Many people love to complain, almost as if it is a national sport.
“It’s too hot”, you hear them say, “It’s raining non-stop again” they whinge, “You can’t get good service anywhere” they moan, “The traffic is simply unbearable” you hear often. More often than not though, we tend to nod our heads and agree (mainly out of compassion). Then maybe we tell our own stories of woe and so the downwards spiral continues.
When this happens the complainer is simply being an energy vampire or a life leech. bringing down the level of general happiness wherever they are.
I have worked with some toxic people in my life and it can get hard to ignore when it is for an extended period.
I’m not talking about someone who needs to get something off their chest, has a genuine grievance or just needs to be heard, but people who moan constantly, for those whom nothing is ever good enough or exactly like they want it to be.
How about we change all that? how about every time someone complains we say something positive or challenge them? How about we stop the doom and gloom merchants and change the story to something more cheerful?
The damage that moaners can do to an office environment is significant if it is allowed to continue and spread.
So, the next time when someone says something like “Oh, God, you’ll never guess what happened to me, bla bla bla etc.” Don’t tell them to stop, that doesn’t work.
The short term solution could be to calmly say, “That’s obviously an issue, what are you going to do about it?” (You can be as diplomatic as you like).
That usually stops the convo dead, and then you can bring something positive to the conversation. Whatever you say might get slated, but at least you have stopped playing the moaning game.
Of course, it may be a genuine gripe, but the message should be that being negative brings everyone down and it never solves anything.
The longer term solution would be to find out what is behind the moaning. This can take the form of taking it to a higher level, (if one exists) or having a calm head to head chat where you try to find out why the person complains so much, that they are aware of how this affects others and if there is a deeper underlying issue that affects other areas of their lives and which results in them being unhappy about everything.
The other is to be cheerful yourself and hope that balances things out.
If you want to raise your own level of happiness in a general manner there are several easy things you can do:
- Think of three things every day that are positive.
- Make someone else’s day, the Karma will come back around eventually, it only needs to be a really small thing, but people remember that.
- Shed a couple of kilos, when you feel good, you naturally feel happier.
- Walk more, take the stairs instead of the lift, park your car further away in the car park, cycle to work on sunny days.
- Get outside more, park up near a wood and take a quick stroll, it only needs to be a few minutes, then get back on your way.
- Learn a new skill, you don’t have to become an expert, but try different things.
- Breathe deeply
- Let things go
Finally, remember the Oscar Wilde quote: “Some people cause happiness wherever they go, other, whenever they go.”
Be happy, you know you deserve it.
If you want more information on how to be happier, just ask me. I have some of the solutions. (https://andylifebalancecoach.wordpress.com/workshops/how-to-be-happy/)