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Last Updated on January 30, 2018

When You Complain This Way, You’ll Always Get What You Want

When You Complain This Way, You’ll Always Get What You Want

Let’s face it, everyone hates complainers. If you’ve ever been in the firing line of angry complainers, you’ll know why. Their forceful and demanding requests can leave you shaken, disturbed – and perhaps even humiliated.

Still, as much as we don’t like people who always complain, an average person is said to complain nearly 15-30 times a day.[1] Clearly, there are times when you’ll be justified in complaining. Let’s take a look at some of these.

Why do we hate complaints?

Complaints usually stem from problems that people encounter. Maybe it’s a co-worker who’s not doing his job well – or perhaps a waiter who served you badly. When we experience problems like these, we feel unsatisfied about them, and we naturally want to vent our emotions and express our desire for them to be resolved.

Take a look around any shopping centre, and you’ll see dozens of examples of people encountering problems and quickly becoming frustrated and annoyed by their inability to fix them. Why is this? Even if a complaint is valid, people on the receiving end usually struggle to handle it because facts are difficult to accept right in the face. The more the truth is shoved in their face – the easier it becomes for them to ignore and reject the complaint. This is a common defensive mechanism.

    As complaining can frequently lead to no result, many people steer clear of making complaints. And for those who do stand up for their rights, their reputation is often negatively affected because people see them as a stubborn and obnoxious complainer.

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    Is there a way that your complaint won’t be ignored and you’ll get what you want? Yes, there is.

    Complain with a strategy

    You can get what you want if you complain with a specific strategy. For the strategy to work, you should decide if you truly want some results in return – or whether you just want to release your anger.

      If you’re only interested in expressing your emotions, then you should stop reading here. But if you want to get results, then you’ll need a plan before complaining.

      So, what is the strategy that you need to follow? Fgure out who can provide what you want, and then work out the best way to get that person to give it to you.

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        We’ll delve into the details of this strategy now.

        How to get your complaints heard

        There are three key ways of ensuring that your complaints are dealt with to your satisfaction.

        1. Bite your tongue before you process the situation

        If you’ve been hit by a problem, process it first before speaking out. This might mean taking a few seconds or minutes to let the problem sink in, and then to consider what actions you’ll take to bring about a resolution.

        If it’s something that you have the ability to improve or fix, then your best bet is to just go ahead and do it.

        2. Figure out what others want and think from their perspective

          Think hard about what your audience’s potential interests and pain points are.

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          Complaining at inappropriate times (e.g., when other people are in the spotlight or when they have bigger or more important issues to deal with) can make you look selfish and prevent you from being heard.

          Also, excessive or exaggerated complaining about the same thing can trigger negative emotions in others. When this happens – this will typically lead to your complaint falling on deaf ears.

          3. Never sound like you’re making a ‘request’

          If you lose control of your emotions and start making demands, you’ll quickly try the patience and goodwill of the person who might be able to help you.

          The secret to effective complaining is to make the other person feel they want to resolve the issue for you. To do this, you may have to go against your instincts, and be extra nice. At the end of the day, getting what you want is more important than being right or sounding tough.

            Let’s be honest, no one likes to be told what to do.

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            Instead of saying: “I need this doing now!” Try softening your tone and saying something like: “You don’t have to do this…” This indirect approach is non-confrontational and makes the person serving you think that it’s okay to help you. Instead of feeling ordered around, they are simply responding to a query. No mental or emotional barriers will go up, and nine times out of ten, the person will happily help you out.

            Relevant complaints are powerful

            Now that you know the secrets of complaining in an effective way, you’ll no longer be afraid to speak up when needed.

            By complaining in the right way, you’ll ensure that mistakes get rectified and promises are kept. But above and beyond this, you’ll also develop a powerful self-belief that will enable you to chart your own course through life.

            Featured photo credit: Freepik via freepik.com

            Reference

            More by this author

            Anna Chui

            Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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            Last Updated on January 18, 2019

            7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

            7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

            Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

            But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

            If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

            1. Limit the time you spend with them.

            First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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            In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

            Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

            2. Speak up for yourself.

            Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

            3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

            This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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            But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

            4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

            Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

            This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

            Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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            5. Change the subject.

            When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

            Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

            6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

            Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

            I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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            You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

            Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

            7. Leave them behind.

            Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

            If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

            That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

            You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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