How To Stop Complaining

Turning An Addiction To Complaining
Into A Doorway To More Happiness

How to stop complaining may not necessarily be something you have a need for. But it may well be something you could pass on to a friend who has an addiction to complaining. Have you ever asked yourself the question: Why complain anyway?

Why do we complain, anyway?

To clarify, I'm not talking about phoning or visiting your bank to point out an error on your statement and to ask for it to be rectified; or complaining to the store that the product you bought is faulty. That doesn't need to be done with a 'complaining' attitude or emotion. I am referring here to the habit of whining about things with a somewhat negative attitude and emotion.

Complaining need not be a terrible thing at all. It can in fact be used as a useful point of reference for increasing your level of happiness. When you really think about it, when you complain to your partner or friend you are pretty much expressing some frustration. It's like a stress release.

If the other party tells you they don't want to hear about it, you'll probably feel even more frustrated. You feel you just have to express it by sharing it with someone else. If you do that, you feel there'll be some relief. You've got it off your chest for now ... until the urge crops up again - either in respect of that same matter or something quite different.

So, one way to look at this quite complicated psychological behaviour pattern is to see it simply as the need to release some frustration and stress.

A new look at how to stop complaining

If complaining is just a frustration release, why does it seem so important to know how to stop the habit anyway? The answer is simple. Stress release is usually uncomfortable, and human nature is to want to move away from discomfort to more comfort, towards peace and happiness - to get out of discomfort and pain as quickly as possible.

This applies as much to the complainer as to the person having to listen. Do you enjoy being in the company of someone who is complaining? Normally the listener wants to change the conversation or move away from the complaining friend or family member - unless they too are a complainer and have found a complain-buddy with whom they can both have a field-day.

So, except when two complainers want to vent their frustration to each other, usually neither the complainer nor the listener enjoys the experience, especially if it goes on too long. It is experienced as something negative. So, what is the solution? What is the trick for how to stop complaining? The following suggestion may surprise you.

A joyful approach

Most of us have experienced that if we are in a negative frame of mind, and speak in a complaining manner for some time, we start to feel quite uncomfortable inside. In fact, we feel it even as we start being the complainer. The longer we stay in that mindset and emotion, the more we perpetuate it and increase the feeling of negativity and discomfort - less joyfulness.

So, the trick is to recognise that and take action. But the action is more than just stopping the complaining; it is to use that situation as a springboard to better feelings. This in turn will elevate our mood and pull us out of the stress and towards lighter feelings - closer to feeling happier.

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