Social Media Complainers and In-Person Complainers

complain

I only know a few people that consistently complain in real life as well as on social media regarding topics of pet care all the way to politics. Their level of complaining in-person is high and is fairly consistent with their level of complaining within social media platforms. In the years I have known them I have noted two discouraging behaviors:

  1. They continue to complain regardless of whether the problem they are complaining about is solved or not.
  2. They put forth very little or no effort towards a meaningful resolution to the problem they are complaining about.

These observations, over time, have left me with no patience when listening to or reading complaints from anyone about anything.

A constant barrage of complaints can make for a terribly negative atmosphere where nothing other than rage and impatience are accomplished.  If you find yourself frustrated with complainers in your own life, look to science for solid suggestions on how to change your own behavior to better communicate with unproductive complainers. Science peeps have spent a lot of time studying humans and have really helpful suggestions on how to make things better (example: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-squeaky-wheel/201107/how-deal-chronic-complainers).  As opposed to my method which is normally a snarky rebuttal like “you know, I have a feeling you would complain about winning the lottery” which often garners a shocked and hostile response of more complaining. Yes, I am the worst example of how to interact with other humans – this could explain why I don’t leave the house much:)

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Invest zero time in toxic complainers (TC’s)

Unfortunately, many organizations have at least one TC: a person who complains endlessly about everything but offers no clear explanations regarding the actual problem and offers no potential solutions.  The person just seems to enjoy yelling and complaining in general.  The person will often throw in tears, threats or violence to juice up the drama.

If management is paying attention, TC’s are easily identifiable by how they react when discussing other employees or issues they have encountered during the workday.  It is best that TC’s are dealt with immediately because their lack of clear communication skills, lack of patience and lack of respect for others in the workplace have a severe impact on morale and work performance.

A few suggestions on how to best deal with TC’s is as follows.  Please note: these suggestions have not been tested on actual TC’s.  I’ve only attempted these strategies when working with my hamster Mr. Snowflake Brownie:

  • Remove all communication devices from the TC’s office (phone, email, instant messaging, and internet web forms) so the TC is stuck with only one method of toxic complaining: verbal, in person.
  • Hire someone to be the liaison between the TC and any other human within the organization for times of the verbal, in person toxic complaining.  This liaison would stick to a “young child” approach when dealing with the TC.  The liaison would use methods such as baby talk when the TC begins a tirade, petting the TC on the head to calm him or her down and ordering “time outs” during extremely heated toxic complaining sessions.

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