Meet The Complainer: Their mood fluctuates more than an adjustable rate mortgage; and that is only second to their wonderful gift to really get on your nerves. Or in another scenario; what if you occupy that role in someone else’s life? The worst thing that you can do to individuals who love you and support you, day after day, year after year, is be a big complainer. The folks that love you will deal with your complaints because you’re not a bad person. And to be truthful, your love for them is the only thing that makes you want to hang around them, despite the terrible mood that they’re in.
It does not matter whether the complainer falls under the profile of the nagging wife, or the whining child, or the “woe-is-me” husband; complainers have found a way to infiltrate all of our lives. In fact, you could be reading this article, and are a serious pull on someone else’s good spirits. It’s alright to be frustrated about the ills and circumstances we are faced with in life, but you don’t have to let everyone know about it. Truthfully, people who are major complainers aren’t always aware of the fact that they are affecting the mood of those around them; that is, until they find themselves alone. It is addicting; and if you are not careful, you can easily become hooked on the feeling that comes with complaining. According to the latest in scientific research, your brain releases healthy chemicals whenever you are in anticipation of a heightened experience; whether you’re about to receive good news, inherit money, have intercourse, partake in gossiping, or especially complain.
There are many ways to address problems, but if you really want to examine an issue, you can start by practicing what’s called “practical optimism.” Practical optimism forces you to step away from both a completely negative outlook, as well as a completely, happy-go-lucky positive outlook. For example, if you are fired from your job, and your rent, light-bill, and grocery bill is all due at the same time, it would be very difficult to explain to your spouse that you are happy you were fired. On the other hand, practical optimism suggests that you can view your circumstance with a balanced outlook, allowing you to spin your story in a way that it could potentially help create a positive outcome.
So, whenever you are feeling the need to complain, or if you are in the same room, relationship, friendship, or partnership with a complainer, be advised that maybe they are stuck in the moment and cannot help themselves. If you would like to, you could bring it to the attention of that individual that they are complaining and destroying your mood. However, as with any addiction, you may create more of a problem than you realize because you are stopping someone from getting their internal “high”, which could result in a switch from complaint-mode to angry-mode, affecting all parties involved. Sometimes, being able to quickly identify a complainer is enough, and if you have some downtime, whenever they are in an open mode, then you could try to bring it to their attention. If that doesn’t work, recognize the triggers that cause complaints and try to avoid indulging in them, especially if you have to deal with that individual. If all else fails, you can always change your scenery.
Jesse Herriott is an ordained priest; writer and adjunct professor in Atlanta, GA. Jesse is completing a PhD in Psychology from NorthCentral University, and he researches/writes about Relationships, Psychology & Spirituality. In addition, he hosts a weekly radio broadcast airing every Tuesday at 9am Central on Unity Online Radio entitled, “Living on Purpose.” Learn more at www.jesseherriott.com