5 Tips To Ease Negativity For Can’t-Help-Yourselves Complainers

5 Tips To Ease Negativity For Can’t-Help-Yourselves Complainers
January 25, 2017

Complaining is like gossip – a certain amount of it is inevitable, but when it becomes a hobby, it turns into a destructive force that negatively affects your mood, your health, and that of everyone around you.

“Research shows that exposure to 30 minutes or more of negativity…actually peels away neurons in the brain’s hippocampus. That’s the part of your brain you need for problem solving.”*

So, as the saying goes, “If you can’t make it right, stop complaining about it.”

Do you identify with one of these complainers?

  • Superior Mary: While Mary stands at the supermarket checkout line, she mumbles to other customers about the slowness and incompetence of the cashier. She feels a sense of superiority. A victim of her circumstances, there’s nothing she can do unless she reports the situation to the store manager (which she probably won’t). So she complains. Does that help her or those around her?
  • Frustrated Tony: Chat with Tony, and you get a dose of Monday morning news about everything that’s wrong with the world–government, media, society, his spouse, his neighbor, traffic, the weather, his bonus, etc. He’s always disgusted and can’t wait to unload all of life’s tribulations on you. You’ve probably come to dread the depressing, unconstructive environment he creates by dwelling on the flaws of others. Does this turn you off?
  •  “It’s-the-other-guy” Johnny: Complaining about someone can sometimes bring people together as they bond over a common “enemy”–a boss, teacher, relative. But when complaining becomes Johnny’s modus operandi all the time, his behavior backfires.  While Johnny feels he’s doing something positive by bringing people together, in reality, his negativity turns off everyone, and he completely loses his audience. Would he lose you?
  • Judgmental Jenny: Jenny doesn’t view herself as a complainer at all, nor does she see anything wrong with her actions. She spends her time judging situations and blaming everyone around her for every minor error, misfortune, accident or mistake she can find  (even those mistakes caused by her).  In her own mind, she’s the fair judge who’s going to solve the world’s problems by finding the culprits. Does she really contribute to anything positive to her environment?

Take a closer look at yourself, a brave and honest look. If you identify with one of the above characters, read on.

5 Tips for can’t-help-yourself complainers:

  • Take a good look at yourself. Identify the real reason you complain to others. How does it make you feel? Superior? Entitled? Are there better, more constructive ways you can satisfy your needs? Think about what you’re really trying to achieve.
  • Cool off. Before you speak, think about something positive that resets your brain into a problem-solving mode. Did you have an unexpectedly pleasant experience with a sales clerk? Mailman? Your child’s teacher?
  • Consider the impact of your complaints upon those around you. Do they help them in any way? Are they constructive? Do they make the world a better place? If not, please keep them to yourself.
  • Take action. Can you fix the problem instead of complaining about it? Your friends, family, co-workers, teammates, etc., will certainly appreciate your solution and recognize you as a problem-solver.
  • Immerse yourself in gratitude, complaint’s smiling sister. Who and what are you thankful for each day? What good things have happened to you? In what environment have you felt comfortable?

Follow these tips, and you’re on your way to a happier, healthier life, one where friends seek you out and people in general want to be in your presence.


“Complaining is bad for your brain”, Conflict to Peace in Relationships, Sharon Gibson

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Posted in Mindset by Mari Pizarro