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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

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            Anna Chui

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

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            Last Updated on July 8, 2020

            How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

            How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

            Do you say yes so often that you realize you aren’t really happy about this, wondering how to say no to people?

            For years, I was a serial people pleaser. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

            But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

            It took a long while but I learned the art of saying no. Saying ‘no’ meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. I started to manage my time more around my own needs and interests. When that happened, I became a lot happier. And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

            The Importance of Saying No

            When you learn the art of saying ‘no,’ you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

            In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

            Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey considered one of the most successful women in the world confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything. It was only when she realized that after years of struggling with saying no, I finally got to this question: “What do I want?”

            Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

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            Warren Buffett views no as essential to his success. He said,

            “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

            When I made ‘no’ a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

            How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

            It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say ‘no.’

            From an early age, we are conditioned to say ‘yes.’ We said yes probably hundreds of time in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work. We said yes get a promotion. We said yes to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

            We say yes because it feels better to help someone. We say yes because it can seem like the right thing to do. We say yes because we think that is key to success. And we say yes because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist like the boss.

            And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we feel guilty we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

            The message no matter where we turn is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

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            How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty

            Deciding to add the word ‘no’ to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say ‘no’ but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of ‘no’ that you could finally create more time for things you care about. But let’s be honest, using the word ‘no’ doesn’t come easily for many people.

            The 3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

            1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

            Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time especially you haven’t done it much in the past will feel awkward.

            2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

            Remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it, who else knows about all of the demands on your time? No one. Only you are at the center of all of these requests. are the only one that understands what time you really have.

            3. Saying ‘No’ Means Saying ‘Yes’ to Something That Matters

            When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

            6 Ways to Start Saying No

            Incorporating that little word ‘no’ into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

            1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

            One of the biggest challenges to saying ‘no’ is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no reflect poorly on you?

            Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

            2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

            Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because FOMO even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

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            Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better.

            3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say ‘No’

            Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say ‘yes’ because we worry about how others will respond or the consequences of saying no or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose respect from others. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

            Keep in mind that saying ‘no’ can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way. You might disappoint someone initially but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to.

            4. When the Request Comes In, Sit on It

            Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

            Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time, or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say ‘no.’ There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

            5. Communicate Your ‘No’ with Transparency and Kindness

            When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

            Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

            A clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

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            6. Consider How to Use a Modified ‘No’

            If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” giving you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

            Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

            Final Thoughts

            Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

            Use the request as a fresh request to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself. If you are the one placing the demand on yourself, try to evaluate the demand as if it were coming from somewhere else.

            Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project but not by working all weekend. Or, tell someone in your family you can’t loan them money again because they never paid you back the last time. You’ll find yourself much happier.

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            Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

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