The Complaining Solution: STOP!

We all know about the act (the habit for some of us) of complaining. In the TV show, “Everybody Loves Raymond,” Ray states his Boomer parents would visit a fair only to ride the “Complain-O-Go-Round.” 🤣

We’ve probably all been admonished at some point to “Stop complaining!” Amiright? Addictions can be tough to break, though.


Are you hooked on complaining?

Also, just possibly, we’ve learned to avoid that person at work who is a chronic complainer. I mean, does listening to others complain add value to my life?

Bottom line, why do humans complain? Dale Garside, a linguist and the smartest person I know when it comes to understanding the words we use, says this:

To complain means to “pity self.”


In our QBQ! Facebook Group (join us!), group member, Candy, shared this wisdom: 

Complaining takes so much energy. As I near retirement, I’ve been looking back at my career and believe there was a day when I finally said “Enough!” No more complaints from me and I’ll confront complaining by others head-on.

One memorable time was when I joined a team as a peer, not a manager. I found they all were complaining they did not have access to the resources needed to do their job. Well, the truth was they were not ACCESSING the resources. So instead of listening to them complain, I spoke directly, “That is not accurate. Let me show you how to utilize the resources needed.”

Some ignored me and walked away because they wanted to complain.

Others sheepishly sat down with me and got the training. Those who did so began spreading the word. Eventually, the “rumor” that they lacked resources turned into bragging about all the wonderful resources they had!

It can be hard to turn complaining off and begin practicing Personal Accountability. I get that. But it really is worth facing the act of complaining head-on—in others and yourself.

The QBQ! book is a tool that helps me to not complain. I intend to take my copy with sticky notes and underlining from my office because I may need it in retirement!

Lots of good stuff there. The money line is this: “Some ignored me and walked away because they wanted to complain.” Addiction is a strong word, but when a habit is difficult to break, what else would we call it?

Of course, bad habits can be broken. Sometimes, it is just a matter of telling ourselves to … STOP! When that desire to whine and bemoan comes to us, powerful QBQs (tutorial here) such as, “What can I do to see the positive?” “How can I seek more knowledge?” and “What can I do to offer a solution?” make the difference.

Personal Accountability beats complaining every time. I bet you agree!

Discussion: Are you a complainer? Were you at one time, but you’ve shed this addiction? If so, how’d you do it? Share your thoughts!



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