How To Deal With Chronic Complainers
All of us know at least one person in our lives who is a chronic complainer. These people complain about everything. The believe that life is very hard, and they feel overwhelmed. This is because they have unrealistic expectations and reality never measures up to what they have in mind. They’ve been disappointed so many times that they focus like a laser beam on the negative aspect of every situation. They complain to you and everyone else, but what they want is not so much solutions as to vent.
The chronic complainer would like things to get better, but they have no idea about what to do to make things right. This gives him a feeling of helplessness which inspires their customarily whiny voice.
If you have complainers in your life, you know how frustrating it can be. You can’t agree with them because it makes them complain all the more. You can disagree with them because they will only repeat what they said before. You can’t solve their problems for them and they often feel hopeless and paralyzed to take construct action.
It is important to remember that most chronic complainers struggle with low self-esteem. Since their self-esteem is low, they view everything is a major problem with little hope for a solution. One way to deal with a chronic complainer is to help him like himself better. And do it in a genuine, authentic way, not in a superior, patronizing way.
We all have good qualities as well as bad. Can you find the good qualities in this difficult person? If so, you will be able to treat him with respect. He will recognize that you have respect for him and will be easier to interact with, now and in the future. Remember, we all have a deep hunger for respect, and if you treat others with respect, they will be much easier to get along with.
Although it may be difficult at times, the best approach is to have patience, compassion, and commitment to the process of getting them to look for solutions. First, you should listen to the complainer’s main points. This shows them that you are interested.
The next step is to get specific about the complaints. Let the complainer know for sure that he has been heard. Then quickly shift the focus to finding solutions. This is the time to ask very specifically what he wants. If the solutions are completely unrealistic, show that to him and ask again what he wants. Do this until he comes up with a reasonable answer and then ask him what he’s going to do to make that solution come true.
If the complainer is incapable of coming up with solutions, put an end to the meeting at that time, saying, “You don’t seem to have the solutions right now, but let me know when you come up with some.” This person needs to understand that constant complaining is not acceptable and that solutions do exist. If they refuse to focus on finding solutions, then try to minimize contact with them as much as possible.
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