The hidden benefits and pitfalls of complaining

Many effective stress management techniques focus on the benefits of a positive outlook. Positive thinking brings great benefits, and a cheerful attitude can be contagious in the most pleasant way. Constant attention to negative things can conceal many of the joys in life, weaken the attitude of gratitude, and may be seen as an “energy drain” to others.

In other words, complaining is a pastime, even if it is not for most people, it can be found in most groups. Complaints have some stress-relieving benefits, although they diminish when they slide into more serious patterns of anger and contemplation. However, expressing depression in small doses does relieve stress. Here are some of the reasons people often complain.

Sometimes we need to “vent”

Just like a bottle of carbonated drink that has been shaken, when we are under pressure, we sometimes feel the urge to “break out” and complain. Going all out can ease the inner tension we feel in a difficult situation and help us prepare for the next setback. Sometimes we just need to express ourselves to vent our emotions.

Verification feels good

Usually, when we feel depressed or aggrieved in some way, feeling the emotional approval from others is like a salve to our wounded self-esteem. Hearing someone say, “I know how you feel. I will be depressed too!” It feels like a warm hug. After getting some quick verifications, just like a tattered child who just received a kiss from a mother, we are confident to take the risk of going back to face our problems.

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The solution feels better

Solving problems as a team can bring together the power of several people at the same time. Complaining to other people about things that are bothering you will open up your heart to their opinions, and there may be solutions that you didn’t think of. People often use complaining as a way to ask for help.

We may need another perspective

When we are too close to a certain situation, we usually only see our own opinions and magnify the problems we face, sometimes even distorted. Sometimes, it helps to tell a trusted friend what we face and see if there is something we haven’t seen, or if there is a different way of looking at the same situation. If we are willing to listen to new opinions, it would be helpful to think outside of our own opinions and see what others think of our complaints.

The benefits of gaining a new perspective

Sometimes looking at things differently can eliminate our anger and frustration, or it can open up new solutions and possibilities for coping.

We may need to build momentum

Sometimes we know that we need to make changes, but we are just not ready to take risks and make efforts. We need to build momentum. Focusing on the difficulties of the situation can be a way to stimulate change. This is part of the process of getting there.

Complaining makes things complete

Just like “squeaking wheels get oil”, sometimes expressing one’s complaints is also a way to solve the problem. If you complain to someone who is capable of making changes, and if you use diplomacy, then complaining in this way is more effective than not saying anything to relieve stress, because the “polite complaint” method can get results.

However, complaining can also be harmful. When several vents become a continuous habit, or some people who vent frustrations become a group of people who constantly complain, we will enter more pressure-inducing areas. Here are some pitfalls of excessive complaints.

Focus on the problem, not the potential solution

Although complaining can be a way to build motivation, it does focus on the problem rather than the potential solution. If you spend too much time complaining, you may get yourself into a kind of helpless acceptance, complete anger or feeling “stuck” rather than a drive to change.

Pessimistic outlook

Research shows that an optimistic outlook has many benefits, and a pessimistic outlook has many flaws. Attitudes can work like habit-we are accustomed to thinking in a certain way, and we begin to adopt this view automatically. Habitual focus on negative factors will bring habitual pessimism.

Free-floating anger

When you focus on what people have complained about for a long time, you may become more and more angry. This anger can be its own way, and you may start to feel more angry about more and more things. This anger can cause relationships and health problems to your detriment.

Negative groups

Complaining can be contagious. At first it may be a group of people who recognize and unite with each other, and sometimes it may start to resemble a group of angry thugs. If you find that you and your friends habitually complain about the same things and don’t feel good afterwards, then it may be time to look at a new focus topic.

Exclude others

If you don’t have the support of the group, this may also be harmful. People who complain often may be regarded as “energy vampires” by others. Be careful not to let your complaints become so heavy that they overwhelm your audience.

The problems we complain often require solutions, and the pressure of these challenges must be minimized and managed. Obviously, complaining has some benefits and can relieve stress in small doses. But complaining too much about the problem, no matter how big or small, is not an effective solution. Stop complaining, and you are more likely to look at the world with optimism and gratitude.