Why some people are help-rejecting complainers

They often suffer from an underlying depression, and depression skews their thinking and make them feel helpless. They also feel lonely, unheard, and unseen in their pain.

They want to connect, but because they are help-rejecting complainers, they push people away, creating a vicious cycle.

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Dealing With People That Constantly Complain, but Won’t Do Anything to Change

theatlantic.com

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The help-rejecting complainer

We all go through challenging periods in our lives and may find it helpful to talk with friends or family about our struggles.

But for a help-rejecting complainer, complaining is a way of life. They don't want help, only sympathy and validation for their perception of being mistreated and their inability to improve their situation. Because help-rejecting complainers don't want solutions, they tend to drain the energy from the people around them.

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When help-rejecting complainers feel heard, they may eventually realise that they can change their position. But they may also continue to complain incessantly.

In that case, you can set a compassionate boundary where you validate their suffering and admit that you don't think listening to what's bothering them is helping. Then change the conversation. Whenever they complain, remind them of your limit and redirect the conversation.

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Don't try to challenge their belief system. The best thing to do is to over-validate their position but without any trace of sarcasm. For example, "Your boss should be fired. It's terrible that there's absolutely nothing you can do to make things better."

Once they feel understood, there's not a lot more to say. They will also hear their own complaint from you and may turn the argument. "My boss is awful, but I don't know if I'll be there forever."

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We all know at least one chronic complainer

Chronic complainers genuinely believe the world is out to get them and feel they have to voice every disappointment in their life.

In reality, many chronic complainers are unaware that they complain so much or that they have a reputation for constant negativity. They may even feel they have a duty to alert others to potential hardships.

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How to Deal with Chronic Complainers

lifehacker.com

In the context of poor communication, criticizing is when you knock someone down for the wrong reasons: to hurt someone, to vent your frustrations or to boost your ego.

It’s easy enough for someone to get defensive when they’re given constructive criticism. But when your criticism comes from a destructive place, it’s a communication killer.

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Seven Destructive Habits that Kill Solid Communication

lifehacker.com

The psychology of complaining

Complaining means expressing dissatisfaction with a negative situation: bad weather, poor economic performance, interfering in-laws.

There are different types of complainers:

  • Chronic complainers: Those who never seem to be satisfied.
  • Venters: They are focused on expressing their own emotional dissatisfaction. By showing anger or frustration, they are seeking attention so that they feel validated.

One major downside to complaining is that it dampens everyone's mood.

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Types of Complaining

psychologytoday.com