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What they want and what they need are very different things.

I decided it was enough. As the article says, this is ingrained in your identity, it is DEEP. So serious measures are necessary. The way to salvation can be found in the psychology classic Psycho Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz. Seriously, if you read only one book in your life let it be that one! Powerful stuff in there. Another thing I can recommend is to get some leverage on yourself by saying that you will not complain or say anything negative for 10 days in a row.

Was a great motivator for me!

7 Signs You're an Angry Person

I would just really like to read how to help someone to become a more positive person. I helped myself, but I feel hopeless towards my dad. He seems to get some perverse form of satisfaction from complaining and misfortune.. The article suggests you reply with sympathy, but that means that I will have to engage in complaining as well!!

This goes against my own new positive nature.

Why we complain

My current strategy is to either give no reaction whatsoever or give my real opinion which is always about the more positive sides of the issue at hand , even though I know this will not help or have any effect. He first needs to SEE that he complains a lot and then has to understand that he can change that! It is killing me to see my dad waste his life watching TV and complaining about how everyone and everything is against him.. And it is a shame, because often times he is very happy and funny.

How to deal with Chronic Complainers

It is the only science-based self-help book about the psychology of complaining and includes a discussion of chronic complaining in families and case studies to illustrate the possible solutions. See my bio page on this site for links to the book or go to www. Same thing happened to me! Then I found myself doing the same behavior I was complaining about and realized I had to stop and take a step back. Growing up I constantly got the message I was a burden and not worth consideration.

I went on to pursue relationships that reinforced this message. Complainers are a great companion for someone with my issues because part of me believes that their lives really are more challenging and they deserve to monopolize all the time in a conversation and get all the sympathy while providing none. I tried that. Both lashed out at me. One tried to exploit what they knew to be my biggest vulnerability, insecurity.

The other screwed up her face and shook like she wanted to hit me. People are often really hard on pessimists, complainers, and even realists. There's all this stuff out there now about the power of positive thinking and optimism, and people are easily annoyed by others who won't either spew sunshine and rainbows or shut their yaps. I wonder whether these eternal optimists ever stop to think that perhaps the chronic complainers in their lives may be suffering with some degree of depression.

The suggestions for friends of "chronic complainers" are to sympathize and avoid invalidating their feelings. Griping about chronic complainers and insisting that everyone act like Pollyanna is, IMHO, yet another excuse to avoid empathy and instead act like the selfish people we all are by insisting that everyone around us immediately conform to the level of positivity we desire to "surround ourselves with". In return, have you stopped to think that us 'happy' people are that way because we make an effort to be, and not because we don't have any problems of our own?

complainer - Wiktionary

Our lives are not all sunshine and roses. In fact, many of us have far far worse lives than the people who go around complaining about everything constantly. But we've learned that simply moaning like a spoilt brat because life is unfair doesn't actually fix anything and just shares the negativity with other people as well as you. There is a big difference between having a problem that you can't fix yourself and asking for advice versus having a problem that you could probably fix if you wanted to and just complaining about it and everything else!

Jasper Griegson's Tip of the Week

It is the latter type of person that drives 'happy' people mad, because they refuse to grow up and deal with problems like an adult. They would rather make everyone around them miserable instead. This is a great article, thanks so much on the helpful tips. I have one question in regards to Survival Tip 2, validate their feelings and express sympathy. How does one do this without joining their complain-fest yet still be authentic? My coworker will grumble on and on about a task that truly isn't that bad, I know it seems terrible to her.

I feel if I acknowledge and validate her over- reactions it is as if I agree with her.

I don't. Thanks again. I don't understand the suggestion to offer "sympathy and emotional validation" to a chronic complainer. That approach will only encourage more non-productive complaining. I'm an action-oriented woman who can't stand chronic complaining but I have a few people in my life who subject me to this behavior. Either I offer a workable solution on the spot or I give a non-committal, "oh". That works very well to minimize their ridiculousness.

For instance my chronic complainer co-worker complained that she was hot when she walked outside. I told her to take her button-down sweater off next time. She had something to say about the dress she was wearing as a reason why she didn't do that, BUT she let the conversation lapse because she has learned not to keep going on and on about these things as I will acknowledge it no further. Agree completely! After making the mistake of providing advice and then switching to the empathetic approach toward my chronic complainer coworkers, I finally learned that the best way to deal with them is to show that you are intently working on something when they come in and that they are impeding your work you can show it without saying anything , and they will tend to keep it short, although I have met some who are so clueless as to how terrible their presence is, it takes them much longer to figure that part out than a normal person.

With romantic partners and family members who also tend to complain a lot, it's a lot easier to gently let them know they sound like a ball of negativity and then they can change their behavior What if instead of complaning about complainers, we just put a positive spin to there complaining.

I know his shoulder hurts- he is off on work comp leave, but I am not sure I have the patience to listen to this much longer. Without him jumping on my last nerve with this constant whining, moaning, theatrical display I agree you need to say something to him as you're accumulating resentments.

Why we complain

You should find out what his mother did to comfort him as a child when he was sick. He may be subconsciously looking for that comfort. I feel sad for you and your husband. It sounds like you begrudge him his injury something he probably couldn't prevent and are super resentful of his inability to work. The mixture of that resentment that he has surely picked up on , mixed with his own shame for not being able to do the one thing men are supposed to do in our culture: work and provide for the family, has probably led him to a very dark, depressing place.

You said he was injured two weeks ago. If two weeks worth of difficulty in your marriage is all it takes for you to react in this way, i.

Perhaps if you try to understand exactly what he is going through physical and emotional rather than waving it off as a "theatrical display," he might not feel the need to constantly try to get your attention in order to validate his inability to work. I honestly think you underestimate the capacity of someone to complain, and have not lived this situation in real life. While I do think she is begrudging him the fact that he is sitting around the house, and I do think that 2 weeks is a bit short for this reaction to have surfaced, I still sympathize with this woman.

Obviously I don't know her or her husband, but I have definitely lived in a climate of incessant complaints, where every sentence is a complaint from the time you get home to the time you go to bed.

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It is its own little hell, and I can definitely understand her being at her wit's end. There is conveying your feelings, and there is letting off steam, and then there is just incessant whining. Trust me, I am sure she started out by sympathizing and feeling understanding in the beginning, perhaps for the first week You end up feeling used and spent, and without value.

Towards the end, in my case, there were times when every single sentence from the other person's voice sent wave of resentment through my stomach. I hope this lady's husband gets better, or that he finds a healthier way to manage his injury You make good points, obviously we don't know both sides of the story and I wasn't trying to pick sides--it always just seems more useful to help someone see how they are actually in control of a situation and their reactions to it rather than speculate about how much of a victim they really are--and that goes for her in the context of this forum and also how she deals with hubby at home.

But I do appreciate your own personal testimony and can imagine how frustrating it must be. I wouldn't consider my partner a chronic complainer, but he has had his own dark periods that have been hugely draining on both of us and our relationship. He has been unemployed for more than 2 weeks--actually, it is going on a year and a half. Our finances are mostly separate and has been working on learning new skills and improving ones he already has which I fully support--no one should be stuck in an industry they hate and anyone should be able to pursue work they love, if they can , but the process has been an extremely bumpy ride, complete with bouts of depression, negativity, and intermittent alcohol abuse.