When you complain, you make yourself a victim. Leave the situation, change the situation, or accept it. All else is madness. Echart Tolle, author
I’ll admit it. Sometimes, I’m a “complainer” which is probably why I object to hearing the complaints of others. I’m reminded of the pointing hand – one figure pointing forward, four fingers pointing inward.
When complaining seems to be the agenda, I need to have this list handy:
- Honor the person who is speaking by listening carefully. This will ground the relationship so changing direction will seem more positive.
- Redirect the conversation by saying something like, “I know I’m changing the subject but I’m wondering how you’re doing with _____.” Stay focused on your friend as you move away from the negative energy.
- Have the goal of engaging in a honest conversation about negativity and complaining. Envision you both rolling your eyes and saying, “Here we go again with the negativity. Let’s get back to having a positive conversation.”
Affirmation: I will stay positive and talk about how to move forward.
Coaching questions: What’s a complaint you commonly make? How is complaining working out for you? If you have chronic complainers in your life, how might you redirect their negative energy so it doesn’t infect you?