4 Effective and Powerful Ways to Deal with Chronic Complainers
Hi! I’m Giulia.
Have you ever had such a wonderful day, you’re cheerful, you’re happy until you run into that co-worker who does nothing but complain? Or perhaps is a family member?
And you try to cope with it, you know. You try to be nice. You try to understand, You’ve even tried ignoring them. Nothing seems to work.
Well, in today’s mastery session I’m going to cover 4 effective and powerful ways to finally silence that chronic complainer in your life, giving everyone peace of mind.
Please note, I’m in no way casting judgment. After all, we’ve all been on both ends of the spectrum: the listener and complainer.
I’m simply making an observation of events and people in my life. And I’m sharing with you what has actually worked well for me.
Like you, I’m still in the process of perfecting my reaction to chronic complainers, but it truly has improved. I wish nothing less for you as well. On to today’s mastery session…
So I hope you’ve enjoyed the 4 ways to deal with chronic complainers. I know they have helped me in my life, and I hope they help you in yours as well.
Now, I want to hear from you.
What’s the single biggest insight you’re taking away from today’s mastery session? Do you think you can incorporate one of the 4 ways to deal with chronic complainers to people in your life? Which step did you like best? Have you tried any of them before?
Leave a comment below and let me know.
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“I know it’s not easy to remain positive when negativity surrounds you, but remember that while you may not always have control over every person who constantly complains in your life, you do have full control over your attitude and how you choose to live your life.”
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The following is the full transcript of this episode of the Transcendence Mastery Sessions with Giulia Guerrero. Please note this episode, like all TMS episodes, is possible thanks to you and your fellow entrepreneurs, parents, and leaders. Subscribe to the free motivational podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.
Have you ever felt drained? Tired? Irritated? But it wasn’t because of anything you did? Instead, it was the complaints of your spouse? Your children? Your boss? Your coworkers? Your friends?
At some point of our lives, we’ve all been on both ends of the spectrum.
But I’m talking about a different type of complainer, a chronic one.
continue reading transcript
Chronic complainers complain about anything and everything to anyone who has the misfortune of being stuck listening to them.
It doesn’t matter if it’s about their job, the weather, the pain in their knee, their finances, baby mama drama, how busy they are, how tired they are. It doesn’t matter. If something ever went wrong in their life, please trust that they will instantly put a negative spin on it, and then spend the rest of the day complaining about it.
Some of them spend years complaining about it.
It’s that coworker in the next cube that never shuts up with her complaints. She won’t even be talking to anyone, just sighing and mumbling complaints to the air. And if you ever do talk to her, be prepared to hear what’s wrong about her friends, family, health, job, commute, home and weather all at once.
Or that friend who’s almost every sentence is some kind of complaint. The only time he’s not complaining is when he’s reading, listening to music, or reporting on something interesting he read. As soon as it’s something in his personal life, it’s nothing but complaining. The job sucks, the girlfriend won’t hike with him, friends don’t like a film he does, and on and on.
Or it could be that family member you can’t shake off and never has anything positive to say. “I always take out the trash. Why doesn’t anyone help me around here? I have to do everything! Clean, cook, laundry, dishes. I’m tired. I’m so tired of it all.” And these complaints never cease to end even though the situation that was causing the complaints actually did. It’s like the present doesn’t even exist, just the little story inside his or her head.
And while you try to ignore this type of person or try to help them, you may feel like you’re caught in a trap and the more you struggle to get out, the less freedom you have. It drives you into a state of frustration, irritation, and even anger.
These feelings are understandable, but they tend to be driven by irrational thoughts that get in the way of rationally addressing the situation.
So today I want to share with you 4 steps to dealing with chronic complainers so you can finally silence their negativity and have some peace of mind:
1-Start with yourself.
What they say and do is a projection of their own reality and attitude. It doesn’t have to become your reality unless you let it.
Anais Nin once said “You are in charge of how you react to the people and events in your life. You can either give negativity power over your life or you can choose happiness instead. Take control and choose to focus on what is important in your life.”
Plus, when you allow their negativity to alter your mindset and emotions, it could affect your health. The build-up of negative thoughts inevitably leads to stress, which has been clearly documented to have a direct link to the state of your health.
I know it’s not easy to remain positive when negativity surrounds you, but remember that while you may not always have control over every person who constantly complains in your life, you do have full control over your attitude and how you choose to live your life.
Make the conscious choice to not let it affect you. Be intentional about bringing positivity into your life.
2-Stop trying to find a solution to their problems
Here’s the thing, complainers are not venting. Venting is actually a healthy thing because there is a goal in mind. And when someone’s venting, they’ll usually feel better once what they’ve said is out of their system.
Chronic complainers, however, don’t feel better at all. And neither do you trying to solve their problems.
So don’t try to cheer them up, don’t give them any suggestions, don’t tell them to get it together, don’t ignore them, don’t complain about them and don’t complain along with them.
Simply don’t try to find a solution. Most of them won’t work because chronic complainers truly see their lives as being full of hardship and challenge. In many ways, they define who they are as a person. Therefore, they’re not looking for advice or solutions.
3-Understand what they do want
Despite how difficult their complaints are to you, chronic complainers don’t usually see themselves as negative people. And if you try to tell them otherwise, you can expect a full blown argument that can lead to broken relationships, friendships and marriages.
Rather, they perceive the world as being negative and themselves as merely responding to annoying, aggravating or unfortunate circumstances.
And the constant complaining is a way for them to seek sympathy and emotional validation.
This is the quickest way to silence a chronic complainer.
So instead of saying “it’s not that bad.” Say something that validates their emotional distress.
What does this look like?
If the printer jammed, consider saying “Gee, the printer jammed on you again. That’s incredibly annoying. I know it’s hard to shake that off but I hope you can be a trooper because…”
If the weather is horrible, maybe say something like “Wow, that’s disruptive. I can understand how the weather can ruin a perfectly fine day.” Then carry the conversation elsewhere.
If they’re complaining about a lot of things at once and you don’t know which way to go, then try “You know, that sounds terrible. I don’t know how you deal with all those problems.”
And when you say these things, you should be as sincere as you possibly can. Don’t be sarcastic, they can tell a difference. Also understand that you don’t have to agree that what they’re complaining about are huge problems. Remember that to them, it does feel like a huge problem.
It’s a very similar situation to one man’s trash, another man’s treasure. While you may think something is so small and nothing to complain about, to them it feels like their world is corrupting, upside down and always against them. Sympathy and validation is the best way to help everyone in the situation.
4-Set your boundaries
The final step to freeing yourself from your complainer’s negativity is drawing a line. Have a heart to heart conversation where you empathize with them but also communicate that you’re no longer going to be around to listen to their negativity.
If you hold that line, and your complainer enjoys your company, he or she maybe inclined to talk about something that’s not complaining or negative.
And when you take all these steps to deal with a chronic complainer, you are helping yourself but also that boss, that coworker, that friend or family member who’s driving you just a little bit nuts.
Don’t forget that sometimes, all you need is to change your reaction, be a little sincere and sympathetic to bring a smile, peace and comfort to someone who’s life is crumbling inside. Be that person for them. When you do, you are going beyond your own limits and helping them transcend theirs.
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s mastery session. Thank you for listening. I’ll see you next time.
ONCE AGAIN, THANK YOU FOR LISTENING!
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