your top three priorities, let the healing begin by write a list of two or three things you could do to improve the situation, I mean your situation.
Take an active thinking approach to solve the problem. You’ll feel more in control and, as a result, a lot more optimistic about changing the situation.
Turn your complaints into suggestions for improvement
This one might be a little hard to do but with a little practice you’ll soon learn to become better at it. Your coworker will respect you more and be more willing to change if you don’t just point out problems, but offer solutions. Surprise!!
Stay productive, stay positive!
Focus on what you are grateful for your work even if it’s just a paycheck. Research has shown that cultivating an attitude of gratitude is beneficial for your mental and physical health.
Sometimes the only way you can be grateful about your work is by making a list of all the reasons you are grateful for—whether it’s money, experience, friends, or even the free coffee. This will help you keep moving forward.
I guess it all boils down to the mother of all questions….
How to stop complaining?
You and I agree that we all complain at times. In general, adults complain about their boss’ attitude, the work schedule, our partner always being late, about not having enough sex, or about our partner always complaining to us for no reason.
Kids might complain about their friends who didn’t talk to them at lunch, the mean teacher, the little brother who is always in their stuff, and vice versa. How to stop complaining the smart way, can be healthy if done right…Keywords here: done right.
Keep in mind that there are lots of studies showing that bottling up emotions can shorten your lifespan. And in this case, venting allows you to release those negative emotions. Having said that, what should you do then?
Complaining the smart way, yup!
In order for you learn how to stop complaining one thing is very important to know. Knowledge is power only if you apply it. So, we establish complaining is bad for your health period.
So the thing you need do first, is to complain with a purpose, yes. Take a moment and think about it. Don’t stop until you have a solution in mind of the complaint made. It’s important that you first know what you want out of the complaint.
Once you do this and by doing this, it allows the person you complaining to, to help you more effectively to solve or address it. It’s a win-win situation in my book. When it’s done right, it can even be good for you.
I believe complaining is only unhealthy when it’s counter-productive or unfounded
According to licensed marriage and family therapist Shadeen Francis: “Complaining for the purpose of resolving a concern or grievance is helpful for mental health, as it is a way to channel your needs into actionable outcomes. This can lead to positive experiences like self-awareness (mindfulness) and happiness.”
Keep a record of your complaints and to whom.
You might not have noticed it yet, but do you complain about the same thing over and over again? A study published in the Journal of Social Psychology examined how mindfulness, happiness, and expressions of annoyance affect each other.
They found that those who complained hoping for results were happier than those who didn’t. This is because happier people know how to modulate their complaints, when to complain, and to whom.
Psychology professor Robin Kowalski says, “That’s part of the strategic nature of complaining. It’s all about making the best choice, knowing when to complain, and to whom.”
Change can only start after awareness. Keep track of the complaints and find a positive solution to them. This will help and improve the situation by a mile long
Complaining to loved ones is particularly a very different ball game. This is the kind that you need to be very tactful about it. In this case, you should always practice caution and remember if you do it to do it smartly, kindly. Otherwise, you might end up alienating the most important people in your life.
Nourish a positive attitude, always
Learn to change the way you think and different ways to see the world around you. Of course, this is far easier said than done, but it is quite possible.
For example, it is easy to complain about a job or a date. But do you know that no one is perfect or there isn’t a perfect situation? Knowing and understanding this will help you focus your mental energy differently.
Your job might not be perfect but having it will allow you to take a vacation once or twice a year to your favorite destination, or you can go buy that cool electronic toy you have always wanted… Right? Exactly!
Adapt and become mindful.
One of the things about life is that nothing stays the same, I know this first hand. Change is coming whether it happens tomorrow or next year, regardless if you like it or not.
So, accepting a situation helps you adapt positively to life’s changes. Accept the challenge to find the positive in every situation, even if it is a small one. Be mindful of those negative thoughts and replace them with a positive spin. For example, instead of thinking, “Oh, the alarm again,” think, “How many things am I going to accomplish in this brand-new day?” Or think, “I can’t wait to get my cup of coffee!”
Find the stuff that makes you happy.
Sometimes this list can be easy and long, full of hobbies you enjoy, but other times it might require deeper thought. If you think your job is really bad for you, why not make the hard decision to change to a different job or career as a starting point? Life is way too short to do the things that make us unhappy, don’t you think so?
So, simply ask yourself when you are starting to complain about things, “Would you rather complain or be happy?” Happiness, focusing on the positive, and being kind is a matter of choice, your choice. Choose well.
I would like to share this quote that I love and use in my personal life and dealing with this matter:
“Instead of complaining that the rose bush is full of thorns, be happy the thorn bush has roses.” ~The Bible
In most cases, complaining is the easiest thing to do. It is so easy that it has become a normal practice in our society and we have learned to ignore how bad this is for our health and happiness. No kidding!
It’s easier to complain instead of fixing a problem, like quitting a job or having a talk with someone about it. But, I also know that when you try to see things from a different perspective and challenge yourself to stop complaining, This is very possible!
Things like changing the way you think, allowing yourself to vent every once in a while (the smart way), and finding the things that make you happy, nourish a positive attitude. Some of them will help you with your “stop complaining challenge.”
If none of these seem helpful to you then, just make a list of things you’re grateful for.
Stopping for a minute and thinking of all the great things and amazing people in your life will probably put any silly complaints you had to rest
PS. Seriously, we all have to learn how to stop complaining for everything in life. It is NOT good for us. It is NOT for our relationship.
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