Complaining can be addictive. And it’s easy to understand why. It’s a habit that comes naturally to us and can be hard to give up completely. However, bottling your emotions up is not the better alternative. Everyone deserves to vent at some point. It’s possible to find a good balance of the two. Here are 6 tips to improve your complaining habit:
Track your complaints
You don’t have to physically take notes (unless you want to!) but a mental note works just as well. Try to keep track of how often in a day you complain and what about. Are all your complaints about the same thing? Do you spend more time complaining about it than fixing it? These are all factors that are necessary to consider. The first step to change is awareness of the current situation. You’d be surprised how much you’ll learn about yourself after just a few days of doing this.
Allow yourself to vent every once in a while.
The first step to cutting down on your complaining habit is to realise that it’s not a good idea to quit cold turkey. Constantly ignoring the urge to rant can can do more harm than good. Once you’ve begun tracking your complaints, perhaps try to cut down the frequency you do it at by about half. And if you frequently complain about the same problems, try to make an effort to not rant about the same thing more than once every few days.
Complaining, while sometimes necessary, is not essential. If you’re facing a problem, it is important for you to realise that venting, while helping your emotional well-being, does nothing to fix the issue at hand. Use the energy you put into complaining to pursue efforts that will help change your current situation.
Be less judgmental of other people.
This is something to take note of when your complaints are not about your own problems, but of the actions of others. Maybe you hate that your colleague is being difficult to work it. Or you’re upset that your boss doesn’t seem to notice your achievements. Whatever the case, you never really know what the people around you are going through. Once you make an effort to stop judging others for their shortcomings, you’ll end up feeling the need to complain about them a lot less.
Add “but” to your complaints
When you find yourself in the middle of a rant, try to add a “but” to what your have to say. For example, when you say “It’s so frustrating that I have so much work to do”, follow it with “but I’m glad that I’ve at least got a stable job I enjoy”. It may sound cliché but will surely change your perspective on the problem at hand.
Lessen your conversations with other chronic complainers
Birds of a feather flock together. If you’ve noticed that your complaining habits are becoming a problem, it’s likely you’ve been surrounding yourself with other complainers as well. It’s easy to join in a group rant session or bring up a problem of your own when hearing about someone else’s. It’s what happens when one complainer enables another. To improve your own habits, you should surround yourself with people embracing values you wish to have.