Because you’re participating in this challenge, the chances are good that you would like to lessen your complaining and grow your contentment. I’ve given you some ways to begin making small changes on your path to becoming a more optimistic person, but have you ever considered what impression you might be giving off by regular griping and moaning? Once you know some of the effects this can have on your reputation, you will probably be more motivated to make a change. Let’s take a look at how others perceive your complaining so that you can use that information to propel you toward your goals.
Puts People on the Defensive
First of all, hearing you complain frequently is apt to put people on the defensive. This is especially true if you’re complaining about them, but it also comes into play when you’re criticizing anyone else. Those hearing your complaints may start to wonder why it is you’re so critical all the time. They may feel attacked, leading them to jump to the defense of themselves or others. An occasional complaint is much easier to swallow than those that seem never ending.
Paints You as Lazy
Did you ever stop to think that being a downer might send the message to others that you’re lazy or irresponsible. Complainers have a way of shirking responsibility, blaming anyone else for problems in order to avoid accepting any part of a problem. They also may be a vocal complainer in order to get out of doing what needs to be done or proactively taking part in a solution to their problems. This is definitely not a message you want to send.
Loss of Trust
Also, people tend to distrust a complainer. They may come to believe you would be just as critical of them as you are of the other people you whine about. It’s hard to trust someone who seems to only see the negative side of a situation. If this describes you, it’s important to understand the type of vibe you’re giving off.
Damages Your Reputation
That’s right. This constant complaining is sending all kinds of messages about you, and none of them are positive. The bottom line is that you’re developing a negative reputation among those who regularly hear your complaints. No matter what conclusions they’ve drawn about you and your giriping, the end result is one that paints you in a bad light.
The fact of the matter is, there are more interpersonal consequences to constant complaining than I have time to mention here. You’re doing damage to your reputation and the ways in which you’re seen by others. The good news is that this damage can be lessened and you can overcome it by making the concrete changes you’re learning throughout our challenge.