…even other complainers
(One of the 83 quick and practical life & work lessons from Sh*t Sandwich: Quick & Practical Success Lessons for Practically Anyone.)
Nobody Likes a Complainer
“It’s going to be another one of those days”
I once worked with a woman (I’ll call her Trixie) who complained about the weather every time I saw her. Her complaints always started out the same way: “It’s going to be another one of those days.” (Just writing these words again makes my teeth hurt.) Trixie was (and probably still is) one of those people who could find the cloud in every silver lining. If it was a sunny day, Trixie would forecast ahead. “It’s going to be miserable this Saturday – they’re calling for thunderstorms all day.” If we ever got two straight days of clouds, she was quick to decry “Can you believe the weather we’re having? I’m going to move to California so I can see the sun once in a while.”
Your goal, if you are not a Trixie, is to avoid these people at all costs; because, for the most part, they can never ever be turned into positive thinkers. Additionally, for you, there is almost no upside to even trying to turn them. It’s much easier for you to get seduced by their dark side than it is for you to make them productive contributors.
If you are a Trixie and you want to change, read on.
Complaining about the banal (like weather) may seem like a good starting point for a conversation with a coworker, but the truth is that no one likes a complainer – even those seemingly commiserating with you. You bring them down and they’d prefer to do almost anything than to have to speak to you again.
Changing, of course, is not going to be easy for you; but unless you change, you cannot grow at your work or in your relationships. Miserable people suck and everyone except the truly miserable people know this.
Change starts by trying to find two positives for every negative. Then, you choose one of these to discuss instead of the negative. For example, if it’s supposed to rain this Saturday and you had planned to go to a few garage sales, what are some possible positives from the rain?
Of course, the obvious horticultural realities like flowers blooming, gardens growing, etc. Plus, there will be fewer buyers to compete with at the sales. Sellers might be more desperate to sell and you could find better bargains. You could stay home and binge watch an entire series on Netflix. Or, you could simply relax with a good book in front of a window enjoying the rain.
Now, choose one, and make this the primary focus of your discussion about Saturday’s forecast. You’ll be amazed at how you’ll begin to attract more positive people into your life.