Even if you’re not particularly fond of complaining, there must have been many times in your life when you poured out your soul to other people. If you are very honest with yourself, you complain every day, at least two times. Maybe you don’t like that you didn’t get enough sleep today, or your boss was too demanding on you, or maybe you’re just in a bad mood. Complaints are so natural for everyone that you may not notice this habit.
Contrary to popular belief, there is nothing wrong or shameful about complaining. On the contrary, they are healthy: sharing your worries with people around you helps make you feel better, release extra stress and find a quicker solution to a problem if necessary. The main thing is not to overdo it, as moderation is everything. If you complain all the time without controlling yourself, it’s unlikely that they will get tired of hearing you whine.
We’ve put together some possible reasons why you complain to other people about your life. Once you understand your motives, you’ll find it easier to keep yourself and your emotions in check.
1. You want attention
Don’t be too quick to anger-it’s not as bad as it sounds. Everyone wants to be noticed and cared for by people around them, especially their family and friends. Often you may feel neglected, and it is at times like this that you will go into complaint mode about the world around you.
This does not mean that you will make up reasons for your dissatisfaction, and you will start to share with your loved ones what upsets, annoys, or bothers you. If you only complain once in a while, it’s OK; you get some attention, feel cared for by others, and get involved in solving your problems. It is worth worrying about when complaining becomes a daily ritual. This isn’t very pleasant, even to those who genuinely love and appreciate you.
2. You put yourself in the position of a victim
The easiest way to shift responsibility from yourself to someone else or external circumstances is to complain about what is going on in your life. If you are in the habit of constantly complaining to others, you are choosing the victim’s position. Instead of pulling yourself together and finding a way to get your affairs in order, you are only fixated on looking for someone to blame for the situation.
This approach makes things worse for you in the first place. You hesitate to solve your problems, which leads to negative consequences. Stop being a victim: you may not be able to control everything that happens to you, but you can control your reaction.
3. You are hoping for an offer of help
You may often complain to people around you about events or your problems and expect them to offer to help you. It is likely that, for some reason, you cannot or do not want to ask them directly for help. You may be afraid of rejection, worry that asking them to support you will seem weak, not want to be indebted to them in return, etc.
You have to understand that hints are not the best way to communicate with people around you. If you want something from them, say it directly. There’s a good chance that people won’t offer to help you unless you do so, simply because they don’t want to impose and violate your boundaries. Don’t be afraid to state what you need – it’s always appreciated.
4. You want to protect yourself
There are times when your complaining is just a way to protect yourself from the accusations of people around you. You may complain because what someone says or does is unfair, because someone is being mean to you, or you want to be treated with respect. Such complaints are aimed more at getting the perpetrator to pay attention to your reaction and think about what they are doing wrong.
Of course, you complain when you don’t want to spoil the relationship with the person or when you realise it’s disadvantageous. But it’s still better to just set personal boundaries in your interactions with others and not let anyone violate them.
5. You get rid of stress
When you complain about your life, you get rid of unnecessary stress. When you speak up, share your feelings, and release your emotions, this comes into play. You’ve probably noticed that you feel better when you talk about things that upset or annoy you. After those conversations, you may even have the strength to take control and start to change things in your life.
6. You feel like you are in control
Complaints make you feel like you have power over the situation and not the other way around. Oddly enough, it works: When you say all your worries out loud, the problem no longer seems unsolvable to you.
What’s more, you can even figure out what to do about the whole situation while complaining. This is because your thoughts are muddled and chaotic, and you focus more on your emotions than on the facts. Once you articulate your problem, it becomes clearer, and you get rid of the drama and fatalism.
7. You do what others do
When people around you constantly complain about your life unwittingly, you start to do the same. A herd reflex kicks in, and you and your neighbor or co-worker get into a fierce debate about whose problems are the bigger ones. Your environment has a big influence on your behavior. So if you have been complaining a lot, take a closer look at the people you are in contact with.