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Amira McLaughlin

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We’ve talked a great deal so far about choosing contentment over complaints. It’s true that complaining can become a bad habit that’s hard to kick, overshadowing all the good things in your life and causing people to avoid you. However, I’m not saying you should never complain. Sometimes airing your concerns is necessary and healthy. It’s important to do it in a manner that’s effective and doesn’t put the other person on the defensive. Follow along as I share some tips on how to voice a legitimate complaint. 

Consider the Other Side

First of all, it’s important to consider the opposite side of your complaint. No matter if it’s a small issue or a big problem, taking time to think about the rationale for what it is you’re not happy with is necessary to determining if you have a valid complaint. Seeing things from another perspective and employing empathy is always a wise move. So think it through and try to figure out why a policy or decision has been made in a particular manner before moving forward with your gripe. 

Determine Your Reason

It’s important to know the reason for your complaint. Sure, some things can be annoying. You might feel a bit better for venting about your frustrations. However, regularly complaining about things that are minor or that can’t be changed will likely gain you a reputation you don’t want to have. As we’ve discussed in previous posts, it also starts to become a habit by creating neural pathways in your brain. In addition, complaining about things that aren’t particularly significant probably won’t lead to anything being done about the issue. You’ll just wind up feeling more frustrated. 

Watch Your Tone

When you’ve decided to move forward and to make your complaint, be sure it doesn’t come across as whining. Your tone and the words you choose can go a long way toward ensuring this isn’t the case. When we’re frustrated, it’s easy to raise our voices, use strong words that provoke and speak in a whiny or condescending tone. All of these are counterproductive toward complaining in an effective and legitimate way. Your recipient isn’t likely to want to listen to you if you come across as whiny or hostile.

Propose a Solution

Perhaps the most effective thing you can do to lodge a legitimate complaint is to come prepared with some ideas to solve the issue. As we’ve covered, complaining for complaint’s sake really doesn’t serve anyone. The person or people listening to your complaint will take you more seriously if you have a proposed solution to the problem. They’ll also appreciate it and will probably be more willing to work with you, rather than to be on the defensive. Having a plan in mind shows you’ve thought the matter through and taken some effort, that you’re serious about your complaint. 

These are just some suggestions of ways to make a legitimate complaint. Perhaps they will help you to voice your frustration with others in a more meaningful way than simply moaning and groaning about all that upsets you. 

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