Some people like to sit back, watch the world and point out what they feel is wrong with it. Complaining. Whining. What you want to call it, some people like doing it. And they also seem to feel good about it. Some seem to feel really good about it. As if they are somehow contributing to the betterment of the world.
Complaining may feel good in the moment. You may even feel like you’re helping the other person or people or the world in general. After all, pointing out a flaw should make the person aware and willing to change, right?
Work is one area of life where complaining may creep in. But the thing is that complaining won’t really help the situation and it could affect your work well being.
So here are a few thoughts for avoiding this pitfall…
1. Ask, What Can I Do To Improve This Situation?
A good habit to get into is to figure out what you can do to improve the situation. This is a great way to take on the problem solving mindset that seems to lead to success for a of people.
It’s kind of like the classic entrepreneur mindset. Most people complain about having to push a disc through a field by hand. The entrepreneur looks at the situation and instead of complaining, invents a tractor.
But you don’t have to be an entrepreneur to look at the workplace this way. If a situation is really annoying you, instead of pointing it out and complaining, take time to think about how you could possibly make it better. For yourself, for others in the workplace and for the business that employs you.
2. Dig Deeper
Let’s say that part of your job depends on someone else completing a task and handing it off to you. This can lead to a lot of frustration if the person is late with their part of the job. You can sit back and complain about the other person. Or you could dig deeper to figure out what’s going on.
Talk to the person. Not in an accusatory way, but in a learning way where you try to figure out what might be leading them to be behind.
3. Be Willing To Learn
And that’s a key mindset for all of this: learning. When you approach the situation this way you could at least understand why it is the way it is and that could make you accept it. Or you could learn that there might be a better way of doing things for all involved.
4. There Could Be Multiple Right Answers
One key thing to understand about work and about life in general is that there are multiple right answers to almost every situation. Just because you do a task one way doesn’t mean someone else has to do it the same way.
Let’s say you have a manager and you don’t like something they do. It’s not right for you. But it could be right for others. They can’t really change their management style for all of their team members. Maybe they can a little bit, but that makes things inefficient in some ways.
Sometimes we just have to accept that we’re all a little different and it’s not always right and wrong. Sometimes it’s right and right.
5. Do Regular Self-Assessment
A good rule for life is to first look at what you can do to improve. Once you’re done with that then you can focus on others. But the secret is that you’re never going to be done improving yourself. None of us are perfect and we’re always going to be flawed throughout our life.
Think of what you could accomplish by eliminating complaining from your life. It requires a lot of effort and time. That can be put into self assessment and self improvement instead.
Complaining can make you feel good in the short-term. But it can turn others off. it doesn’t feel good to hear about your flaws from others often. It’s not helpful unless the other person is looking for feedback. And really, they probably know about their flaws anyway.
Flip the script on how you view the workplace. Become someone that solves problems. It can be beneficial for all involved if only for the fact that it removes complaining from the equation.