Do you have people in your life that can’t help but have a negative outlook? These people are chronic complainers. They can be a dangerous drain on your energy with their constant negative attitude, but there are ways to manage them so they can’t take anyway your own joy.
7 Signs of Chronic Complainers
They Are Not Surrounded by Positive People
A person who isn’t positive and cheerful is unlikely to ever be friends with such people. Real life isn’t a 90’s sitcom. A person who complains about everything won’t attract people with a positive outlook. If you’re wondering if someone is a chronic complainer, look no further than the company they keep.
They Never Compromise
A chronic complainer will find even the smallest errors in anything. If someone suggests an idea they don’t like (which is almost always), they’ll be sure to tell you.
Chronic complainers operate a “my way or the highway” mentality. If something isn’t up to their standards, they’ll moan and refuse to compromise. Only their way is good enough.
They’re Focused on Obstacles
A sure sign of a chronic complainer is their intense focus on the obstacles they face. They have a constant negative outlook on the world. When even the smallest things go wrong, they’ll become hyper-focused on it and complain about it endlessly.
They Insist They’re Being Realistic
A chronic complainer will always insist that they aren’t being negative but are actually just realistic. They’ll accuse everyone else of being naïve and look down on those who want to be positive as being ignorant.
Chronic complainers are convinced that their critiques of the world around them are just factual observations.
Someone with such a negative view on the world and a tendency to never agree with anyone else will likely be a perfectionist. They have the drive to improve everything and be the best at all times. This is due to their view of everything around them as not good enough.
When they don’t see any positives, they’ll strive to make things better even when, to the rest of, nothing needs improving.
They’ll Make Everything Seem Difficult
Have you ever met someone who insists things can’t be done, without even trying? These people are probably chronic complainers. They have such a negative view of the world that they insist so many things are simply impossible.
They would rather complain that something is impossible than take a moment to think it through. Without a positive mindset, a chronic complainer will only see the difficulties they face, not the possible silver linings or solutions.
They’re Rarely Truly Happy
A chronic complainer never seems genuinely happy. Due to their negative mindset and constant search for faults, they’ll rarely ever feel truly content. It’s a miserable existence to see the world as constantly flawed.
This outlook isn’t realistic, it’s only focused on the negatives and it’s impossible to feel true happiness if you’re too busy complaining to notice small moments of joy.
How to Deal with Chronic Complainers
Don’t Try to Convince Them
Sometimes, it’s just best for you both if you don’t try to convince them to be more positive. Not only will it save you from a possible argument or heated debate, but it could be more important to them than you realize.
Sometimes chronic complainers are just outright negative people, but some may be genuinely down on their luck people who need some validating.
When a person has nothing but complaints, they might be struggling with their negative mindset. When you hear them complain, try validating it and then moving them on. Sometimes, they just want to be told than someone understands that they’re struggling.
Whether it’s something petty or more serious, meet them with sympathy. Offer to support them in trying to resolve the matter, then move on the conversation so they can’t dwell on it – for your own sake and theirs.
Bring Their Positivity Back
If you come to realize that this chronic complainer is struggling to find light in the darkness, offer them support. Coach them through it. When they speak of something negatively, ask them why they feel so bothered by it.
Listen to their answers then help them unpack their reactions. Offer them genuine ideas that could help them to feel less negative. Suggest positive alternatives and different points of view that might make them see things differently and more rationally.
Admittedly, some chronic complainers are just that. Chronically underwhelmed and critical. You can do everything you can to redirect them and cheer them up, but ultimately, sometimes they’re just crabby people. This can be incredibly draining on your own mental wellbeing.
If you find yourself stuck with a chronic complainer, try your best to detach from them. Keep your conversations short and sweet, while staying civil. Don’t argue. Be level-headed, then leave to maintain your own sanity.
If they don’t want to come to the light side, let them stay in the dark. Don’t sacrifice yourself trying to convert them.
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