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Are You A Help Rejecting Complainer?

J. “I feel so depressed.”

M. “I’m sorry, how about coming out shopping with me?”

J. “What?? And spend money? You know how little money I have right now.”

M. “Oh, sorry. Okay, why not take a walk and get some fresh air–that always clears my head.”

J. “Walking never helps.”

M. “I know, I saw a really inspiring article online the other day. Let me find it for you–it really picked up my spirits.”

J. “Reading doesn’t change anything.”

M. “Maybe you’ll come with me to the concert tonight. My treat!”

J. “Classical music makes me depressed.”

We’ve all met one (or two.) A person who has faced one hurdle and loss after another (or just one walloping-big tragedy) yet who finds the strength to carry on with positivity and hope. They inspire us.

We’ve all met the opposite. A person who is permanently so down about their life circumstances that they can’t help but focus on the negative. They complain, we offer help or advice, and they reject that advice.

What’s the difference in how each see themselves?

The powerful-positivizer sees him or herself as an agent of change and the world as…well, a worldof ups and downs, hardships and blessings.

The mega-negativizer sees him or herself as a victim and the world (or other people) as the persecutor, torturer, and constant letter-downer.

How do you deal with a help-rejecting complainer? Read an earlier post on Therapy Soup:

The Blame Game: Dealing With A Help-Rejecting Complainer

Of course, no one wants to be a help-rejecting complainer. It scares away new friends and drives away old ones. It makes family members meshugga.

But what if you secretly suspect you might be a help-rejecting complainer? The truth is, most help-rejecting complainers don’t have enough insight into themselves to realize what they are doing. It takes bravery, honesty, and a willingness to accept responsibility for one’s choices and inner emotional life.

Still, if you are feeling brave, take a look at the following list. If any of the items on it apply to you most or all of the time, you may be a help-rejecting complainer.

You may be a help-rejecting complainer…

If you find your relationships are always focused on your ongoing or serial problems (which never seem to get better.)

If you feel, either openly or secretly, that your problems are the fault of other people or “fate” or a “cruel universe.”

If you feel your problems could be fixed if only other people would help you more.

If you get openly or secretly angry when other people offer advice, even if you requested it.

If you feel your problems are bigger than everyone else’s  and believe that that others are woefully insensitive to not recognize this.

If you have flashes of intense feelings of unworthiness and these feelings scare you or make you angry, and your instinct is to find someone, anyone, to blame for these feelings.

If you discover that one or more of the descriptions above apply to you, seek out a very good friend, therapist, clergy member or mentor to help you understand more about why you feel this way and what you can do to make positive changes.

You probably will find this hard to do alone, you need an objective opinion and guidance. But you know what? It can be done. Admitting that you may have a problem means you are brave and honest. Now, go for it. Change your life.


Are You A Help Rejecting Complainer?

Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC is the author of Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better, and Move On Without Wasting Time or Money and is licensed in addiction and psychotherapy with over 25 years experience as well as a consultant to organizations and companies in the fields of mental health and addiction. He is the executive director of an outpatient behavioral health program. Learn more about Richard here.

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APA Reference
& C.R. Zwolinski, R. (2017). Are You A Help Rejecting Complainer?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 18, 2018, from


Last updated: 14 Dec 2017
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 14 Dec 2017
Published on All rights reserved.