Are you ever complaining? – How to deal with consistent complaints

Are you ever complaining?<br />
Photographed by Steven Boelaars

Our inner voice is constantly talking to us. Just sit down for five minutes and listen to the thoughts in your mind. Notice the continuous process that never ends.

Most of the time old thoughts, often consistent complaints, are being repeated. Just think about thoughts like “they are not listening to what I have to say”, “it’s not good enough”, “it has no use anyway”, “he’s doing it again”. etc. Every person has his own repertoire of sentences that we keep saying to ourselves.

What are you saying to yourself?

Consistent complaints consist of four elements:

a)    A complaint that has persisted

b)    A pattern of behaviour that goes along with the complaint

c)    A payoff for having this complaint continue

d)    The cost of this behaviour

An example out of the life of two colleagues is: a) the complaint that your colleague is late again, b) the pattern is your irritation and withdrawal, c) the payoff is that you will get to be right, d) but you’re losing trust and connection with your colleague.

A complaint can be a disguise for something deeper such as a way of controlling a situation that you’re experiencing as unsafe, or avoiding to be dominated.

You’ll have more power over a situation when you can label something a consistent complaint; and if you can identify what holds you back and how this is corresponding with how you experience a situation. A consistent complaint probably is at work when people act detached and resigned, not enjoying their work or their colleagues.

How to transform consistent complaints into effective actions?

1. Is there anyone involved you feel a distance to, or do you have a feeling that something is not ok? If you honestly look here, you will know. What situations or incidents are these?

2. Explore the situation:

a) What is your persisting complaint?

b) What is the pattern of your behaviour?

c) What is the payoff having this complaint continue?

d) What is the cost of this behaviour?

3. Start a conversation with the people in your organization to complete this issue. What can you do to show your commitment?

  1. The first step is to start the conversation with the person you wish to complete the situation with. Place the conversation in the applicable context; friendship, colleagues, manager etc.
  2. Mention what happened, what you have decided, what you did or didn’t do.
  3. Take whatever action is necessary, such as apologizing or giving up the complaint.

What have you discovered for yourself? Just leave a comment below, I’d love to hear.

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