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How to Stop Complaining

how to stop complainingKnowing how to stop complaining and actually ceasing to complain are two different things.

In this post will talk about how to stop complaining while assuming you want to stop complaining. For most people, however, the desire to stop complaining is not so clear. It’s as if part of you wants to complain or refuses to stop complaining and another part of you knows it’s better to stop.

This kind of inner conflict is at the heart of so many issues. 

Here are three steps to stop complaining.

  1. Recognize when you’re complaining

So many of us complain on autopilot and have a hard time knowing when or where complaining vs. merely expressing the thoughts in her head.  Either way, you’ve got to recognize a complaint before you can let it go.

Merely asking the question are raising the issue is often enough to examine your own behavior however asking a trusted other person for feedback or to prompt you when you sound like you’re complaining can be helpful too.

  1.  Know your positive intention

Breaking bad habits is often easier when you recognize the positive intention behind the behavior.  what is your positive intention for complaining? When all is said and done what do you really want?

Some people want more credit for their contributions. Other people want the work to be easier or more efficient when all is said and done what’s the most important thing to you?  often if you focus on that positive intention you can let go of the complaints that often slow things down.

  1.  Be willing to look deeper

There are times when complaining is rooted in deeper issues.  For example, you may fear change and complain in order to slow the process of change down.

A friend of mine, Carl, found himself complaining about his family’s new plans to go on vacation. Carl wanted to go to the new locale but found himself complaining regardless. He dragged his feet in making reservations he found fault with just about every hotel or flight that they were considering.

Upon further consideration, Carl realized that he was deeply saddened by his grandmother’s passing.  How are these two issues related? The family had always gone to visit family on vacation. This was the first year that Carl and his new wife we’re striking out to do something they wanted to do without considering the extended family.  But Carl secretly felt that grandma wouldn’t approve of the couple’s new direction.

It wasn’t until Carl realized the hidden issue that he was able to let go of the complaints and get fully behind his new plans.

How to Stop Complaining

Mike Bundrant

Mike Bundrant is the author of Your Achilles Eel: Discover and Overcome the Hidden Cause of Negative Emotions, Bad Decisions and Self-Sabotage and co-founder at The iNLP Center which offers online certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and life coaching.

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APA Reference
Bundrant, M. (2020). How to Stop Complaining. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 2, 2020, from


Last updated: 24 Apr 2020
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