Complaining: Good or Bad? Plus, 6 Tips to Stop Complaining

For some people, complaining seems like a hobby. They grumble all day about anything and everything. But does all this complaining have a positive outcome? Or is it better to stop? Apparently, it’s not always bad, but you need to do it right!

In this article, you’ll learn what complaining is, what people often complain about, whether it’s bad, and how to do it effectively. Our 6 simple tips will help you stop complaining.

What is Complaining?

Complaining is a daily habit for many. People complain to express frustration. This can be about very small things, like an empty fridge, or major events. Expressing frustration can be a relief for many.

The Meaning of Complaining

Originally, complaining meant the sound you make when you are very sad, like mourning the loss of a person or feeling pain, like stubbing your toe. Today, it means expressing dissatisfaction or discontent. Since this form of complaining is common, we will delve deeper into it.

What Do People Complain About?

The weather is awful, your room isn’t tidy again, there’s never a parking spot, prices keep rising, there’s always traffic at this hour, why do I have to do the dishes again, this pasta is inedible, shouldn’t you spend less money, it’s always the same story, etc. Some people always find something to grumble about. Their inspiration for subjects seems endless.

Is Complaining Good or Bad?

Life isn’t always sunshine and roses. Are we never allowed to complain? Of course, but do it properly.

According to psychologist and author Robert Biswas Diener, there are three different types of complaining. Chronic and venting complaints do not benefit you, according to the psychologist. However, instrumental complaining can lead to positive change. Here’s an overview of the three types of complaining and which are good and bad.

Chronic Complaining: Bad

Chronic complainers constantly whine and are never satisfied. They focus on everything that goes wrong and can’t stop dwelling on their problems. They seem to only think negatively. Even things that could be positive, they find a way to complain about. In this case, complaining is bad! This negativity is harmful to themselves and those around them.

Venting Complaints: Bad

Venting complainers need to verbalize their emotional frustrations. They are dissatisfied, angry, or disappointed and start whining to get attention from family or friends. They don’t need a solution; they just want to vent and receive affirmation. This form of complaining is also not beneficial.

Instrumental Complaining: Good

Instrumental complainers bring about positive change. This is the right way to complain. They complain about issues, find solutions, and make changes. For example, if their washing machine breaks, they complain, call a technician, and get it repaired. Problem solved, no more complaining!

6 Tips to Stop Complaining

Time needed: 5 minutes

Shouldn’t we try to express our dissatisfaction less and talk about what makes us happy? Here are 6 tips to help you stop complaining and stay positive.

  1. Break the Habit

    Become aware of how much you complain and about what. It’s often become a habit. To stop complaining, it’s time to break that habit.

  2. Accept Reality

    Do you have a problem or frustration? Consider if you can solve it right now. If not, accept it: it is what it is. Think about how you can handle similar situations differently in the future to avoid problems. For now, accepting reality means no more reason to complain.

  3. Expect Less

    Do you complain about a disappointing movie or traffic on a Sunday? Try expecting less, or even the worst. If traffic is lighter than expected, you’ll be satisfied. If a movie isn’t spectacular, you might still find it enjoyable, reducing the need to complain.

  4. Be Grateful

    We complain about things that make us unhappy or frustrated. Instead, think about what you appreciate. Make a daily list of ten things you’re grateful for. You’ll enjoy the little things more and feel more positive, forgetting to complain.

  5. Shift Your Focus

    People often focus on negatives and grumble constantly. Instead, focus on what makes you happy. Shift your focus to positive aspects of your life.

  6. Address Your Complaints

    Only complain if it leads to positive outcomes, like an instrumental complainer. If your house is messy, complain, then make a plan to tidy up. The next day, your house is clean, and there’s no reason to complain.

Expressing dissatisfaction or complaining is something we all do occasionally. As long as it leads to positive change, it’s okay. If you find yourself complaining out of habit or for affirmation, you’re not on the right track. Negative thoughts become a difficult cycle to break and make you unhappier. But don’t worry! With our 6 tips, you can say goodbye to complaining.

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