Sick of the Chronic Complainer? Here’s How to Fix Their Behavior By Sophie Deutsch
Notice what the article excerpts below say about emotions being contagious.
If you’re around someone who is more or less negative on a regular basis, regardless of the reasons why they are negative, that can rub off on you and harm you or negatively impact you.
Someone else’s negativity being able to rub off on you can be even worse if you suffer from depression, or, like me, you’re largely over clinical depression but can still, at times, be susceptible to falling into depressive funks that last hours, if you’re around one of these chronically unhappy, sour people (who may have clinical depression themselves, or they may just have a pessimistic personality type).
If you don’t want to end up in a bad mood yourself, if you don’t want your old depressive disorder (or anxiety) triggered, please start avoiding or limiting your time around these negative types of people.
I myself WASTED too many years of my life thinking (thanks to the type of parenting I got growing up, and the Christian faith I was raised in) that it was my duty and job to fix these hurting, negative people who were always yammering my ear off about their physical health problems, financial problems, job or martial problems, or whatever problems.
Consequently, all that listening to their complaining, me absorbing their negativity and, in some cases, me also trying to take on and fix their problems for them, could make my depression worse (when I had severe depression), or just ruin my day and leave me feeling worn out and bummed out the rest of the day.
I’ve also noticed that many of these articles that talk about emotional vampires, chronic complainers, unhappy people, clinically depressed persons (especially the ones with victim syndrome), and other types of negative and/or wounded adults…
Also mention that relief and healing for these people can only become possible whenever these people start taking responsibility for themselves, when they start making changes or modifications in their actions, life styles and/or their thinking processes (attitude). The article below is no exception.
(Link): Sick of the chronic complainer? Here’s how to fix their behaviour
By Sophie Deutsch
What’s with all the whining?
Complaining is an expression of internal discomfort.
“It’s the externalisation of a feeling,” says psychologist Dr Amy Silver, who runs workshops with organisations on managing emotions for high performance. “It’s pushing something away that is internal and then voicing it in such a way to make it somebody else’s problem.
It’s typically employed as a psychological strategy to avoid confronting difficult feelings and experiences.
“By externalising or pushing the attention somewhere else it means the chronic complainer doesn’t need to recognise that they don’t feel positive, or that they don’t have the skills or energy to fix the problem themselves, or that they don’t feel they have the control over their own life to make choices.
Being stuck in a chronic state of complaining is also highly stressful, which can have a damaging impact on the brain.
What is a chronic complainer doing to our brains?
Unrelenting whining doesn’t just affect the complainer; it’s also drawing others into an orbit of pessimism.
The negative impact chronic complainers have on those around them can be understood through the phenomenon of emotional contagion
(Link to that same site’s page about emotional contagion) .
“Emotions are 100 per cent transferable,” says Silver. “We use other people’s cues to work out what our current state is. If other people perceive threat or risk, then we will too.”
…Rectifying the behaviour involves empowering the chronic complainer with the courage to turn inwards, and consider how they might modify their own thought processes, and take greater control of their life and decisions.
— end —
The above article was written for employers on how to handle the chronically complaining employee, and so, the author goes on to advise the manager or Human Resources Department on how to handle the complainer.
I understand that this being about and for an employer changes the situation a bit, but if you are reading this blog post as a person who has a chronic complainer in your life, such as a friend, family member, or to a point, even a co-worker (a peer of yours, not a subordinate)-
My advice (after having years of experience with being around people like this) is to either limit contact, cut all contact, or, if you insist on retaining contact, and this person begins going on one of their complaining benders, then get them to change the topic to something else (that doesn’t involve a topic that will give them an excuse to complain so much).
This page on this blog has a few good tips on dealing with chronic complainers.
(Link): When You’re in Imbalanced, Unfair Relationships – You’re the Free Therapist, The Supportive, Sounding Board Who Listens to Other People’s Non-Stop Complaining, But They Don’t Listen to You – re: The Toilet Function of Friendship