All Women's Talk

7 Ways to Deal with the Chronic Complainer in Your Life ...

By Alicia

Do you have a chronic complainer in your life? Most of us do, at least from time to time. It may be a classmate, a coworker or a family member. It’s good to know some strategies to deal with a chronic complainer. It helps you to not feel trapped by their endless complaining when they get on a roll; you know that you can use one of these strategies to deal with them.

Table of contents:

  1. Listen to them
  2. Give them sympathy
  3. Empathize
  4. Offer solutions
  5. Change the subject
  6. Share your problems
  7. Limit contact

1 Listen to Them

One thing you can do to deal with the chronic complainer in your life is just listen. Maybe all they want is to be heard. We all want to be heard, don’t we? They may not have anyone else that they can talk to but you. You don’t have to agree with everything they’re saying to be listening. It could be that once they know someone is truly listening that they’ll stop their complaining.

2 Give Them Sympathy

Sometimes a chronic complainer is after sympathy. They just want someone to understand what they’re going through. It could be that their lot in life really is rough. What seems like a chronic complainer really may be a person going through a difficult situation in their life. Your sympathy may help them to deal with their situation better.

3 Empathize

It’s always good to practice empathy, or thinking of how you’d feel if you were in their place. Empathy can help you to be more patient with the chronic complainer. Once you start thinking of the problem they’re complaining about with empathy, you may view them differently. It could be that you’d complain if you were in their situation, too. Thinking about the problem from their point of view is a good step.

4 Offer Solutions

You can offer solutions to a chronic complainer. Give them some suggestions on how to handle the problems they’re complaining about. You never know, they may take your advice. They also may not and continue to complain. But once you’ve offered them some solutions, they may not complain to you anymore if they chose not to take your advice because they know you feel they should do something to solve the problem.

5 Change the Subject

Sometimes you just can’t deal with the endless complaining anymore. That’s understandable. If you’re at this point, change the subject when the chronic complainer starts to complain. You might offer a small comment to acknowledge what they said and then quickly talk about something else. This should give them the hint that you really don’t want to listen to their complaints.

6 Share Your Problems

Sometimes a chronic complainer can use a reality check. Share some of your problems with them. It can remind them that other people have struggles, too. It’s a good way to politely interrupt their complaining. You never know, it could help bring them out of their complaining streak when they see that everyone has problems.

7 Limit Contact

If you’ve tried all of these other ideas and you haven’t had any success then you really don’t have any choice but to limit contact with the chronic complainer in your life. It’s good to set limits on how much time you spend with a person so negative. Being around someone like that constantly can bring you down. Figure out how much time you can reasonably handle spending with them. You might be able to deal with them on occasion but not on a daily basis

These are 7 ways you can deal with a chronic complainer. Do you have a chronic complainer in your life? What’ve you found works best in dealing with them?

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