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How to Quit Complaining

It’s important to quit complaining and not make it a regular habit. But before we see how to quit complaining, let’s explore what complaining involves and why we shouldn’t allow it to be a habit.

What is the Meaning of Complaining?

Complaining is expressing dissatisfaction or annoyance about someone or a situation. It’s human nature to complain when a situation seems unfair and painful.

Perhaps complaining gives you some relief and makes you feel important. Maybe complaining about someone makes you feel like you are more superior to them. It gets attention and gains sympathy. It gives you momentary relief from your mental pain.

Why Quit Complaining?

However, complaining can be toxic and useless if it becomes a habit.  For example, if you can’t hold a conversation without complaining about something. Or you complain about actions that you yourself should take, but instead of doing, you talk and talk and talk…

Complaining that doesn’t lead to results or taking action is not a healthy mental habit. It makes you prone to anger, irritability, and lack of mental peace.

It maintains a victim mentality instead of living a fulfilling life. People who are always complaining, are always blaming others for their situations and actions. The problem with complaining without the possibility of taking action toward change is that you get stuck in a victim mentality.

By complaining you project the idea that you deserve better, without taking the necessary steps to be better. Hence, you believe everyone else is wrong, you have been treated wrong, and the people who did this must rectify.

Because of the relief and illusion of calming down, complaining is addictive behaviour. So, how can you quit complaining?

Complaining is a Toxic Mental Habit when:

  1. A day or two can’t pass without complaining about the same issues.
  2. You complain to people who can’t bring the change you desire.
  3. You complain to appear like you have been wronged or are always wronged.
  4. Complaining is all you do: cheap talk and no action.
  5. You are looking for as much sympathy you can get. (It feels good to you to be pitied.)
  6. You complain to anyone (or everyone) who will listen.
  7. People around you complain about your complaining.
  8. You complain, for the sake of complaining.
  9. Faultfinding has become a regular habit as no one meets your expectations.
  10. You exaggerate your sufferings.

Also read: 20 Toxic Mental Habits to Quit

When complaining is beneficial

Complaining isn’t so terrible when done in moderation and for beneficial purposes. Therefore, when complaining is good, complain.

For example, when you believe your or another human rights have been compromised. When you pay for a service or goods and the deal is not settled as promised. In many areas, you have to complain so that the other person can rectify it.

In short, complaining that benefits not only you but also many others isn’t toxic complaining. This kind of complaining leads to change and beneficial results because it causes action. In such situations, complaining is a courageous thing to do.

Read: How to Cultivate Courage

Don’t complain if you can’t do anything about it. Don’t complain if you can do something about it. — 

How to Quit Complaining


Imagine complaining to your friend about not having friends and yet you don’t make the effort to make friends. So what do you want the “friend” you are complaining to do? Can this person make friends for you, or is it something that you have to take personal responsibility for? Will this person become or remain your friend now that you have complained about it?

Consider the following factors as in the above example to help you quit complaining. Keep these in mind before you complain next time.

  1. Who are you complaining to? Are you complaining to the right person? If it’s a work issue, complaining to your friends about it doesn’t help you. Your friends will not take action for you. Instead, complain to your boss, or the human resource department.
  2. Your problems are only big to you, not to everybody. Does it affect many people or just you? Most people you are complaining to, don’t care. If they did, you wouldn’t have to continue complaining. Whatever complaint you have, ask yourself whether it’s justified.
  3. Do you know anyone who has complained about something recently in your circle? If yes, were you of the same opinion, or did you think they had nothing to complain about? Did it matter to you what they were complaining about? How you see other people’s complaints is likely the same way others will see yours. Does it irritate you when someone complains to you about something repeatedly?
  4. If complaining is all you can do about the unpleasant situation, then the situation doesn’t deserve to be complained about. Only complain if you see a chance of the problem being solved. Otherwise, whining won’t help you to achieve your goals. Rather, it will waste time which you could use for upbuilding conversations.
  5. Does your complaining get you closer to your long-term goals? Does it make you (or others) become better or be in a better situation than before? If you think you can complain your way to success, keep it up.

What to Do instead of Complaining

When you don’t like your current circumstances, there’s more you can do than whining and bemoaning your troubles day in day out. You need to do something about it, otherwise, you will just be a chronic complainer and nothing more.

Learn how to quit complaining. The following are solutions to help you break the habit of toxic complaining. Don’t complain if you can’t do anything about it or if you can do something about it.

  1. Name at least 10 things you are grateful for now. And continue naming them again or adding them to the list every day for the next 5 days. See also: Benefits of Gratitude to Your Mental Health
  2. Seek practical solutions to your problems instead of using complaining as a strategy for problem-solving. The mental energy you use to complain wouldn’t be wasted if you instead used it to seek solutions to the problem. If you can do nothing about it, don’t complain. Accept the situation or leave it.
  3. Look for the good side of others. Try to focus on their strengths instead of their shortcomings. But before you learn how to look for the good in others, you need to look for the good in yourself. Self-acceptance and self-love will reduce the frequency of toxic complaining.
  4. Improve your self-awareness concerning complaining. If you find yourself complaining, stop and think of your motive for complaining to the person to who you expect to listen. If the only reason you are complaining to them is to get pity, quit complaining. See: 5 Ways to Claim your Life Moment by Moment through Self-awareness
  5. When dissatisfied with the way things are, communicate about it to the relevant parties. Always make sure you are talking to the relevant person. The relief you get while murmuring about an issue when the person you should be talking to isn’t within earshot, will not solve your problem.

The above are simple ways to help you quit the habit of complaining and maintain a more positive attitude toward life, yourself, and others.

Life is for living. Keep living. Don’t give up.


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