We all complain from time to time, and that is normal. When something is wrong it is perfectly ok to express it and complain about it. What is not ok is when complaining becomes more of a habit. We can all think of people who constantly complain and for almost everything. For these cases, there are plenty of reasons to prove why constantly complaining is harmful. Some people unfortunately are born complainers. For them, there are some healthy alternatives to constant complaining that they must take into consideration.
“Solving some problems requires less than half the energy or time it took to complain about them.”
Table of Contents
Why Constant Complaining is Harmful
- 1. Complaining Increases Stress Levels
- 2. Complaining is Harmful for our Physical Condition
- 3. Complaining is Harmful for our Mental Health
- 4. Complaining is Harmful for Personal Relationships
- 5. Constant Complaining is Useless and Unhealthy
- 6. Complaining is Harmful for our Progress
- 7. Complaining Might Make Things Worse
- Healthy Alternatives to Constant Complaining
- Conclusion on Why Complaining is Harmful and 4 Healthy Alternatives to Constant Complaining
Why Constant Complaining is Harmful
1. Complaining Increases Stress Levels
When we are expressing a complaint about something we go through the experience that made us feel uncomfortable. In a way, we live again this painful experience which probably caused us a lot of stress. Recalling it in our thought continuously when complaining about it automatically increases our stress levels.
2. Complaining is Harmful for our Physical Condition
Constant complaining has the same effect on our bodies as every other stressful situation. The tension that results from it can become overwhelming. This tension can finally lead to lead in sleepless nights, headaches, increased blood pressure, and finally a bad overall physical condition.
3. Complaining is Harmful for our Mental Health
Repeated complaints are repeated negative thoughts again and again. Doing so has as an outcome more negative thoughts. Constant complaining could be responsible for having a negative impact causing or increasing anxiety and depression.
4. Complaining is Harmful for Personal Relationships
Friends and loved ones are always there to support us when we have a problem. They are always willing to hear what we have to say and be there for us. However, constantly complaining feels like we take advantage of their kindness. Doing so we use them in a way that negatively impacts their mental health.
Some of them may finally decide to take care of themselves more than listen to us. Especially when they understand that we make no effort to solve our problem. It makes total sense that at some time they will decide to step away from an unhealthy relationship.
“What’s the point of complaining. It just makes the people around you feel bad too.”Suzanne Brockmann, Out of Control
5. Constant Complaining is Useless and Unhealthy
Complaining means that we state in words something that doesn’t work for us. It might mean that we feel uncomfortable with a person’s attitude, about how others value us, etc. Constantly complaining about something just to let it out there does not provide any solution to the problem. It just makes us feel stressed and overwhelmed over and over again.
Allowing the complaint to come out is healthy and should be done to reveal what we are not ok with. A complaint is a form of revealing what we want but hidden behind a mask. Complaining constantly without clearly expressing what we want or looking for a solution is unhealthy.
6. Complaining is Harmful for our Progress
Complaining can easily become a habit, a bad and addictive habit. It might offer us an illusion of feeling better when doing it but that doesn’t stand. Constant complaining shifts our focus on everything negative. It makes us feel powerless and unable to change the situation. Consequently, we get stuck with everything we have every reason to complain about.
Constant complaining drains our energy and motive for life. It can also kill our creativity and prevent us from thinking of positive alternatives and solutions to our problems. In other words, constant complaining can hold back our progress.
“Complaining does not work as a strategy. We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals. And it won’t make us happier.”Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
7. Complaining Might Make Things Worse
The usual reaction when we all hear a complaint from a person we care about is to provide support. We try to show understanding and sometimes we even agree with his/her arguments.
However, it seems that this kind of reaction is actually encouraging for the person complaining to do it even more. What happens is that this feeling that someone else understands the complaint, although we would think that it is relieving, it actually isn’t.
On the contrary, the feeling that someone else understands the complaint becomes supportive towards the feeling that originally caused it. The person who complained is left even more disappointed than he/she was before.
Healthy Alternatives to Constant Complaining
1. Complain in a Constructive Way as a Healthy Alternative to Constant Complaining
If there is a reason to complain we should definitely do so. But, it is important to have in mind how we complain, to whom, and what is that we are trying to achieve with it. Complaining to whoever we find in front of us is meaningless.
On the other hand, complaining about something that bothers us to someone who can actually do something about it is constructive. Thus, constructive complaining is one of the healthy alternatives to constant complaining.
“Complaining is a complete waste of one’s energy. Those who complain the most accomplish the least.”Robert Tew
2. Focus on Solving the Problem as a Healthy Alternative to Constant Complaining
As is mentioned above a complaint is usually an under-covered desire for something that we would like to be different. What is that desire hidden behind our complaint? Is there something that has to change?
We have to think of what has to be done to solve the problem so as to not have a reason to complain anymore.
We should try to find the answers to all the questions above and focus on working towards whatever satisfies us. In other words, we should shift our focus from the problem to the solution.
“Complaining about a problem without posing a solution is called whining.”Teddy Roosevelt
3. Practice on Being More Positive as a Healthy Alternative to Constant Complaining
Complaining empowers negativity. As a result, negative thoughts empower and enforce more negative thoughts. Alternatively, we should try to practice being more positive about the way we see life and how we deal with everything. Things are not only black and white in this life.
Even though we may think we have plenty of reasons to complain about, we also have lots of reasons not to. Every time we are ready to complain we can just think of a reason why we should also be grateful. Doing so, we may understand that the reason we wanted to complain was not a big thing after all.
Gratitude and a positive attitude for everything we have and everything we are in life is important. They both are healthy alternatives to constant complaining.
“What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t complain.”Maya Angelou, Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now
4. Deal With Those Who Complain With Empathy
In most cases, every complaint has a reason behind it. We should not judge a person because he/she complains and should not be sarcastic about it. It would be better if we try to understand rather than agree or encourage it. The moment a person makes a complaint it is a huge problem for him/her.
Empathy and understanding do not necessarily stop the other person from complaining. What they do accomplish is to stop encouraging it. Hopefully, this way they will not continue complaining endlessly.
Conclusion on Why Complaining is Harmful and 4 Healthy Alternatives to Constant Complaining
Complaining is normal and when expressed in a constructive way is indeed a healthy reaction. Constant complaining about everything on the other hand can prove to be toxic to yourself and the people around you.
It is bad for your physical and mental health. It could also destroy your personal relationships without actually offering anything. Complaining can drain your motive for life and your feelings of happiness. It can also take away your creativity and your ability to have fun and enjoy life.
Complaining constructively as the first step when trying to find a solution is important. When complaining becomes a bad habit, it becomes a problem we must address. After all, complaining without the will of looking out for a solution is meaningless.
“See if you can catch yourself complaining, in either speech or thought, about a situation you find yourself in, what other people do or say, your surroundings, your life situation, even the weather. To complain is always nonacceptance of what is. It invariably carries an unconscious negative charge. When you complain, you make yourself into a victim. When you speak out, you are in your power. So change the situation by taking action or by speaking out if necessary or possible; leave the situation or accept it. All else is madness.”Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment