Complaining about work

Jan 10, 2022

We all do it.

Something we don't like happens at work.

We can't wait to complain about it with the first "confidant" we can find.  

A peer or a coworker.

A friend or a significant other.

It seems harmless.

It's just a way to vent frustration or dissatisfaction.  

You just want to see if others agree that it is complaint-worthy.

If they agree you get to feel justified.

If they don't you seek out someone else who will agree with you.

Maybe you start questioning if you are wrong.

Maybe you start thinking anyone who disagrees is wrong.

This is when it moves from being about work, to being about  you.

This is the point when it becomes more about you feeling validated and justified than it is about what happened.

And in the search for validation and justification, you lose sight of what really matters and focus in on why this thing that happened is so terrible.

It can consume you and your conversations. 

Rob you of the amazing work you do and are capable of doing. 

Disconnect you from those that don't agree.

Connect you through discord to the ones that do agree.

You collect evidence for all they ways it's so terrible.

Then, not so surprisingly, you find yourself in conversations that are mostly of a complaining nature.  

Maybe it becomes a habit- complaining about work.

Maybe complaining in general becomes a habit.

Then you have to support your habit.  

Find people who also want to complain. 

Maybe you start asking "What's wrong with those people who are always so positive?"

"Do they have their head in the sand?"

"Are they oblivious to what is happening?"

"Don't they know how horrible things are?"

So much energy spent on 

  • it being wrong
  • finding others to agree with you
  • looking for evidence to support your argument
  • seeking validation 
  • justifying your position
  • judging the situation, your boss or company- really anyone who doesn't want to complain about it

zero energy spent on

  • does this require a solution, and if so, how can I contribute to that solution
  • if not, how can I adapt so that this enhances my work
  • how can I support myself and others through this

Complaining about work can start out as a harmless way to vent. It can become a way to connect with others that are complaining as well.  It can also become a habit.

 There is nothing wrong with venting.  Get it out.  Then move on.

Connect through solution focused thinking and supporting yourself and others.

Make that a habit.

Next time you find yourself complaining, asking yourself what you hope to get from the energy spent doing so.

Be honest.  No judgement necessary.  

Is it to vent?

To connect?

To avoid addressing the situation?

Whatever the answer, own it.  

Then decide what you want to do next.

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