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Reasons Why People Complain SO Much (and How to Stop Them)


It’s no secret that complaints are common among people. But whining is usually a waste of time; it’s nasty and exhausting. So what gives rise to this pervasive tendency of complaining, and why do people find so much to repent?

Imagine this situation, which is probably familiar to most of us: the holidays are approaching, and there’s a real sense of excitement about spending time with the whole family again. However, in the middle of the festive ambiance, you make eye contact with Aunt Cathy, which immediately causes you to want to turn away from her quickly. It’s a whispered prayer that she won’t come after you for attention. Even when there’s an internal resistance to affirm, it’s still impossible to turn around.

At family get-togethers, we’ve all run into our own Aunt Cathy, who seems to talk about complaints solely. Aunt Cathy is an expert at emphasizing her issues and making them seem worse than everybody else’s. She feels that everything is against her and that it will never be possible no matter what she tries. Her presence has a strange way of casting a lousy shade over the whole space, giving the sense that Aunt Cathy’s life has never been filled with happy moments so Create the Life You Want.

You have likely encountered your own version of Aunt Cathy, someone who constantly complains and challenges your tolerance. Perhaps the most surprising thing that happens to you is that you are being complained about, whether it’s a spouse, family member, closest friend, or coworker.

This is the perfect time to learn how to deal with people who are always complaining and, most importantly, to ensure you’re not becoming into Aunt Cathy to someone else!

Why do People Complain So Much?

In his enlightening TED Talk, “A World Without Complaining,” Will Bowen explores the five main causes of people’s constant complaints. These motivations include gaining attention, abdicating responsibilities, encouraging boasting or jealousy, claiming authority, and rationalizing subpar work. Let’s take a closer look at each of these motivations and make comparisons to actual situations. Remember your unique habitual complainer as we talk about these.

1. People Complain to Get Attention

A basic human need, wanting attention, stems from our early memories of being the center of attention when we were young. People may outgrow this expectation or become stuck in it as they get older. While it’s normal to enjoy the limelight, some people turn to unhealthy means of getting attention. People learn to connect with others and get attention by using complaints as a tactic. Some people find that the simplest way to connect with others is by whining, which stems from their innate need for human connection. Thus, people complain to attract attention and build relationships with people in their social circles.

Imagine the following situation: your partner comes home and complains about their job. In these situations, they come to you hoping you will listen to them and understand their difficulties during the day. People usually moan to get attention in the hopes that you would understand how they feel about the challenges they have faced. They use talking about complaints about their jobs as a way to start a conversation with you and bond over your typical negativity.

It’s productive to shift someone’s attention away from negativity when they turn to whining in order to get attention. Invite them to consider the good things about their work or to share an inspiring story from their day. By doing this, you help them move past criticism and into a more positive relationship with you that goes beyond simple grumbling, so try these Easy Ways to Avoid Negativity.

2. To Remove Responsibility

There are many obligations in life, including those to our families, our careers, and our own health. Considering this problematic balancing effort, it makes sense that people frequently turn to grumbling for comfort. How are we supposed to balance these various obligations without letting one get in the way of the other?

Complaining is a strategy used by some people to avoid taking responsibility. They complain out loud to get out of doing things they don’t want to do. They convey the idea that it is unrealistic to expect them to finish the assignment by making it seem impossible. In essence, they are people who always have something negative to say but never do something about it.

These complainers create a lie about themselves. They create walls that they claim impede their progress toward an objective, then lament the immensity of these made-up impediments.

I am one of those people who really think that nothing is really impossible. As such, I am unaffected by objections from those who claim that particular jobs are impossible. I don’t feel sorry for those who would rather whine about issues they wish to paint as impossible since it’s a pointless waste of time. Rather than focusing on criticisms, let’s talk about how to turn seemingly impossible tasks into attainable objectives!

When I thought back to my husband’s time spent in an incredibly taxing teaching role at an elite international boarding school, I noticed a consistent pattern of legitimate grievances. Even though his complaints were valid, he wasn’t making an effort to resolve them. Obstacles were always put up when recommendations were made, abdicating accountability for finding solutions. Seeing that he was not happy, we decided to shift our focus from whining to coming up with workable answers. Every barrier was examined, with a focus on identifying sincere difficulties from those that were made up as a way to avoid accountability.

My spouse chose to work on projects that truly delighted him, instead of wasting time complaining inanely about a job he hated. Moving to a more flexible work schedule not only gave him more time for self-care, but it also made him much less likely to complain. As such, he is now certain that quitting his job as a teacher was a crucial and wise decision!

When you come across people in your circle who use complaints to escape accountability, don’t let them get away with it. Ask them how you might help them achieve their goals rather than giving in to their complaints. Please help them see things differently by letting go of the illusion that makes the task appear insurmountable.

It’s important to understand that people who whine without doing anything constructive are not looking for answers; instead, they seek approval for the barriers they have created. When you actively help turn what seems like an unachievable dream for them into a real, attainable goal, your support will have a lasting and meaningful effect.

