The chronic complainer lives in a world where nothing makes them happy. They seek out everything wrong with what others do and talk about endless wrongs in life. If there is a new idea, they’ll be the first to challenge the idea and push away from the idea. Often, they have reached the point where they don't even listen to the opinion anymore, and only focus on scoring points towards any other direction.
Characteristics of the Complainer
Complainers are often the type of person who will talk loudly to overreach existing conversation and champion their point of view. Loud talk and interruptions are common. However, what happens is that others choose to ignore the complainer or get distracted by the volume and exit the conversation. This is a personality trait that appears in every travel group. If you are in a group of more than five, try to identify the person that is not behaving in an ideal manner for a travel companion. Don't find one in your group? Your group is outside the norm…or check the mirror an make sure it's not you.
Sometimes, chronic complaining can be a result of complacency. Since no one is listening to what the person says, it’s just easier to complain.
Hello, Complainer—Meet Solutions!
It's rare to have a perfect day when you are on the move and interacting with individuals and businesses throughout the day. Sometimes there are significant problems that need to be raised to the proper authorities, especially safety of humans is involved. But there is a time and place for complaints and a correct way to air them. If you find you need to complain about something, you should identify the proper channel for resolution and then try to offer up several solutions to the problem. That is a productive use of complaining energy and matches problem recognition with applicable solutions.
Self-Help for the Complainer in the Mirror
The transformation from chronic complainer is easy. It begins with finding an appreciation for what is working well and objectively identifying the problem at hand. That problem can then be addressed with a variety of potential resolutions.
Help for Others who Complain Constantly
If you want to help a chronic complainer, point out the problem using a subtle approach. Instead of telling the person he complains too much, try showing her how to be grateful for beautiful little things in life and the abundance of her daily situation. Remind her that you feel appreciative of the fact that the travel scene has positive situations too. These could be little things like the fact that the alarm clock kept the group on schedule for the day, or that a restaurant employee was quick with those early morning coffee refills.
Books like Everyday Joy and A Gift of Gratitude are ideal as icebreakers for a discussion. These books include essays from dozens of writers who seek out special moments in every day living. I'm honored that my essays were chosen for these books, which both reached Amazon #1 Bestseller Status in 2018. These are easily downloaded to an Amazon Kindle or another reading device (free app download) and can enhance self-guided introspection.
Stories to Share as Life Lessons
I sometimes share a story about how a particular trip was difficult for me. It took months of planning the route to the destination and then hours of time to secure the proper passport, visas, and other travel documents. I was exhausted before the trip begin, but eager for the opportunities ahead. The logistics process helped me realize that the travel planning is helpful, but the schedule won't dictate how the days will unfold. In this instance, once the trip started, each day began with beautiful weather, the scenic destinations were ideal for photography, the museums were insightful, and the food was delicious. The research time was certainly time well spent. The trip away from home was energizing and gave me time for reflection on my personal growth. However, travel augments appreciation for my home and my family.
When I capture travel memories in my journals, I often discard those pesky inconveniences of travel, but will always memorialize the blessings encountered during my journey. Want to learn how to start your own daily journal? Pick up your free eBook, Revitalize Your Travel with Journaling.
Sometimes the story of past experiences will help the complainer to understand there is much to appreciate in this particular trip and in her everyday life. She may realize that complaining is ineffective and recognize the benefit of having clear identification of legitimate problems. That's the goal and when conversations are caring and with respect, the complainer may become the one that is the blessing to others along life's way.
“Solving some problems requires less than half the energy or time it took to complain about them.”
Read about a few of my “No Complaints” travels in the series of perfect days in New York, Washington DC, Boston, San Diego…and even in my home state of Mississippi.
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