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Amira McLaughlin

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When complaining becomes a habit, you may feel stuck and unsure of how to break it. This cycle can be difficult to break, for sure. However, it is possible. There are some things you can do instead of complaining that will help you to feel empower and more in control of your life. Give them a try. 

Brainstorm Solutions

Complaining can feel good for the short-term, but over time it becomes draining on both you and those within earshot. It can wear you down and make you feel helpless. Next time you catch yourself uttering a complaint, counter it with a proposed solution to the problem. For example, if you’re unhappy with your current workload, think of some ways you can delegate some responsibilities or come up with selling points to give your boss as to how your talents can be used in more productive ways. Even if things don’t go exactly your way, you’ll feel better for trying to make real change.

Reframe the Situation

Sometimes things simply can’t be changed. Lots of people complain about the weather or begrudge the fact that they’re stuck in traffic. These are a waste of time and energy. Instead, try to reframe the situation in a positive light. If you’re stuck in traffic, look at it as a chance to listen to your favorite podcast or audiobook. When you make the best of the situation, you’ll start to feel yourself calm down and your frustration subside. 

Put Yourself in Their Shoes

Sometimes our frustration and source of complaints are with other people. It’s easy to complain about the actions of others. However, often, it’s much better to employ some empathy and try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Take a moment to see if you can figure out what might be causing them to act in such a way or if there’s anything you could do to help the situation. While it’s true that some people are simply difficult and there’s nothing you can do about that, sometimes putting yourself in their shoes can really help to diffuse a tense situation. 

Gain Perspective

Finally, try to look at the big picture when you feel a complaint coming on. Doing so will help you to gain some perspective and decide if the issue is even worth griping about. For example, decide whether complaining about a colleague will help the situation or if it will only serve to damage your reputation. By putting the brakes on complaining, you can often allow yourself the time to determine a better option and save yourself some annoyance. 

Give these methods a try when you find yourself wanting to complain. Taking proactive measures to do something else puts the power in your hands and usually makes the situation better than complaining ever would. 

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