Read Also: You Can Do Anything You Put Your Mind To

3. To Inspire Envy (0r to Brag)

Remarkably, complaining is a common tactic people use to demonstrate their superiority quietly. Contrary to popular belief, complaining occasionally takes the shape of boasting.

In fact, people often whine in an attempt to suggest that their problems somehow elevate them above others. People who lead somewhat routine lives could use complaints as a way to claim that their issues are unique. People have a strange tendency to use complaints to give their otherwise ordinary lives a little “dramatic flair.” Their goal is to boast and make people jealous of the difficulties they face on a daily basis.

These people can be annoying to those of us who don’t want to listen to complaints. Conversations reveal these well-known individuals in our lives—when you voice a complaint, they try to top it with their grievances!

Human nature is deeply rooted in the need to feel better than others. People love boasting and are constantly looking for ways to prove their expertise or highlight more intriguing and captivating events.

People’s primary goal is to gain approval when they use complaining as a way to incite jealousy. They expect you to give them a complement so they can feel more confident. Refrain from attributing greater complexity or interest to their difficulties in order to validate such concerns. It might be difficult to deal with these people, but one effective tactic is to bring up appreciation in the conversation. By shifting the focus of the conversation to appreciation, these complainers are forced to stop and give their problems some real thought.

4. To Make Themselves More Powerful

Negativity is the perfect environment for complaining because, let’s face it, we all have complaints to air. People are drawn to negativity because it resonates with their shared experience of encountering difficulties, and they tend to believe complaints that are made.

Think about political situations during elections; you seldom hear one party tout the merits of the other. The tactic that wins people over is emphasizing the other party’s alleged shortcomings and errors. Complaining is a powerful instrument for influencing public opinion by highlighting the drawbacks.

Some people use whining as a way to increase their perceived authority. They vent their complaints to those who share their views to get approval and support for their negativity. These people can be both powerful and dangerous because, given enough backing, their grievances can materialize from words to deeds.

Your Attitude Determines Your Altitude It can be challenging to keep a good attitude in the face of constant negativity, particularly in toxic workplaces where irate workers constantly air their grievances. Even if you’re the type of person who usually finds the bright side, you could feel under pressure to change your viewpoint if you work in a setting where negativity is all around you. It might be exhausting to hear negativity all the time.

If you are close to someone who constantly uses their complaints to undermine others, it may be time to set firm boundaries, voice them, and take a stance. If you don’t, you run the risk of the good energy you’ve worked so hard to nurture dying away.

Recall that sadness often seeks company. Make sure that your optimism is robust and that you avoid becoming that unintentional buddy. Don’t allow the widespread negativity put out the flame you’ve been trying so hard to maintain.

5. To Excuse Poor Performance

Taking ownership of mistakes is something that many people find difficult. As a result, some people turn to whining to excuse subpar work and remove themselves from responsibility. By voicing complaints about other influences, individuals develop a story in which their failures are not their fault, avoiding accountability—a cunning tactic our minds occasionally use.

Examples of this behavior abound in many facets of our life, including:

1)Students earning low grades may complain about having an inadequate teacher.

2)Employees failing to meet deadlines might blame their co-workers for impeding progress.

3)Children neglecting their chores may point fingers at siblings for not contributing.

In these instances, the people who are complaining are trying to keep from admitting that they had anything to do with the task’s failure. Instead of taking responsibility, they create justifications to divert attention from themselves and make sure they are not held accountable for their poor performance.

It can be difficult to deal with people who use complaints as an excuse for subpar work because they usually don’t want to accept accountability for their conduct. When dealing with such people, it is ineffective just to validate these accusations. Rather, promoting a growth mindset that sees failures as chances for individual improvement is critical. Failure is a great teacher, providing insightful insights on how to get better for next attempts—a key component of personal development.

Engage the complainant by encouraging them to consider what steps they may have taken to ensure the successful completion of the prescribed assignment instead of approving their complaints. Urge them to consider taking preventative measures to avoid a recurrence later. Keeping a positive and helpful attitude is crucial to facilitating a fruitful conversation because these people could be reluctant to acknowledge their mistakes.

Help People Complain The Right Way

Even though a lot of people think that complaining is time-consuming, annoying, and exhausting, it’s important to recognize that, when done right, complaining may be acceptable. My goal is not to completely discourage voice complaints.

When handled properly, complaining can be a constructive kind of self-care. The secret is to constructively express your displeasure by talking to the right people about your issues and asking for help in coming up with a solution. It is imperative to refrain from lodging complaints with incorrect individuals or without a sincere desire to find a solution.

In order to properly file a complaint, make sure the appropriate person knows about your issues and that you’re willing to collaborate to find a solution. Expressing a sincere wish for a solution strengthens the constructive aspect of complaining, transforming it into a useful instrument for personal development.

Let’s look at an example to understand this idea better: picture your internet suddenly shut down for a few hours. It’s improbable that you would take this problem up with your family. Instead, you would probably contact your internet service provider, explain the situation, and look for a solution. If you’re unsatisfied with the first remedy, you will keep asking for help until the issue is fixed.

