“If you have time to whine and complain about something then you have the time to do something about it.” ~ Anthony J. D’Angelo
If you aren’t sure if you are a person who complains too much; use these checkpoints to evaluate yourself:
• Do you tend to look at things from a negative standpoint? Basically, do you have the classic glass is half empty mindset?
• Do your friends tell you that you complain all the time or that you are always negative?
• Have your friends started avoiding you or stopped inviting you to do things with them?
• Is your peer group basically a bunch of complainers?
• Do people respond to you with deep sighs when you start sharing your stories?
• Do your friends and family regularly suggest that you seek counseling?
If these sound familiar, then start applying these 10 steps to help you stop the habit of complaining all the time:
1) See If You Can Go Twenty Four Hours Without Complaining. This challenge will help you become more aware of your tendency to complain. If you fail the challenge, then start again tomorrow. Keep going until you can go twenty four hours without complaining.
2) Say It Once And Be Done. Complaining is usually repetitious. Choose someone who is close to you and share your complaint and then move on to another topic. Let your friend know that you just want to get this complaint off your chest and then let it go.
“Do not listen to those who weep and complain, for their disease is contagious.” ~ Og Mandino
3) Write Down Your Complaints. This is a great technique to stop the habit of complaining. Writing down your complaints will help you realize that you may be whining or being too ridiculous. This is also a good technique for supervisors who want to get their employees to stop complaining. Ask the complainer to write down their complaints and submit them to you in the morning. They usually show up empty handed tomorrow.
“Complaining not only ruins everybody else’s day, it ruins the complainer’s day, too. The more we complain, the more unhappy we become.” ~ Dennis Prager
4) Look For The Good. You may have grown up in a negative environment or have developed a negative mindset over time. This habit can be broken if you will purposely start looking for the good and the positive in other people and situations. It may be harder with some people and in some situations but keep looking.
5) Stop Hanging Out With Complainers. Birds of a feather flock together. Stop associating with the complainers of the world. Unfortunately, they will quickly replace you so don’t worry for them. It would be better for you to be by yourself than to associate with the negativity of complainers.
6) Stop Being So Judgmental. People who are overly judgmental have an excessively critical point of view. It is okay to have opinions about things but be careful not to go overboard with them. Strive not to have strong opinions about any and everything.
“A pessimist is somebody who complains about the noise when opportunity knocks.” ~ Oscar Wilde
7) Look At How You May Be Contributing To The Problem. This technique is tougher because it requires you to take a hard look in the mirror. Take responsibility for your part of the problems in your life. As a therapist, many of the individuals who come to my office quickly straighten out their problems when they are willing to take a serious look at how they are contributing to the problems in their life and their relationship.
8) Establish New Habits. Seek out new and more constructive ways to direct the energy that had previously been used to complain. Exercise, read self-improvement books, go to church and/or any activity that promotes a positive direction for your life and the lives of others.
9) Allow Yourself To Vent Every Once In A While. Some complaints are entirely legitimate and need to be voiced. The focus of this article is to stop the habit of complaining too much. If something is really eating at you and you notice it is having a negative impact on you, allow yourself to express your feelings about it. Just be mindful that you are going about it in a positive and constructive manner. People who tend to suppress frustration and anger tend to have problems with depression, anxiety and a number of health problems.
10) Look For Things That You Could Be Or Should Be Grateful For. This is a good habit whether you complain too much or not. Start and end each day with thoughts of the things that you are grateful for. Your wife or husband, your children, your health, their health, the fact you have a job, etc..
“The squeaking wheel doesn’t always get the grease. Sometimes it gets replaced.” ~ Unknown
Mark Webb is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice at South Georgia Psychiatric and Counseling Center in Valdosta. He is the author of How To Be A Great Partner. Mark has been in the field of helping individuals and couples since 1986. He has a vast amount of experience and he can have a very positive impact on your life and your relationship. If you are looking for individual or marriage counseling, please call his office in Valdosta, Georgia and his staff will help you set up an appointment.
South Georgia Psychiatric and Counseling Center
2704 N. Oak St. Blg B-3
Valdosta, Georgia 31602