Communication Skills

How To Complain

People skills



1. The best tip about complaining is to complain with a plan, and to a relevant audience. Saying, 'my job sucks' to a co-passenger in the train is effective only when the co-passenger happens to be a recruiting specializing in your industry. Otherwise, no one likes a complainer.


2. Always complain to someone who can do something about it, and go in armed with relevant facts (what's wrong, how often you've faced it or seen it happen) and consequences (profits are down, productivity is going down the drain, etc).


3. Otherwise, complaining is just venting. You may think taking out anger in words or actions (punching something) will help you but it won't get you the solution to your problems. The rage does not go out with the punch.


It also makes you confuse your negative thoughts with your personality, and you may even lose control of your actions. It is a downward spiral.


What's more, your complaining stresses out other people.


'If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem', Eldridge Cleaver might or might not have said it. But it is so true.


Only you are responsible for getting solutions to your problems. Bitching or venting don't help. Going to the concerned people (who can help) with a reasoned argument (facts, logic) as well as an idea of a desired outcome, does.


4. If you don't do something quickly to get your problem looked into, the complaining becomes a habit, without us fully realizing it. We become 'whiners'. Before things get to this stage:


5. Whenever you are talking, check if you are complaining. Observe your statements over a period of time, and see how much and what about you are complaining. What problems are causing those problems? Who can help?


To repeat: Monitor your conversations, identify the complaints and the underlying problems.


6. Often, our anxieties have morphed into chronic complaints.

Complaint: 'I hate traveling by the Metro everyday.'

Underlying anxiety: 'I am losing so much of my life left on just traveling inside packed coaches.'


Note these anxieties down. Writing down the worries helps. It is cathartic.


7. Before you complain about something, think of how lucky you are, compared to others in the world. Get some perspective.

Gratitude is good medicine for complaining, they say.


Thank you for reading.
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