Do you know a chronic complainer? It’s the person where nothing makes them happy. They find everything wrong with what others do. If there is a new idea, they’ll knock it down. They’ve probably got to the point where they don’t even listen to the opinion anymore.
They are also the type of person who will talk over the top of others to make their point. They’ll interrupt because they know best. However, what is happening is that others start to ignore them and they’re high on the list if cutbacks should ever hit the company.
Complainers have forgotten how to appreciate the small things in life. They don’t realize that it’s difficult to get a new job and it takes much more time than it used to. They don’t appreciate that they have a job. Sometimes, chronic complaining can be a result of complacency. Since no one is listening to what the person says, it’s just easier to complain.
No company or situation is perfect, and sometimes problems need to be brought to the surface. But there is a time and place for complaints and a correct way to air them. If you find you need to complain about something, you should try to offer up several solutions to the problem. That is a productive use of complaining energy. That merely is problem recognition with applicable solutions. The critical difference between you and a chronic complainer is that you appreciate your job or your situation.
If you want to help a chronic complainer, point out the problem using a subtle approach. Instead of telling the person he complains too much, try showing him how to be grateful for the little things in life. Remind him that you feel appreciative of the fact you have a job, etc.
Relate a story about how your last job search was difficult. It took you months, and it made you realize that jobs are not easy to find. Also, talk about how you appreciate your home life and your family and what it means to you. That is a subtle approach. But if the person can start to understand there is much to appreciate in his everyday life, he may realize that complaining is ineffective and may lead to problems for him down the road.
If you can get friends and colleagues to relate to the same gratitude for work and family, the chronic complainer may start to see it pays to be appreciative.