People complain 15 to 20 times a day: 5 ways to quit

April 22, 2021

8 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Opinions expressed by Contractor the contributors are theirs.


Average people complain 15 to 20 times a day. Of course, there are those who have the record of being permanently in this attitude that leads nowhere. Because the whine is like a rocking chair: it entertains, even if you are not moving from where you are.

In the book ” Stop grumbling!Coach and speaker Christine Lewicki says that while situations arise where people can find a good reason to complain, there are other strategies for constructively expressing what they think is wrong.

If you live in this state all the time, you are going to suffer because not only are you not going to move forward or solve the problems, but it is a boomerang that turns on you.

The consequences of complaining about everything

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The complaint has multiple negative effects on people, including:

  • The deterioration of relationships. Mirror neurons are affected in the brain, thus negatively influencing everyone around you. As a source of empathy, these neural connections are contagious and so the complaint spreads like a shock wave and directly affects your surroundings.
  • A dependency is generated. Complaining, which people often interpret as a release from their frustrations, creates a pattern of addiction, burnout and unease. Therefore, if you tend to complain a lot, avoid it by not doing it: it is, even though there are strategies like I share below. In the brain, behaviors are reinforced by practice. To be able to control the impulses that complain, you must overcome the temptation to fall into them. Conversely, the more you complain, the more you complain: it becomes a vicious circle. So, if you want to play in your favor, you complain less, stay silent or look for solutions.
  • Complaining colors all that is good in your life. The familiar concept of only seeing the glass half empty all the time makes you not appreciate the positive that is always there, because you have trained the brain to give the first impulse to complain. In this way, your gaze is always black, colored by filters in your mental model which do not allow you to take advantage.
  • It hurts the brain. In an investigation conducted by Stanford University in the United States, they concluded that complaining had an effect in reducing the size of the cerebral hippocampus, a useful area that is responsible for reasoning and helping to resolve. the challenges of life. By having a negative mental program of complaining, this “road” always takes you down the same path, the hippocampus atrophies, and over time it stops producing more results in the form of alternatives and solutions. .
  • It makes you a bitter person and it makes you sick. In addition to anything related to links, the complaint releases cortisol, which is the stress hormone and weakens the immune system, making you prone to certain diseases such as heart, gastrointestinal tract, diabetes and hypercholesterolemia.

It is important to remember that this is not about canceling all kinds of complaints, because some, if properly channeled, can be necessary and useful in building solutions. The goal is to change the automatic complaint that many people have as a regular form of communication.

5 ideas to stop complaining

1. Focus on the solution, always

Just as you predisposed your mind to mold it into a complaint pattern, it is possible to reverse it.

A common tendency of people who live to complain is that this behavior, sustained over time, causes them to have catastrophic or terrible thoughts. It is not even trivial when the expression of complaint appears to be a mere observation, as this dynamic contains judgments, assumptions and reservations about the issues. If we add the tone of expression and altered emotionality to varying degrees, we have a pure complaint.

The tool to change that perspective is to focus on the solution. With mental training, the urge to complain can be controlled; once you get used to figuring out how to resolve issues, the complaint will decrease.

2. Suggest alternative scenarios

For people who find it difficult to immediately focus on finding a solution, the idea is that once the reason for the complaint has been identified, possible alternatives are brought up in their minds. This means that, knowing the weight and the consequences of living complaining, it is best to start looking for other ways to replace it.

Questions can be very helpful: What am I complaining about? What is the underlying reason for my complaint? What is the use of complaining? What alternatives do I have? How am I going to feel if I don’t complain? This way you will find more sense to channel a new form of behavior.

3. Check reverse processes based on the reason for your complaint

This tool proposes to stop any type of reflection that feeds the complaint. The first step is to brake; Coach Tim Gallwey’s STOP technique can help you (S = Stop, T = Think / Think, O = Observe, P = Proceed / Act).

Once the tendency to complain has ceased, check out what would happen if things were not as you think or imagine; It is a technique for “counter-arguing” in the mental model that you have, so that you can verify what would happen in a different diagram. By pushing this to a deeper level of analysis, the wailing impulse will take a back seat. By practicing it continuously, it is possible to reduce and even eliminate the behavior of the complaint.

4. Ask yourself, “What do I get when I complain?”

People do everything to make a profit; Even if you don’t have it, it can seemingly be of benefit to you. This is why it is a question of playing in your favor.

This exercise is about self-awareness and redirecting one harmful behavior to another that presents you with different perspectives focused on promoting changes or solutions.

To exercise, you need a notebook and a pencil; then openly ask yourself what you gain when you complain, and immediately start making a comprehensive list of all the details of the complaint that come from your inner voice or your words. Go through the process as deeply as you want. You will then put that list aside for at least an hour and reread it to see if your profit motives are still “true” when you complain.

5. Work towards accepting what you cannot change and change what is within your reach.

“Everything that we do not accept is the basis of suffering”, says Colombian philosopher Gerardo Schmedling. Therefore, in situations that you cannot change and any kind of positive intervention is not within your reach, it is necessary to practice unconditional acceptance.

To accept does not mean to accept or justify the facts; On the contrary, when they are totally beyond your will and control, the alternative of accepting them and letting go is reasonable. If you don’t and make it a permanent complaint, this litany is like having a hot coal in your hand to throw at others: you will burn yourself. It costs you dearly.

Remember that in all circumstances we have the opportunity to choose the attitude with which we are going to face things. Leaving the complaint involves a radical change in that aspect, to start having a less confrontational, more harmonious life that adds value for you and for all the areas in which you operate.

About Brandon B.

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