We all engage a bit of complaining, right? And many times it is a totally OK way to connect to others. It is much easier to begin a small talk with a stranger when we start complaining about the weather. This is a topic that is not-threatening to engage in and a good basis for moving to other topics if both parties feel like it.
The problem is when you turn into a non-stop complaining machine. Have you ever met a chronic complainer? Griping about things to no end, complaining about the exact same thing for weeks, never having anything positive to say. Nothing screams louder that the person believes to be the victim of life. This being a “victim of life” stance irritates others deeply.
Chronic complainers love to share all the negativity but rarely ever listen to any feedback or advice they might get. You might spends hours listening to them. Try to give a tip to help with their bad fate but don’t expect them to take that tip seriously. A bad complainer will just find a new person to complain to.
If you feel you might be a bad complainer yourself, try to consciously listen to your conversations today. How many times did you complain today? To whom? What topics did you complain about? How did you feel after your griping session – better or even worse? Did you find any new ideas or solutions to deal with the thing you were kvetching about?
Listen to your own words
When you talk to some of your colleagues, you might just know exactly what they will say before they even open their mouth. Because they talk about the same things and use the same language all the time.
A few years ago I noticed that I use the word “terrible” all the time. Everything was terrible. I was talking to a co-worker about our jobs and the job market – and somehow began listening to my own sentences, speaking and hearing them at the same time. I was astonished to hear my non-stop “terrible-this-terrible-that” talk. I was shocked to hear my own negativity. It took some time and conscious effort on my part to change my pattern of “terrible” but was so worth it!
Awareness is always the first step! Make a conscious effort to listen to what you say in your conversations at the office. What are your themes? Which words do you use all the time? Look at the reaction of your co-workers! Do they look more hopeful and inspired? Or do they feel defeated and negative after talking to you?
You can change your patters! All you need is to switch off your automatic talking machine and choose your words with care and intention.
Talk less but with a clear intention!
Listen more without the need to judge.
If you are willing to complain less and listen more, you will be pleasantly surprised to see the big impact this will bring to your life every day!