Why do people complain?

Complaining is the combined action of criticizing, resenting and kicking against things you don't like. This is mostly done through outburst against people you don't like or actions. You may feel irritated and incited about someone's behaviour and manners; you may curse and hate, with your mind or your words; you may judge and criticize people, traditions,
and cultures, or groups.

You begin to rave against every conceivable discomfort; real or perceived. You may resent your responsibilities and others people's privileges. You become cynical about everything and everyone around including persons who have less or nothing to do with your resentments; thereby shutting out anything positive coming from their angle.

In any case, when you start exhibiting this restlessness, know that you have entered a spectrum of complaining. Although, complaining seems to douse the thirst to rant and rave in the immediate, it mostly does not benefit anyone at the end of the day once it becomes a habit. Instead, it will harm your relationships and the people around you. But, there is more, or worse to complaining. Read along with me.

Medically: A Stanford's medical school research showed that 30 minutes of negativity every day, including negative news on TV, can physically damage the brain. The hippocampus is the part of the brain used for problem solving and cognitive functioning and, complaining specifically damages the neurons in this region of the brain. This research is significant because it is medically documented that in Alzheimer's disease; the hippocampus is one of the first regions of the brain to suffer damage.

Formally: Psychologists put it that people complaining at the workplace and in social settings fall into two categories: The Controllers and The Toxics.

The Controllers: Under slight pressure, they become pushy and unpleasantly demanding. They don't hesitate to bully or harass others with “no excuses” behaviour and they mostly bother about fulfilling their personal motives. They are immeasurably harmful.

The Toxics: These are extremists. They are highly manipulative and vitiating. They are desperate and dangerous in the workplace.

But, why do people complain? In a 2012 article in Psychology Today, Guy Winch states that, "The problem is that today we associate the act of complaining with venting far more than we do with problem solving. As a result, we complain simply to get things off our chest, not to resolve problems or to create change, rendering our complaints completely ineffective. Even when we do address our complaints to the people who can do something about them, we are unsuccessful far more often than not".

However, people who complain chronically are not even aware of their proclivity. They neither see themselves as negative people or naggers. Instead they perceive themselves as constantly being on the receiving end in an unfriendly world. Many of them are not clinically paranoid but, they do feel justified in lashing out at their aggravations.

And, these people will always be a part of our society: maybe because some use it to get media attention while others use it for cheap popularity by attacking famous personalities. Others use it to get noticed in their family or environment and many feel that complaining is the only way to demonstrate leadership superiority.

Complaining can be managed. Learn how to stop complaining or reduce the rate. Be objective about problems and strive for solutions. Don’t work like the controllers and toxics and expect to win awards, no. Know your limitations and overcome complaining. You can manage it! Learn to manage complaining and begin to invest your energy into more specific goals that will yield far greater results than scolding people.

Learn to let go of grudges and offences; it takes boldness and maturity. Learn to also criticize constructively; this way you will mean well and not attack someone’s efforts and ego. Dare to always do the right things, take steps and stop complaining. Don’t let people tag you “nagger,” work on yourself.


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