There is a proverb that argues the following: “If your illness has a remedy, why do you complain? If you don’t have it, why are you complaining? ” Even perceived as a paradox, the truth is that this saying holds two great truths that no person can deny: the the need that people see in complaining about situations that we do not like, and the possible (or not) solutions that concern you.
No wonder people of all ages (and especially children) complain. “We all do it more than once,” shares Mayra Morataya, certified psychologist in thanatology coaching.
The specialist defines a complaint as a way of venting, expressing emotions, or releasing tension.
“We can do it externally (towards others) or internally (in an internal dialogue) as if it were a reproach of something that happens to us ”, adds Morataya.
The discomfort expressed internally or externally responds to a personal urgency caused by a situation of displeasure or dissatisfaction. For that reason it is said that the complaint is really fed by the disagreement.
The also psychologist Mireya De Arroyave argues that the complaints do not lie so much in pessimism, as is often believed. “The complaints and the constant expression of things you don’t agree with they are part of the strategy that dissatisfied people use ”, he adds.
Disagreement can manifest itself towards events and people, says de Arroyave. In the case of interpersonal relationships, it stands out that the person who complains believes that you don’t get something you deserve from the other parties, or, it feels disagreeing with the attitudes directed towards her.
Mireya adds that expectations not met from other people or situations can also lead to a nuisance that can later be manifested in a complaint.
In general, it can be said that there are no “real or exaggerated” complaints. Both de Arroyave and Morataya agree that they can be relative, since its manifestation depends on the particular annoyance of those who express them.
As for its effect on others, it is related or leveled at the perception that the other parties may have of the expressed complaint. However, annoyance could arise depending on how the disagreement was shared.
Although it has been said that all complaints are usually acceptable, the truth is that they are not without a negative charge. These can be harmful to who broadcast them frequently, and also, for who listens to them.
Complaints are related to feelings of frustration or angerTherefore, at the time of being expressed, people can accumulate a lot of negative information in the brain. At the same time, this activates the hormone cortisol, which is released in response to stressful situations, says Mayra Morataya. In response, this hormone usually produces higher levels of glucose.
Morataya does not rule out mentioning the importance of energies and how they can influence the operation of people when they constantly complain. This influences the way perceive its context and consequently it may also be transmit negative charge towards others.
Mireya de Arroyave explains that complaints can be harmful insofar as they are expressed towards others as an attack. When complaints are issued from a negative feeling, it can cause the people who hear them to feel inadequate or unable to respond to the annoyance expressed by the issuers.
It is common for the above to trigger an emotional discomfort in the recipients of the communication and that at the same time this cause a drain on the relationship over time.
Individuals who complain can also be affected beyond their customary levels of stress and negativity. The consulted specialists comment that these are characterized for staying in the complaint and not proposing solutions for what bothers them.
“It affects all people, since whoever complains does not solve things, and the other parties only receive negative information,” says de Arroyave.
Given this scenario, it is necessary that people take a positive attitude to know that complaints can lead to new paths in which annoyances are transformed or left behind. This could bring benefits to themselves and even to others.
Transform the complaint
“We all have the right to say what we think and what we disagree on, but we cannot mold our lives to a constant complaint,” says psychologist Mayra, who insists that far from being a mode of operation, the complain it can be an instrument for solving situations.
The complaint can also be positive, says the specialist. Expressing it can help people express what you feel and think from within.
On the other hand, they can work to express those things that are not understood or that create discomfort in certain spaces.
Complaints could also be seen as facilitators in the improvement of interpersonal relationships due to to the dialogue that can promote, point out Morataya and de Arroyave.
For negative complaints to mutate into something constructive, a work path can be traced. The psychologists interviewed share some points to achieve it:
- Wonder why and from where the complaint is born: It is suggested to inquire into the discomfort and try to find an explanation for the complaint through questions such as What bothers me or what do I gain from this complaint? The answers will clarify the situation internally.
- To be understood, raise the complaint by way of assertive: Expressing a disagreement will not always be expected or easy for other people to digest. For this reason, empathy and clarity are recommended when raising it. You can communicate in the first person and without accusations to other people or external situations.
- Draw a solution: After being understood and expressed, complaints can become changes after finding them and proposing a possible resolution. Later, the person expressing the disagreement may be willing to set limits on the actions they want to take.
- Practice optimism realistic: When talking about optimism, it should not be confused with the one that supposedly dictates that “everything will be fine.” An objective and mature view of things that can be done even in situations where the circumstances are out of people’s hands should be contemplated.
- Consider the adversities: In addition to considering the real events that are often not available to people for modification, it is advisable to consider adversities. This will help make them look normal, as well as any potential challenges to work with. This will allow to act from realistic optimism and even propose alternative routes.
- Live in gratitude: When thanking for the things that allow us to be well, the brain realizes that there is that certainty. Upon receiving such information, the mood could increase.
Identify a constant complaint
Specialists comment that noticing a complaint is not usually easy, since it is an action that arises from spontaneously and automatically in the face of rejection of a situation. However, rationalize it it can help people to lead it in a better way.
For that reason it is important paying attention to emotions of anger, rage, or frustration that may arise. The discomfort can boost for people to do something.
After that, psychologists recommend doing a self appraisal with respect to similar or common things that cause certain annoyances in people, and that, therefore, causes them to express complaints.
Noticing if an accusation is constantly being issued by others or in a personal way can explain the reason for constant tension and discomfort in those who complain. For this reason it is important to keep the reflection constant.
In order to help these cases, there may be people that they emphasize in the others their constant complaining. In addition to promoting the construction of a dialogue, empathy and generosity, it will be useful for those questioned to understand the importance of transforming their disagreements.
To get closer to another person and highlight the above, psychologists recommend starting from the assertiveness, empathy, respect. Writing down the situation will be advisable in measure of confidence levels between both parties.
Highlighting the use of complaints can help those who complain be aware of your attitude. It will also be necessary for the party that highlight be ready to listen and even of help trace to those who complain, routes of action and transformation.
It is important that those who listen to constructive criticism have a objective posture and that they do not receive the interpellation as a personal attack. Taking things and listening to them can be the first step to reduce the constant complaint, say the psychologists.