[Applied Psychology] Complaining Without Acting

Just as dehydration wilts a flower, complaining wilts a conversation. Maybe faster? We might complain to express displeasure aspects of a current situation. It’s alright if you’re looking for possible solution. If not, if you’re just looking to spread negativity and hatred, get out! Just get your mind straight! Complaining is oppressive, disrespectful, yet with accepting any little help, you could start fixing it. It’s terrible being on the receiving end of complaining without acting.

It takes effort to be positive and to accept complaining feedback.

Part of the reason why I exercise is to let out that frustration that happens by simply existing. Something’s bound to get annoying even if I have a leisurely week without responsibility. Anticipation will be greater than reality somewhere. I’ve found it’s more effective to exorcise the stress demons through exercise than by complaining to others while my emotions are heated. I’m blinded by anger and less likely to want to address the situation.

If there was a difficult conflict, I’ll visualize it completely while exercising.

I’ll think of every nuance. Usually during that process, what will happen is that either I’ll physically give out because I’ve stopped being so frustrated over the situation, or mentally I’ll just switch gears to being present with the exercising process itself. This is a necessary step in the complaining process because it’s how I cool off before I go complain to someone about how emotionally I’m feeling about that situation.

Once the emotions are quenched, you can begin addressing the logical issue.

I practice this when dealing with emotional people. I diffuse their racing thoughts before suggesting a series of plans until something sticks. When it goes well, it’s usually just a matter of a few words. When it doesn’t go well, I disengage from the situation, and either come up with a different topic to focus on or maybe even excuse myself so they can sit and stew on the issue for a bit. Without a captive audience, the complaining minimizes.

If the complaining continues, relentlessly, face it head on.

“You don’t seem interested in a solution to this problem.” “I’ve given you a few suggestions and you’re still more interested in complaining, so drop this, and let’s talk about something else.” “Really? You’re still going on about this?”

Don’t worry about being rude. It’s not like they were nice.

People typically won’t tackle the complaining head-on. They’ll go the passive aggressive route, which is just another form of complaining. It’s subtle. It’s hoping that the person gets the hint without actually giving them the hint. It’s also not effective, because it’s just more of this indirect communication that led to the complainer to dump negativity into your life.

What if it’s your job to fix the root of complaints?

Stick to the facts. Don’t let their emotions permeate into your mindset. Don’t even agree with overly emotional language. Just neutral communication.

Once you’re done with that conversation, wrap it up mentally, then act toward disengagement.

My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.