How to Complain

Psychologists say that people generally complain for one of two reasons—as a way of enlisting people to agree with their point of view, or as a means of making conversation since negative observations often yield a bigger response than positive comments. But none of these reasons are valid enough to outweigh the fact that no one likes being around people who are chronic complainers.

Whining is a childish trait and can be a very difficult habit to break once it has become a part of a person’s communication style.  Some forms of complaints are obvious, but other forms are often disguised as commentary or critique. They may appear more subtle but are just as damaging as the obvious ones.

Having an objective for complaining means that you wish to accomplish something that is both reasonable and specific.When you can’t do anything, why spend your time (and someone else’s) complaining about it?

Whenever you complain, be prepared to offer a reasonable solution. Be understanding. People are not perfect and most employees are doing the best they can. It’s also important to recognize that what may be logical to you, may not be logical to someone else.

Make a point to accept and value the differences in people. Recognize that we all come from different backgrounds and have different life experiences. Specifically, have a little more patience; be a little more forgiving of others.

Treat others with respect and kindness. Describe your situation in a way that shows respect to the individual listening to your complaint. Often times, it’s not their fault. And even if it is, there is no reason to speak to them like they are stupid or incompetent. Doing that will only make matters worse and reflect poorly on you.

Listen to the people around you, especially out in public. Notice how they speak to customer service representatives, and other workers. What does this tell you about them? What does the way you speak to people in public say about you?

The next time you find it necessary to lodge a legitimate complaint, make sure it meets the criteria discussed above—purposeful, solution-oriented, understanding, kind, and whine-free.

Summing-up: If you must complain, make sure your words are constructive and that you handle yourself in a way that reflects positively on your character.

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