How to Stop Complaining.
You dread it. There's that one relative. That one friend. That one co-worker. Or maybe it's you. The "vent game" is strong. There seems to be a cloud of discontent looming, regardless of what is actually going on in their or your life. It turns out, you are not alone. We're all guilty of it. And there is a powerful reason to be aware of what complaining actually is and how to stop.
A better quality of life. Better relationships. More Success. Well Being. And far more joy and maybe even some fun. We all could use more of the good stuff right? If you're asking how? We'll get to that.
What is Complaining?
In the book, A Complaint Free World, the author Will Bowen refers to complaining as talking about things you don’t want, rather than things you do want (i.e. complaining, criticizing or gossiping).
What's Wrong With Getting Some Things Off My Chest?
Technically, nothing. But according to this article by Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries for Harvard Business Review:
Research shows that chronic complaining...has physiological effects. Through the repetition of bad, sad, mad and powerless feelings, the neurotransmitters in the brain can go through a neural “rewiring,” which reinforces negative thought patterns, making it easier for unhappy thoughts to repeat themselves and leaving little room for the more positive feelings of gratitude, appreciation, and well-being. A continuous cycle of negative thoughts may even cause damage to the hippocampus, the part of the brain used for problem solving and cognitive functioning. Over time, complainers become negativity addicts, attracted to the drama that comes with a complaining attitude.
What is NOT Complaining?
According to Will Bowen's book
It is NOT COMPLAINING to speak directly and only to someone who can resolve the issue you’re facing. Example: If there’s something wrong with your food at a restaurant, tell the server. That’s not complaining. Example: If your computer freezes and you call tech support, you’re not complaining. Griping to other people who cannot improve your situation about your bad restaurant experience or how your computer is a piece of junk — that’s complaining.
In Part 2, we'll go over the 5 main reasons why people complain.