It’s critical to properly convey a problem to the appropriate individual who can assist in coming up with a solution. Any other strategy could be a sign of attention seeking, responsibility avoidance, the urge to boast, a power struggle, or an effort to justify subpar work.

Use the online example as a guide and think about sharing it with someone you know who always complains but never does anything about it. Examine the fundamental causes of their concerns to see if they are sincerely looking for a solution or if they are erecting obstacles to avoid taking accountability.

If you want to support someone who often complains without doing anything about it, think about suggesting a positive solution. Please encourage them to keep a 24-hour log of their comments, mentioning the issues they were unhappy with. At the day’s conclusion, review the assembled list and assess each complaint’s necessity. Examine the five typical ways people voice dissatisfaction, then work together to determine the underlying cause of each complaint.

You and people in your circle can successfully lower complaints in a short amount of time, which will result in:

1)Diminished emotional exhaustion, anxiety, and anger throughout the day.

2)Increased recognition of positive aspects in daily life.

3)Heightened energy levels throughout the day.

4)Engaging in more affectionate interactions with those close to you. Since everyone encounters difficulties, we must look to our closest relationships for help. It’s time to encourage candid dialogue about our difficulties. Venting to the appropriate person helps you move your attention from the here and now to past troubles and their resolution.

People Complain SO Much Quotes

While it’s important to acknowledge that complaining can be a valid way to express frustration and seek solutions, it’s also true that excessive complaining can become unproductive and draining. Here are 30 quotes about why people might complain excessively, but it’s important to remember that these are generalizations and don’t apply to everyone:

1. Unrealistic Expectations: “The reason why we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” – Steven Furtick

2. Focus on Negativity: “The trouble is, you can’t think in two places at the same time. If you are thinking about what you lack, you are not thinking about what you have.” – Fred DeLuca

3. Learned Behavior: “People learn how to behave from those around them, and if they are constantly surrounded by negativity, they may adopt that behavior as well.” – Unknown

4. Lack of Gratitude: “We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come from getting something we don’t have, but from appreciating what we do have.” – Frederick Koenig

5. Seeking Attention: “Sometimes people don’t listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” – Stephen R. Covey

6. Feeling Helpless: “Complaining is a way of saying, ‘I can’t do anything about this.'” – Joyce Meyer

7. Difficulty Accepting Responsibility: “The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you accept it or make it your problem?” – Adrian Rogers

8. Fear of Failure: “Complaining is a safety net. It allows you to avoid taking risks and experiencing the possibility of failure.” – Unknown

9. Need for Control: “Complaining can be a way of trying to control a situation that feels out of control.” – Unknown

10. Seeking Validation: “Complaining to others can be a way of seeking validation for our own feelings and experiences.” – Unknown

11. Boredom and Lack of Purpose: “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” – Proverb

12. Feeling Unheard or Unseen: “Sometimes people complain because they feel like they haven’t been heard or their needs haven’t been met.” – Unknown

13. Difficulty Expressing Emotions Healthily: “Complaining can be a substitute for expressing other emotions, such as anger, sadness, or frustration, in a more constructive way.” – Unknown

14. Comparing Themselves to Others: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt

15. Lack of Self-Awareness: “The unexamined life is not worth living.” – Socrates

16. Feeling Entitled: “Entitlement is the belief that you deserve something without having to work for it.” – Unknown

17. Perfectionism: “Striving for perfection can lead to dissatisfaction with anything less, and ultimately, more complaining.” – Unknown

18. Fear of Change: “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” – John Maxwell

19. Victim Mentality: “Playing the victim keeps you stuck in the past and prevents you from taking responsibility for your own happiness.” – Unknown

20. Lack of Problem-Solving Skills: “Complaining without offering solutions can be unproductive and draining.” – Unknown

21. Need for Drama: “Some people thrive on drama and may use complaining to create it in their lives.” – Unknown

22. Lack of Empathy: “If you want to understand yourself, study others. If you want to understand others, study yourself.” – Chinese Proverb

23. Feeling Overwhelmed: “Complaining can be a way of releasing stress and expressing feelings of being overwhelmed.” – Unknown

24. Lack of Communication Skills: “Effective communication is the bridge between confusion and clarity.” – John Powell

25. Unhealthy Relationships: “Surround yourself with positive people who will lift you up, not bring you down.” – Unknown

26. Fear of Taking Action: “Complaining can be a way of avoiding taking action to improve a situation.” – Unknown

27. Lack of Self-Esteem: “Low self-esteem can lead to negative self-talk and a tendency to focus on what’s wrong.” – Unknown

28. Learned Helplessness: “The belief that you have no control over your own life can lead to feelings of hopelessness and more complaining.” – Martin Seligman

29. Lack of Gratitude: “Gratitude is the antidote to complaining and negativity.” – Robert Emmons

30. Focusing on the Negative: “The mind is like a garden. You can choose to plant flowers or weeds.” – Unknown

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Reasons Why People Complain SO Much (and How to Stop Them)