How to complain well

The instrumental complaint is used to solve problems - for example, confronting your partner about overspending. This type of complaint focuses on the impact of the problem and creating a plan for change.

Guide for complaining:

  • Limit your complaining to avoid dampening moods.
  • Complain only when you can affect real and positive change.
  • Consider if a different strategy to complaining will work.
  • Limit your exposure to complaining.

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Types of Complaining

psychologytoday.com

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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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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 value of complaining

As important and healing as gratitude is, we can't be grateful all the time. There is a time when we also have to make room for complaints.

For weeks, we've been going through phases. Hoarding and planning move into anxiety and stress, and now we've entered the stale phase. We've planned to be productive, but struggle to self-motivate.

Complaining is a survival tool to help you cope if you use it wisely.

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The Joy of Complaining

estherperel.com