We all b*tch, moan or complain at times. It’s fine on occasion. Complaining helps to vent, to let your feelings and frustrations out. It serves a healthy purpose. It’s better to get it out than to hold it in.
It’s when you do it constantly that the negative effects set in.
We all know people who are perpetual complainers. They can’t let anything go. They have to constantly complain. They do it because it’s a habit they’re not aware of or any other multitude of reasons such as fitting in with other complainers.
Then there are those that actually enjoy it. They have nothing else to talk about except to complain. It fills their day. They get off on it.
For others, they look at it as a competition. You may know people like that. If you want to complain about something, they have to “one up” you and tell you about their experience that’s even worse. You’ll never win with those people so don’t bother.
Many people complain because they aren’t aware how much they’re doing it. Particularly if they grew up around negative people or lived in a complainer household, they’re prone to it.
What to Do Around Complainers
Unless you’re really close to someone and have an agreement that you can be honest with them about their behavior, it often falls on deaf ears if you point out their tendency to complain. Or they could get offended or mad at you. The best strategy is to not be around them.
If it’s not possible to avoid complainers or you choose to keep some in your life because their virtues outweigh their complaining, set good boundaries.
Listen for a while. Use the five- or ten-minute rule. Let them get their grievances out and vent for five or ten minutes. As I said, some venting is healthy. When it goes on and on or gets repeated, it’s time to draw the line. Not only does it get hard for you to keep hearing it (because it brings you down), it’s not healthy for them. They don’t realize how much they do it so they darn sure don’t realize they need to stop it.
As with any habit, the more you do it, you get stuck in a rut and continue to do it – whether it’s good for you or not. It becomes easy to complain about everything because it’s now a habit.
Complaining is a Negative Behavior
The more you complain, the more negative you become. After a while you don’t realize how much you do it or how negative it’s making you. Your world becomes jaded. Everything and everyone is a problem. In every situation you find something to gripe about. It becomes all too easy to b*tch and moan.
Maybe you see it in yourself or others around you. It’s contagious. If they gripe, now you gripe. It opens the door to more of it. And now it becomes an all-out b*tch fest.
We all have a bad day on occasion and do it. It’s when it happens constantly it lowers our vibration. Then we attract others with that similar vibration – other complainers. More aware people don’t want to be around complainers because they know it lowers their vibration and mood.
Complaining Leads to Irresponsibility
When we complain about others, we don’t often realize our part in the situation. It’s easy to blame the other person. Too easy. Then we don’t take responsibility for what we did. It’s their fault because they were rude or too slow or too fast or whatever the case may be.
Even if we didn’t cause their behavior, we still want to complain about it. Or if we did have a hand in their behavior, it’s easy to blame them. Then we don’t have to be accountable for our part in it. We’re off the hook! Who doesn’t want to be off the hook?
While we can’t control another person, we can control how we react. And see the world. If you see the world negatively and find reasons to complain about it, then you’ll attract more of the same to you. If you see other people as rude, then you’ll attract more rude people to you. It’s true, there are rude people out there. Best strategy to deal with them: ignore them. They’re not worth responding to.
How to Stop Complaining
As with any habit you want to break, first realize you’re doing it. Start paying attention to the words coming out of your mouth. It can be an eye-opening experience to realize how much you do it.
Another option is to ask a friend, family member, therapist or coach to nicely point it out to you when you do it. It’s like having an exercise partner – the other person holds you accountable.
While it’s not fun to look in the mirror and face our faults, if you want to stop a destructive habit, it’s necessary. Like a diet, who wants to give up your favorite foods? If you want to lose weight, you will.
Once you start seeing how often you do it, then you can replace your negative habit of complaining with a positive habit. Gratitude.
Gratitude lists and journals were all the rage a few years ago and probably still are. Gratitude never goes out of style. It isn’t just for the month of November when Thanksgiving occurs.
It’s easy to write a list of ten things that you’re grateful for. Or to get up in the morning and recite five things you’re grateful for. Or include them in your bedtime prayers. But, as with all things, it can become rote. Rote to the point where they’re just words. Empty words. Another habit. “Must say ten good things when I wake up.” Habit.
How easy is it to remember to be grateful for something in the heat of the moment when you’re mad or upset and complaining? Not very easy. If you’re used to going on a rant every time someone or something upsets you, then it’s harder to catch yourself to stop it. But stop it you must. It takes practice.
Grudges Build Up
One of my clients is dealing with a disabled sister who as a result can’t help much with their elderly mother. This client is aware she’s been complaining that her sister rarely helps to cook and never helps to clean up when they get together. To compensate for her lack of assistance because she’s disabled, her husband helps with a lot of other things. This pattern has been going on for years so it’s not a new thing. I can understand resentments being built up and grudges being formed.
Since it’s not healthy for my client to hold grudges against her sister or constantly complain, I gently remind her that her brother-in-law helps a lot. It’s not optimal and it’s not what she’d like, but as I reinforce to her, that’s the best she’s going to get. Would you rather he help clean up the dishes (which happens only when they get together infrequently) or have him helping out with other things on an almost daily basis?
She gets quiet. She knows the answer.
Why continue to be upset over something that won’t change? It’s easy to complain, I get that. But all it does is upset my client. And it changes nothing.
While she’s not the type to do a gratitude list, I point out that he does a lot. Be grateful for what he does do and let go of the things that he does not. He’s not going to change. She’s spending an awful lot of energy complaining about a situation that she can’t change. Try tuning into the energy of gratitude instead.
Why look at him as the enemy vs being grateful for what he does? It’s a hard switch in her mind. It’s not easy and it takes practice to learn to let go of the resentments and grudges and be thankful for what you do have. You have to want to make the switch and be ready to stop complaining. Then you will. Then it won’t be so hard.
If gratitude journals work for you, then do them. Make sure you don’t get caught in the rote pattern. Really FEEL the gratitude. Like with manifesting, feelings are the key. Feel it, don’t just say it.
Cut Out the Old and the Junk
Like holding onto your favorite sweater long after it’s worn out, sometimes it’s better to let go. It may feel good to wear that holey old thing like it may feel good to constantly complain. At the end of the day, the holey sweater isn’t attractive or functional anymore. And neither is complaining. It’s not an attractive character trait to constantly complain. You may think it makes you feel good because it’s a habit. But really it doesn’t.
Just like it’s easier to reach for the bag of chips than spend time washing and cutting up veggies for a healthy snack, it’s easy to complain. Eating junk food may taste good but it’s not good for you. It takes discipline to cut it out of your diet. Cut complaining out of your verbal diet. You’ll feel better, I promise.
If you’re not sure how much you’re complaining and want an honest answer, ask your intuition. Find out how to identify your intuition, how to listen to it, how to talk to it and how to trust it by CLICKING HERE.
Once you start listening to your intuition, you’ll be amazed how well much you’ll feel better. Then you can truly start enjoying yourself. CLICK HERE to find out more!