We complain to get things “off our chest” not to resolve problems of fix things. This makes our complaints worthless. For example, we often complain about people: whether it is co-workers, spouse, or even our kids. However the complaining typically isn’t even to the people or person that can effect the outcome.
We complain about traffic, food, friends, customer service, etc. How often are our complaints really reaching someone who can help fix it? If you are out to dinner with your spouse and you complain to them about the food, they can’t fix it. You need to tell the server in order for it to be fixed.
Jason provides the example of traffic. His kids started complaining about traffic and he noticed that they obviously got that from him.
We have issues and complaints all day long. The accumulation of frustration and helplessness from daily complaints impacts our moods and overall mental health. Chronic complainers think the world is out to get them
Here are 5 ways to reduce complaining:
1) Recognize a complaint
2) Put a rubberband on your wrist and snap it each time you complain.
3) Practice mindfullness – practice yoga and/or meditation
4) Learn to be grateful – I found an app that prompts me each day
5) Make a change – if you can affect the outcome, then take action. If you can’t, ask yourself if the complaining helps the situation
For kids, there would typically be reasons (which are important to them) that they are complaining: They may feel disconnected, they don’t like the change in location, or they just simply are not getting what they want.
Here are a few things you can do:
1) Be calm and try to look at it from their perspective
2) Use empathy to validate their feelings
3) Be curious and ask questions (you will sometimes find interesting info)
4) Show them love and compassion, yet be firm