Do you complain a lot? If so, have you ever wondered what are the negative effects of complaining?
Does anything and everything get under your skin and send you into a tirade of complaining?
I used to complain about everything. The smallest things would set me off. I knew that I was wasting my energy but it was just an automatic response for me when I faced any negative situation – no matter how small and petty.
When you have your own business, you often have to rely on other people to make your business work. This is true no matter what business you are in.
It is not just your own colleagues and employees you have to rely on. In the past, suppliers have been responsible for probably half of my complaining. They would make all kinds of promises and then fail to deliver.
In my real estate investing business, I have to deal with many different people. If you want to be a successful with your business then you will probably have to do this too.
Everyone talks a good job, but you know that someone is going to let you down. It’s just inevitable.
It was not just people that I used to complain about. In all of my businesses I have relied on computers to manage them. And guess what? Computers go wrong sometimes.
They can also be slow and hold you up. Computers provided me with a vast number of things to complain about.
What is Bad about Complaining?
You need to know the dangers of complaining and why complaining is toxic. I was finding that through my constant complaining I was experiencing some negative effects.
Some of these were pretty bad and always made my day a lot worse. Here are some of the problems caused by complaining:
I used to put so much energy into complaining about everything that I had very little left to get things done for the rest of the day.
When you release a series of complaints, with a side of anger of course, it is going to drain your energy.
If you become angry through complaining, which is very easy to do, then this is going to trigger an adrenaline burst. Not long afterwards you will feel the energy draining from you.
You will feel weak and tired. Not the ideal state to be in for a successful entrepreneur.
Complaining will Mess with your Mood
As an entrepreneur, you will probably experience highs and lows on a daily basis. There are highs from those small victories that take you a step closer to your goals.
And then there are the lows when things don’t turn out as you expected them too.
Add constant complaining into this mix and it is going to play havoc with your mood. When you are complaining your mood will hit rock bottom. This can lead to anxiety, impatience, anger and irritation. It really isn’t good.
Complaining Stifles Creativity
When you complain all of your focus is about the problem. It does not put you in the right frame of mind to find solutions. If you want to be a successful in business then you will need to be creative and come up with innovative ideas.
Complaining will prevent you from being able to do this.
Complaining can cause you Severe Health Problems
If none of the other things that I have talked about are enough to stop you constantly complaining then you need to pay close attention to this.
Complaining causes your stress levels to rise and this can cause damage to your immune system if you do it often enough.
You can start suffering from an increased amount of inflammation, the suppression of your thyroid and even the weakening of your bones. These things will make you more susceptible to disease and your life expectancy will shorten.
Pretty scary stuff!
How does Complaining Affect those around you?
When you complain about everything you not only dampen your own mood and drive your energy levels down, but you can cause the same thing to happen in those around you.
This is especially true for people that are the target of your complaining.
Complaining can be contagious as well. If your employees see you complaining all of the time it won’t be long before they are doing it too. You are their leader and you have a lot of influence.
Soon all of the people in your business will be creating a completely negative environment if you don’t stop complaining.
How does Complaining Affect your Brain?
Too much complaining will manifest itself into a bad habit for you. When you are complaining on a regular basis, your brain will find more things for you to complain about.
When you continue to do this, you will transform your thinking from positive to negative.
When you complain you will establish neural pathways in your brain. It is likely that these have existed for some time, as most people start to complain from an early age.
Once these neural pathways are established you will strengthen them each time that you complain. Your brain is trying to help you to become a more proficient complainer!
With each complaint the neurons for complaining become closer in your brain. Scientific studies have shown that when these neurons fire at the same time, they wire themselves to each other.
As a result of this, your neurons will push you to complain more often.
Stanford University conducted research that shows how too much complaining can damage other parts of your brain. The researched revealed that too much complaining can actually reduce the size of your hippocampus.
This is the area of your brain that is responsible for your intelligent thoughts and problem-solving abilities.
How you can Stop Constant Complaining
I was really suffering from the amount of complaining that I used to do. It was affecting my business and my health, and probably those around me too.
I decided that I had to stop this constant complaining so I did a number of things to change the way that I approached everyday situations.
I was experiencing disappoint on a regular basis which was the main reason for my complaining. As a result of this, I decided that I need to change my approach in the face of disappointment.
Instead of getting frustrated and angry I decided to become curious. When I did this, I was able to keep my cool and not suffer from continuous mood swings.
By becoming curious I started to ask questions rather than complain. I was able to obtain the necessary information to explain why the disappointment occurred by asking the right questions.
Then I could then move closer to a solution to ensure that this particular problem had less chance of arising again in the future.
The best business leaders always ask smart questions. They believe there is a solution to every problem and that problems are opportunities in disguise.
Instead of complaining or ranting and raving, they calmly gather all of the necessary information and fix the problem.
It took me a while to move from complaining to curiosity, but with persistent effort it really paid off. So, the next time something unexpected happens in your business, be curious about it instead of complaining.
This may seem odd to you at first but it really works so stay with me. When things go wrong, the easy thing to do is wallow in self-pity and get into a negative state.
Instead of doing this, I took a step back and thought to myself “things could be a lot worse” and I was grateful for that.
Here is an example. I have a very good employee that has worked with me for a long time. Like everyone else she made mistakes from time to time, and I found myself complaining to her on a regular basis.
Then I thought about how good she was and how much I relied on her and how I was very grateful that she was working with me. This changed everything.
I adopted a Generous Attitude
When someone lets you down it is natural to want to make them pay for what they did, plot revenge on them and hold a grudge. But this really doesn’t get you anywhere.
I thought about how I could approach people in a different way when they let me down so that there could be a positive outcome.
I decided that I would adopt a generous attitude. This was not easy to do as these people had let me down. But I knew that I wanted to spare myself from the negativity of anger and complaining and also find a way forward.
Instead of complaining, I approached everything in a calm manner. I would say things like “I understand that sometimes things go wrong so let’s talk about how we can put them right”.
Then I used my curiosity to ask questions and I made suggestions to the other person to improve things. This worked well and most of these people never let me down again.
My Final Thoughts on the Negative Effects of Complaining
If you are a constant complainer then it is time to stop right now.
In this post I have explained the dangers of complaining and why complaining is toxic. Research has proven that regular complaining negatively impacts your brain too.
The good news is that you can get out of the complaining habit. Adopt curiosity, gratitude and a generous attitude as I did. Treat every problem as an opportunity to move forward in a better way.
It is going to take time and consistent effort to break your complaining habit, but it is worth it. Stop complaining for the sake of your health!
Have you experienced someone complaining endlessly? Do you suffer from complaining too much? If so, please add your experiences to the comments section below. I would love to hear from you. Thank you and have a brilliant day.